Pray for the Pastor

by PastorErick | 5/2/17, 7:14 AM

So, today’s devotion is gonna be a little shorter. It comes from a couple verses in Colossians 4. There Paul is urging people to remain faithful and steadfast in prayer and then he says this in vs. 3-4:

[3] At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—[4] that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

On a number of occasions over the years I have asked someone from a congregation I serve to pray for me. I might tell them I need prayer for a health issue, or prayer for my family, or prayer for endurance or some other need. Here’s something interesting: In some cases I have found that asking them to pray for me almost takes them aback. From what I can gather, some are surprised that A PASTOR (!) would actually ask them to pray for him. There seems to be a sense among some that the Pastor wouldn’t need prayer in the same way they would to deal with their problems. I know this is well intentioned thinking on the part of folks….

But just in case you kinda have this view of things, please hear what I’m about to say:

I NEED YOUR PRAYERS. YOUR PASTOR NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS.

PLEASE PRAY FOR ME AND……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… PRAY FOR ME TOMORROW TOO.

I am just as prone to temptation as any other human being. I am just as prone to distraction, laziness, overworking, bad moods, (and worse stuff than that) as anyone else. In other words, we’re all sinners saved sheerly by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. We’re all simul justus et peccator (simultaneously saint and sinner). So pray for me please simply as a fellow child of God.

Beyond prayer in that way, Paul also gives some specific ideas for how to pray for me:

1. Pray that God would open a door for us to declare His Gospel

In Paul’s specific situation he is probably speaking about evangelizing those around him in prison. But that request, “that God may open a door for the word” can apply really to anybody, no matter where you’re at.

As you pray for me, I would ask the same thing: Ask God to open a door for the word to be declared when I visit the sick in the hospital; ask the Lord to “open a door” when I counsel people; ask the Lord to “open a door” for conversation when I go out to meet people at a cafe. In the year run up to the launch of Epiphany, I would spend a great number of my days meeting strangers to talk to them about the church and ultimately about Jesus. As you can imagine, it could be really intimidating. So before I'd do anything, I'd spend a great deal of time just praying for courage to actually start the conversation. I would ask Him to open a door for me to speak to people. Keep praying that for me (while you're at it, ask the Lord to “open a door” in your own life situations too).

2. Pray that God would help us be clear

The word for clear in our text carries with it the idea of revealing something that has been obscure or hidden. Simply put, a Preacher’s call is to try and brush away the fog so you can have a more accurate understanding of the Scriptures. Unfortunately, plenty of us can think of times where we’ve heard a preacher seemingly muddy things up more than less! If you’ve ever found yourself drawn towards dreamland during a sermon (I understand, I’ve been there), chances are it’s because the Pastor is not preaching or speaking clearly.

When poor preaching takes place, there are basically three ways of handling the problem:

  1. Think about something else and just accept the dreadful boredom that you feel as religious duty. This is an option, but not a biblical one.
  2. Go out to a meal with others from the church and share your various critiques amongst yourselves about the sermon: This is a tempting option (I know, I’ve been there too), but actually less helpful than the first option.
  3. Pray for the Pastor that God would help him to speak more clearly. This option would be the “ding!” of the bunch.

Charles Spurgeon, one of history’s most gifted preachers would claim over and over again that the reason he was able to preach effectively at all is because whlle he was preaching, in the basement beneath him was a large group of people praying for him the entire time! He said of this group, “Here is the powerhouse of this church."

On any given Sunday the Pastor is walking up to the pulpit with a hundred other things on his mind. The Devil is doing everything he can to cause the preaching of the word to be ineffective. A spiritual battle is going on that we are scarcely aware of. One way you can fight back against the evil one is to pray that God would somehow speak through this weak vessel up in front to bring you His powerful and mighty word. It's amazing what He can do when God's people pray.....

Amen.

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