As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been reading the book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, by Richard Foster. This quote on intercessory prayer caught my eye:
“Intercessory prayer is priestly ministry, and one of the most challenging teachings in the New Testament is the universal priesthood of all Christians. As priests, appointed and anointed by God, we have the honor of going before the Most High on behalf of others. This is not optional; it is a sacred obligation–and a precious privilege–of all who take up the yoke of Christ.”
In other words, as Christians, praying for others is our responsibility, something every single one of us should be doing daily. Maybe you already do this, and if so, you probably think first of those who are ill, experiencing grief, or struggling in some way. Today I’m asking, as you pray for congregation members, family and friends, missionaries and others do you also pray for your Pastor? This is something very important that every lay person can do.
As a Pastor’s wife, I assure you, your Pastor needs prayer. He has the same problems that you do, but often has nobody in whom he can confide. He wants to be a Christian example to his flock, but still struggles with his own sin and temptations daily. He loves you and the church, and when things go awry, he may feel he has failed. His behavior and words are scrutinized every time he interacts with another person, and sometimes misinterpreted. He spends a lot of time alone, or in hospitals and nursing homes, or counseling those with serious problems. He can feel depressed and unappreciated. He has been called to this work, but it often isn’t easy.
I was deeply touched when a member once told me, “my husband and I pray for you and Pastor every day.” So I encourage you, as lay people, please consider this a ministry you can undertake. It will strengthen you, your church and your Pastor, and it will mean so much to him.
If you need help, type “praying for your Pastor” into a search engine, and you will find many Biblical suggestions.