The people of God are to be in prayer for all the saints (cf. Eph. 6:18). Such prayer obviously includes specific prayer for individuals. Paul regularly requested prayer for his ministry and evangelistic opportunities (Eph. 6:19-20; Col. 4:3-4; 1 Thess. 5:25; 2 Thess. 3:1). In taking time to pray for all the people of God, it is important that we are specific in what we are praying for. Included in the broad category of praying for all the saints, it is important for the people of God to be praying for their pastors. Like all believers, pastors are in need of Divine grace and power so as to be faithful in their service to the Lord.
If your pastor is going to honour the Lord and encourage the people of God in his pastoral and public ministry, it is essential that he be a man of God in private. How can you pray for your pastor? There are many things you could and should pray for, but here are a few things.
In his letter to Timothy, Paul had a series of public duties that Timothy was to carry out in the ministry of the church (“the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” 1 Tim. 4:13). But before he could be faithful and effective in such practices, he needed to first cultivate personal spiritual virtues. He says, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity“. This verse provides us with five areas that Timothy is to set an example. Such actions provide the foundation for an effective public pulpit ministry.
Firstly, take regular time praying that your pastor would be an example in his “speech“. Words can build up or they can tear down. Speaking too much can lead to trouble (Prov. 10:19); gentle speech can diffuse anger whereas harsh speech can provoke anger (Prov. 15:1) and it is always important to think before you speak (Prov. 18:13). These principles provide practical wisdom in the use of our words. Our words are a powerful tool and for this reason pray that your pastor be quick to hear and slow to speak (cf. James 1:19).
Secondly, pray for his “conduct“. This refers to the way he lives and behaves. Pray that his behaviour would be holy (1 Pet. 1:15), honorable (1 Pet. 2:12) and honest (1 Pet. 3:16).
Third, pray that his “love” for the Lord Jesus Christ and for other believers would abound. Pray that he would take regular time to cultivate his love for Christ so that we will never abandon his first love (cf. Rev. 2:4). Pray his love would never grow cold for those in his flock but will be a natural outflow of his love for Christ.
Fourthly, pray for his “faith“. Make it your request to the Lord that your pastor’s trust in the Lord would grow deeper and deeper. Pray that he would know the word of God, be convinced that it is true and act upon it. This way he will live the life of faith and his testimony of faithfulness will bless the people of God.
Finally, pray for his “purity“. Pray that he would submit all his thoughts and actions to the Lord and live a life of holiness. Pray that he would come before the throne of grace every day seeking mercy and grace for his time of need (cf. Heb. 4:16).
If such personal virtues are present in his life, he has the kind of character that the Lord will bless in the life of the church. Take time to pray for your pastor.