Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Do You Pray for Your Pastor?

The following is an article written by my friend and former Missions Director for the World Baptist Fellowship, the late Robert O. Schmidt. It is taken from the WBF Reaper's Report (July-August, 1980): 1.

Do you pray for your pastor? There are good reasons why you should.

First, you should pray for your pastor in his sermon preparation. If his is the responsibility to feed the sheep, then he must know with assurance both the need of the sheep and what kind of food to give them. With discernment he must be able to diagnose the sheep's problems and to prescribe the right remedy.

That in itself is a tremendous task and responsibility. You need to pray "Lord, guide my pastor in the choice of his text for this Sunday. Enlighten his mind with regard to the truth of his text. Help him to find the illustrations best suited to make the truth clear. And help us as the congregation to receive the word as Thy Word."

Second, you should pray that your pastor may make the best use of his time. How many demands are made upon such men, and it is obvious that they cannot handle all the matters referred to them. A pastor needs to know when and how to say NO to a request for assistance.

Third, you should pray that your pastor may have a group of godly men to support him in his work. Indeed, he, too, is an elder, a teaching elder, it is true, but he needs a group of men -- deacons and trustees -- whose hearts God has touched.

fourth, a pastor needs prayer in all his dealings with people. He needs wisdom in counseling them, admonishing them, encouraging them. He needs to be gentle yet firm, manifesting both the gentleness and severity of God to all those he contacts.

Fifth, pray that your pastor may be MISSIONARY HEARTED. A pastor's heart is often the best thermometer for registering the missionary temperature of a church. Does he promote missions? Does he teach his people how to give to missions? PRAY THAT THE SPIRIT OF MISSIONS MAY GRIP HIS HEART. If He does, thank God and keep on praying.

A noted Missionary Pastor was asked : "How do you maintain interest throughout the year?" His reply was: "I have found that if a Pastor has been pastor of a church any length of time, the church members will reflect the interest of the Pastor. If the Pastor is interested in World Evangelism the church members will have the same interest in seeking to evangelize lost men and women around the world. If the Pastor's main interest is in brick and mortar, you will see an abundance of buildings, and so on down the line.The Pastor is the key to the missionary success and the missionary interested of every church.

Again, let me say, if your Pastor does not possess the spirit of missions, pray for him. If he is more concerned for the lost of the world than temporal things, thank God for him daily. For you are blessed, indeed.

Sixth, pray for your Pastor in his relationship with the young people of the church. The world, the flesh, and the Devil, have confronted our young people with every conceivable temptation known to man. Our young people must have our best effort toward them and therefore pray that both the Pastor's life and message may mold them and draw them closer to God.

Seventh, and finally, pray that your Pastor may be able to get proper rest and some needed recreation. If he is to continue in his work for God, he needs adequate periods of relaxation. Remember that most of the members work at jobs and they can forget about their work until time comes for them to check in at the appointed time in the morning [or at whatever other appropriate time]. Not so with your Pastor. His phone rings at all times of the day and night. People, his people, that God has given him to shepherd, have problems and also real difficult troubles. He has to bear those burdens along with the members. It is difficult for him to even relax for days on end because of the many burdens that rest upon his shoulders. I can safely say that many a pastor is in his grave prematurely, because of overwork. The Pastor that loves God and His people, has burdens and work that the average layman knows little about. If you don't pray for your pastor daily, begin NOW and keep him on the top of your prayer list DAILY. He deserves your support. ###

NOTE: Though this was written more than thirty five years ago, the Pastor's situation has not lessened. If anything, the attacks of Satan against the church of Jesus Christ have only worsened. Consequently, the Shepherd given the task of not only leading but also protecting Christ's flock from these attacks, needs all the strength and support he can get. If your answer to the question Dr. Schmidt asks is no, then begin now to pray fervently and daily for your pastor. I do.

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