IMAGINE WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN in our churches if our pastors were covered in prayer by their congregations.
Pastors are the target of much criticism, the subject of gossip, the bull’s eye for harsh words. What if, instead, the pastor became the subject of passionate prayer?
Would you commit yourself to pray daily for your pastor? Would you rally others to the same commitment? Would you be willing to see what God could do through a church whose pastor is covered head-to-toe in heaven’s power released through the prayers of the church? The prayers of the church are the most powerful prayer force in the cosmos.
“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph 3:10-12).
When the church, in any of her gathered forms, prays, we are announcing to the heavenly realms the manifold wisdom of God. Power and authority are exercised through the church’s united prayers. Use that force to undergird your pastor and see what happens.
If you are going to commit to praying for your pastor, then you will also have to make some other commitments. Refuse to gossip or join in complaining.
Turn every critical or judgmental thought into prayer instead. Invite anyone who seeks to criticize or complain to you to join you in your prayer initiative instead.
Don’t start this venture thinking that maybe prayer will make your pastor into the person you think your pastor should be. From the beginning, recognize that prayer will release all the power and provision of God in your pastor’s life and will accomplish His purposes, not your purposes. Pray first that God will give you a heart of love, compassion, and gentleness toward your pastor. Ask the Lord to change any wrong attitudes in you toward your pastor. Ask God to make you a person who builds your pastor up and encourages your pastor’s heart.
Do not start out with an agenda of your own. Sign onto God’s agenda and let Him do the work in His way, at His time. Be open during this whole experi¬ence for the Holy Spirit to convict and correct you about wrong attitudes.
If you are willing to step out in this grand adventure, then you might want to use this guide as a starting place. Use the suggested prayer as just that a suggestion. Pray as the Spirit leads you, covering your pastor in prayer authored by God.
Since one key to powerful prayer is perseverance, use this guide over and over.
30 Scriptural Prayers for Your Pastor
1 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom 12:2).
I pray that You will be continually transforming my pastor’s mind thinking, attitudes, perceptions so that my pastor will be will always be walking in Your good, perfect, pleasing will.
2 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
I pray that my pastor will develop a habit of solitude and silence where you can speak clearly to my pastor’s heart and mind.
3 “The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back” (Isa 50:4-5).
Father, let my pastor speak with a tongue that You have instructed, speaking words that sustain the weary. Waken my pastor morning by morning and teach my pastor from Your own heart.
4 “The lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being” (Prov 20:27).
Lord, search my pastor’s innermost being and refine and renew my pastor from the inside out.
5 “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge” (Prov 23:12).
I pray that my pastor will give You full attention, attentive only to Your words.
6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Josh 1:6-9).
Give my pastor success as he meditates on Your law and then fills his mouth with Your words. Give my pastor strength and courage, being aware of Your presence wherever he goes.
7 “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Heb 13:20-21).
God of Peace, equip my pastor in every way to do Your will.
8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Ps 32:8).
Father, instruct and teach my pastor. Counsel and watch over him.
9 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isa 30:21).
Holy Spirit, speak directly to my pastor and show my pastor your way for him.
10 “And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them” (Ps 78:72).
Give my pastor a heart of integrity and grant him skill and insight as he shepherds those in his care.
11 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
In the Name of Jesus, I stand against the enemy’s schemes in my pastor’s life. I pray that You will provide my pastor the inner strength and spiritual power to stand firm, resisting the devil.
12 “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal 6:14-15).
Father, teach my pastor the power of the cross to crucify flesh, dying to the world’s false promises. Keep my pastor from the pride that the enemy would like to develop in him, and may he boast only in the work of the cross in his life.
13 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15).
I ask that Your Holy Spirit will teach my pastor all truth and keep him from error and false teaching.
14 “Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should” (Col 4:5).
Father, I pray for my pastor as he prepares his messages that You will give him just the right words and illustrations to communicate effectively to Your people.
15 “Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord” (1 Thess 1:5-6).
I pray that my pastor will speak the messages You give him to speak with power, with the Holy Spirit, and with deep conviction. I pray that his message will be fleshed out as he lives his life openly before Your people. Protect him from hypocrisy.
16 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom 15:13).
Lord, I ask You to fill my pastor with Your joy and peace and that my pastor will trust in You more fully each day. I pray that the result will be that my pastor overflows with hope and peace to the congregation You have entrusted to him.
17 “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood” (Acts 20:28-29).
Father, Give my pastor a great love for Your church, and discernment to be watchful over his own life for the church’s sake.
18 “But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. ” (1 Peter 2:20-24)
Lord, I pray that You will comfort my pastor when he endures criticism and harsh judgment. Give Him an increased outpouring of Your Spirit to respond in the power of the indwelling Christ.
19 “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil” (Prov 4:25-27).
I ask that my pastor will be empowered to keep his spiritual eyes fixed on You and will follow You only.
20 “… And will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).
I pray that You will bring the right workers and place them in the right ministries so that my pastor has the freedom to be a person of the Word and of prayer. I pray that You will create in my pastor a passion for Your presence and Your Word.
21 “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word” (Ps 119:15-16).
I pray that my pastor will not neglect Your Word, and will find his delight in Your decrees. As he meditates on Your Word, I ask You to give him fresh insight into the depths of Your Word.
22 “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors” (Ps 119:24).
May my pastor receive direction and wisdom from Your living, active Word. I pray that Your Word will be to my pastor an ever-living source of insight.
23 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Eph 6:10-18).
I pray that my pastor will be empowered to stand against the devil’s schemes. I cover him with all the armor of God, each piece a description of Jesus Himself.
24 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Prov 4:23).
I pray that my pastor will guard his heart and watch carefully what enters there, so the wellspring will not be poisoned. Father, clean out any pollution that may have found foothold in his heart.
25 “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed” (Prov 3:13-18).
I pray that my pastor will desire wisdom and understanding above all else. I pray that he will embrace and take to heart Your Word.
26 “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:14-19).
I pray that my pastor will be strengthened in his inner being, and that he is able to grasp Your amazing love, and that he would be filled with all Your fullness. I pray that the fullness in his life would spill over into the lives of the people you have entrusted to him.
27 “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Ps 1:1-3).
Draw the heart of my pastor to Your Word, and make him like a tree planted by streams of water. Bring fruit from his ministry and prosper his work.
28 “A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers” (Prov 24:5-6).
Provide my pastor with wise and godly advisers so that he will increase in strength and grow in knowledge.
29 “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures” (Prov 24:3-4).
May my pastor build a church by wisdom and establish it through understanding. May every corner of our lives be filled with rare and beautiful treasures because we are shepherded by a man of God.
30 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Col 4:2).
May we become a house of prayer, led by a man of prayer. Teach us to be watchful and observant of Your work, always in an attitude of thanksgiving.