Pastors and ministry leaders pray for many people, but how many people actually pray for them? We should be thankful for these effective prayers that are prayed by these righteous gospel workers on our behalf (James 5:16), but we must also not neglect to pray for them.
The enemy is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Pet. 5:8) and his target is often on those in leadership.
The Apostle Paul viewed the Philippian church as full of ministers and missionaries of the gospel. In his introductory words, listen to how he prayed for these gospel workers.
As you read, notice the specific things for which he prayed.
Philippians 1:3-11 – 3 I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, 4 always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and establishment of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, 10 so that you can approve the things that are superior and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
Did you notice how Paul prayed for them?
- He gave thanks for them
- He prayed with joy
- He prayed and believed concerning their sanctification
- He esteemed them as partners in the gospel
- He prayed their love would grow in knowledge and discernment
- He prayed for their purity
- He prayed for righteous fruit
- He prayed their lives would glorify God
Not a bad list!
It’s time to pray for those who pray for others.
While these men and women do great things for the Kingdom, they are still flesh and blood and tempted like each of us (1 Cor. 10:13). They need our prayers!
Here’s a tangible way you can get started:
- Select at least one church staff member for which to pray.
- Also, select a missionary for whom you can pray.
Let’s move past generic prayers and generic lists. In this prayer focus, we must do more than just pray simple blessings or safety over categories of ministers or missionaries. Who are these specific people? In what specific ways should you pray for them?