Prayers for Pastors are Desperately Needed
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. – Hebrews 13:17-18 (KJV)
As you have read, heard, and maybe talked about, a pastor of a megachurch recently took his own life. While many people have their thoughts on mental illness and its place in Body of Christ, one thing is certain – a man was a victim of an untimely death. This was an irrevocable blow to his family and this team.
While I didn’t know this pastor, I stumbled across another pastor who did. After reading his article and post, I was moved with great compassion. I began to lament in my room, petitioning God for help for His leaders.
The article was beautifully written and gave helpful insight into the struggles of a pastor. Being an assistant to my pastor, I can wholeheartedly testify to what he has shared.
Pastors have a tough job that many people do not understand. I am only a witness to the heavy burden they carry and even that is filtered. We can’t imagine, first hand, how difficult that office may be.
I hope this article encourages you to increase your prayers for pastors as they fight on the front lines of this team.
A Brief Look Into the Life of a Pastor
A pastor is someone that God has elected to care for His flock. Your leader may not go by the title “Pastor,” but when I say pastor, I am referring to any leader that oversees the congregation of God.
Hebrews 13:17 says that church leaders watch for our souls and are accountable to God concerning those they lead. Their role in the Body Christ is vital because it has an effect on our eternal destiny. This is a position that not all people can effectively occupy unless truly chosen of God to do so.
You may ask, “Well, what about Jesus?”
Indeed, our Lord is the Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20), who cannot be moved. But He chooses those like Peter, for example, to care for and feed his flock until He returns again. Undershepherds are people, with feelings, weaknesses, and struggles just like every other person.
Pastors are like parents, but their job is much harder. As the oldest in my family, I saw firsthand the struggles of my parents. Pastors pour out so much with very little in return. They are often under the scrutiny of those they care for and outsiders, yet they continue in their God-given assignment no matter their conditions.
It is here that I felt the pull of God to increase my prayers. I can identify with people who are always assumed to be strong. I have learned over the years that there is a time when the strong get weak and are in need of help for themselves. Therefore, praying for your leaders no matter how strong they appear is imperative.
The Enemy is a War Strategist
As a person who has the call to be a pastor, I am in no rush to do so. I will wait until the appointed and ordained time because the Lord has revealed, in part, to me what lies ahead – War.
Ezekiel 34:5 says that when there is no shepherd, the flock scatters. The enemy is privy to this knowledge, so he will unleash forces against the leader in an effort to take out the entire congregation.
I’m reminded of the movie The Patriot with Mel Gibson. There is a scene where he briefly teaches his children war strategy during battle; he instructs them to identify and take out the leaders (officers) first. Through this, the children were able to make way for their father to kill the other soldiers. Hence you had one adult and two children take out an entire group of soldiers. As I watched this years ago, the Lord gave me a revelation concerning war and how this pertains to us who are spiritual.
The enemy targets our leaders in an attempt to take out our entire team! This is one reason why some of them are falling and fainting. Let us not unrighteously judge their circumstances, but band together in prayer for those that lead us.
SO, WHAT’S THE PLAY CALL?
Hebrews 13:18 reveals one of the many times that the Apostle Paul invited the prayers of the saints through his epistles. He simply writes, “Pray for us.”
As we are in the last days, his request is the cry of many of today’s leaders alike. They are attacked mentally, physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. While we have lost one pastor, many others are hanging on by a thread.
Let us take an edifying route. Pray for all pastors and stand against the war that the enemy has waged. Outside of their title, they are still our brethren, teammate, and co-heir.
I pray that this prompts you, too, to increase your prayers for God’s leaders.