Who actually prays for their pastor?
Do pastors need the prayers of their parishioners? Of course, they do. It makes a huge difference.
I recently reentered the local church pastorate after about seven years of fulfilling ministry from my denominational office. During those years I became convinced that pastors with members that pray for them often will have a more effective ministry.
This has become my personal conviction. My understanding of the power of prayer and the difficulty of providing consistent ministry has caused me to take the following actions.
Step One: After about one month in, I began to talk about the idea of establishing a guided prayer team that would pray specifically for me, their new pastor. I talked about it with my senior staff and other staff members.
Step Two: I spoke openly about it in our church-wide prayer meetings that take place twice each month on Sunday evenings. These prayer meetings are open to anyone in our congregation and usually has anywhere from fifteen to thirty people. But for a few months, I only talked about this concept.
Step Three: On a Sunday morning, this prayer guide was distributed with our standard handouts. About a month or so later, we did this again. At the end of this post, you can download this guide as a free PDF.
Finally, after about six months of only talking about this need, I sensed that the vision was sufficiently sold. Now I was ready to form this team.
Step Four: In a Sunday evening prayer meeting with about twenty-five people present I gave the details. I asked for a minimum of seven people to make up the Pastor’s Prayer Force. I requested that only individuals who sensed a genuine burden to do this would sign up. I further qualified this group by asking that each member of this team would agree to pray for me three minutes each day.
I didn’t call for a show of hands to form this group. I told them that this would not be for any recognition. I also promised them no called group meetings. It would be humble behind the scenes investment.
Step Five: Those who sensed the needed burden were asked to come to me individually and tell me after the prayer meeting was ended. One by one, they came, and I wrote down their names. By midweek, a thank you later, and a prayer guide was mailed to each member. On occasions when I need prayer for a specific cause not listed in the guide, I’ll be sure to let them know.
And that’s how my Pastor’s Prayer Force team was born. Each day of the week, they have a specific focus on how to pray. This doesn’t absolve me from my responsibility to appear before the throne of grace for myself. But I find confidence in knowing that this certain list of people have made a covenant of grace to cover me in prayer.
As vested members of the Sunday congregation, participating in this prayer force is in this team’s best interest. This is a sure-fire way to strengthen your church.
Bonus – there are many articles on this blog designed just for pastors. Guidance, strength, and help for your ministry are just a few minutes away.