The flaming arrows of the evil one are flying through the air right now, aimed at our pastor. The enemy can be effective in his deception to destroy the credibility of the Word of God by destroying the deliverer of the message. The Apostle Paul was acutely aware of his need for prayer when he asked the Ephesian believers to pray for him.
"Pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” - Ephesians 6:19-20
When he spoke to the church at Colossae, Paul exhorted them to devote themselves to prayer, keeping alert in it... praying that God would open doors for evangelism (Colossians 4:3). And in First Thessalonians he simply says, “Brethren, pray for us” (5:25).
If Paul needed the prayers of his fellow workers in the faith, then certain our pastor needs them. This is an urgent call for all of us to get on our knees and humbly pray for Pastor Jeff. There are numerous things to pray for when we intercede for our pastor, but here are five specific items to get started:
1). Undistracted study time. Pastor Jeff needs to have full concentration while he's studying scripture and preparing his sermons. There are a million other important things that can pull him away from his studies. So it is essential that we pray for him to get adequate quiet time to get his thoughts in order. We should pray against the enemy using subtle distraction tactics to destroy the effectiveness of sermon preparation.
2). Clarity of the Word of God. We need to pray that his studies are fruitful so that the meaning of scripture is crystal clear to him. If his job is to clarify what the Word of God says, it is impossible for him to make it clear to us if it is not first clear to him. There is nothing that the deceiver would like more than to confuse people by muddy preaching.
3). Quality family time. Pastor Jeff’s first mission field is not the crowd of people that assemble on Sunday morning for church. It is his family. They need shepherded by him. And not only that, but his wife needs her husband and his kids need their dad. A pastor who does not spend time with his wife and children has failed.
4). Victory in the fight against discouragement. Being in full time ministry has it's share of amazing blessings. But it is also brutal. Ministry is often a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Ministry involves people; and while some people are a great encouragement, many will disappoint. One of the devil's most effective methods in his toolbox of destruction is to use discouragement to ruin someone's ministry. A massively great encouragement to a pastor is seeing the effects of the Word of God in the people he teaches. Let’s pray that our church would not only hear what we’re being taught, but also to put into practice all of the principles we learn from God’s servant as he explains the Bible to us.
5). Vigilance against pride. The tendency toward pride is part of the sinful human condition. It comes naturally to people. Gaining a certain amount of knowledge can very easily vault someone into an attitude of superiority. Pastors who study well are continually gaining knowledge of the scriptures and if they are not in a constant state of vigilance, they can be puffed up with pride. This is a sin. And so we should pray for humility.
If we want our church to be constantly expanding its influence in the culture, we cannot let the adversary destroy the life-saving message of the gospel by the barrage of attacks on our pastor. God's answers to these prayers will extinguish the flames on every destructive arrow the enemy can sling.