This week our local schools will come back in session. That is one of the best indicators that summer is slipping away. Families will be getting on a more regular routine and our new church year will be soon starting.
This is the time of year the church prays and seeks for those to assist in serving in church ministries. Teachers, leaders, helpers are always needed in a variety of areas. Every helper is vital and play an important part in the church. Surely this is a vital area that needs prayer.
Here are a few ways with old testament examples of the power of prayer for church leaders:
1. Pray they will keep their eyes on God.
King Jehoshaphat faced three combined enemy armies, and he did not know what to do—except to lock his eyes on God. That’s the answer any time we have no clue about next steps.
2. Pray they will not take a step apart from God’s leading.
Moses prayed this prayer when God would send only an angel to lead His people after their fiasco with the golden calf. He would rather the people not start the journey if God Himself were not leading them.
3. Pray they will beware of relying on their own strength.
David, who knew the Lord is the one who fights for him (1 Sam. 17:47), trusted in his own might when he took a census of the Hebrew armies. Recognizing his sin, he prayed a prayer most leaders need to pray at some point:
4. Pray they will be wise in leading God’s people.
When Solomon might have asked for much more, he instead asked God to give him a “listening heart” as he governed the people of God. All of us who lead congregations need this wisdom.
5. Pray they will weep over the sin and failures of God’s people.
The best shepherds are those who genuinely grieve the spiritual brokenness of the people they lead. Like Nehemiah when he heard about the damaged walls of Jerusalem, they are themselves broken when they see the results of spiritual decline.
6. Pray they will know when to push away from the crowds to pray.
Ministry is time-consuming, and needs are ever before us. Nevertheless, leaders must have time alone with God to be renewed for the work—just as Jesus did.
7. Pray they will walk worthy of their calling.
If we pray more for church leaders today, it’s likely fewer will fall tomorrow. We must pray they walk in obedience and bear fruit, just as Paul prayed for the Colossian believers:
8. Pray they will speak the gospel boldly.
Paul wrote from a prison cell—his punishment for preaching the Word—but still he sought prayer support to continue his evangelizing. If Paul needed such prayer, surely church leaders do today.
9. Pray they will finish well.
Those church leaders who finish well PLAN to do so; that is, they choose from the beginning to stand against the devil and glorify God. Pray that your church leaders can one day echo these words of the Apostle Paul: