Rev Dominic sheds light on why it is important to pray for our pastors.
“Church leader strikes out in anger!”
“God’s leader charged with murder and adultery!”
“Christian leader seized and imprisoned!”
These headlines sound like news stories that will go viral on Facebook and Twitter, if they were reported today.
Moses, David and Peter experienced the same emotions, temptations and trials just like any other spiritual leader would today.
In my travels and interactions with pastors and leaders, many have shared with me how they were exhausted and burnt out from their ministries; how their families were under attack and how their children grew up with a negative view of the ministry. Many have also shared how they have felt inadequate facing the challenges of the 21st century church and struggled to grow their church spiritually and numerically.
Spiritual leaders falling into sin or leaving the ministry are reported in different parts of the world. Details about how they fell or why they left are often discussed at length. What you seldom see is the impact that was left behind—on them, the church as well as their families. Let us remember Paul’s exhortation to the Church in 1 Timothy 2:1-2: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
Let us debunk some myths and rally in prayer for our pastors.
Myth #1: Pastors do not fall into sin.
Truth: Jesus said in Mark 14:27 that the enemy seeks to scatter the sheep by attacking the shepherd. The enemy will tempt pastors to compromise and bring destruction. However, when saints join together in prayer for their pastors and their families, it creates a powerful shield as well as a force against the enemy. And when believers agree and pray in unity, the Father is pleased— His favor will be a shield not just around your pastor, but around you as well. Pray also that your pastor will fear God and honor Him so as not to give the enemy any foothold.
Myth #2: Success is not important to my pastor. My pastor just needs to surrender everything to God.
Truth: Both success and surrender are important.
Success encourages the heart, energizes the body and “tops up fuel for the long haul.” You need to pray that your pastor’s ministry flourishes and bears much fruit that lasts (John 15:16) and that he surrenders it all back to God. Discouragement is a powerful weapon of the enemy to rob a church of a good pastor, rob a pastor of his call, rob a family of joy and take away the Kingdom of God’s intended purpose.
Myth #3: My pastor has all the wisdom and plans for the church.
Truth: With the ever-changing social and political landscape in our world today, your pastor needs to continually lean upon God for wisdom. Moreover, God has plans to advance the Church for His Kingdom, so your pastor needs to hear and make decisions that are in alignment with God’s plans. Pray for your pastor to receive divine wisdom, discernment and understanding of the times we are in.
Myth #4: Pastors should never say “No” to any of our requests.
Truth: God gave Moses a strategy to mobilize leaders to help him, so that he could reserve his energy and become more focused and effective for God. Pray for your pastors to be discerning and courageous to say “No” to inappropriate requests. They need to stay fresh, sharp and sensitive to God’s voice and ways. Their effectiveness is also tied to what they don’t do. Rise up in prayer for God to send the right people to serve alongside your pastor. Pray that God will send Aarons and Hurs to support him or her.
Myth #5: My pastor gets lots of rest as he only works on the weekends.
Truth: Besides preaching and teaching God’s Word on the weekends, there are barrages of responsibilities waiting for your pastor. These include administration, counseling, ministering to those who have lost loved ones, hospital visits, marriage intervention, crisis management and the list goes on. Many urgent matters scream for your pastor’s attention. Pray for your pastor to experience rest and good health.
Myth #6: My pastor will always stay close to God.
Truth: Pastors are human beings who can be so overwhelmed by ministry and family commitments that they will only attend to their own needs last. This may lead to neglect in cultivating God’s presence daily in their lives. Without communion with God, there is no revelation and that can lead to pastors losing focus on God’s call—the ministry then becomes a routine. Pray for your pastors to remain passionate for God and hungry for Him. Pray that they will walk in alignment with God and be constantly filled with the Spirit.
Myth #7: There are already many people praying for my pastor.
Truth: If everyone thinks the same way, no one will be praying for your pastor. Live out what is written in 1 Timothy 2:1-2. Take your position and the responsibility as a watchman to contend in prayer for your pastor. Even the apostles Paul and Peter were constantly covered in prayer by the New Testament believers—Acts 12:5, 2 Corinthians 1:9-11, Ephesians 6:19. No one is more responsible to pray for the pastor of a church than the members of that church.
Here’s how to cover your pastors in PRAYER:
Pray for your pastor and his or her family at your church’s prayer meeting. Corporate prayer is powerful.
Regularly cover your pastor in prayer during your personal prayer times.
Arise as a watchman to see and hear God on how to pray
Yield to the Spirit’s prompting to pray. It may be a crucial time for your pastor.
Encourage your pastors with revelations from God.
Release God’s blessings over your pastor as you pray.
About Rev Dominic Yeo
Rev Dominic Yeo has been serving as the General Superintendent for the Assemblies of God of Singapore since April 2010. He also serves as the Secretary of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, Chairman of the Asia Pacific Assemblies of God Fellowship, and is part of the Advisory Council of the Pentecostal World Fellowship.
Reverend Yeo is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre, a church with an average weekly attendance of 7,500. Under his leadership, Trinity has become a local church with global impact through 1,700 lay leaders, a missions program reaching over 40 nations, a social service arm serving the local community, and an accredited multi-disciplinary Christian college.
Having been dramatically transformed by God in his youth, he carries the heart of God and has tremendous relentless belief in people to fulfill their God-given destiny. Known for his visionary and strategic leadership, he trains and provides consultations to churches, helping them to experience transformation and break into new levels of growth. Reverend Yeo also mentors senior pastors in the areas of spiritual and organizational leadership.