by Alli Hill
“Dear God, please fill daddy with your Spirit and give him the words to say.” Our six and four year olds pray something along those lines twice every Sunday during our mile-long drive to church. Even our curly-headed two year old rambles off something like, “Help daddy as he preaches.” My own earliest Sunday morning memories include riding in our family van, mom prompting the four of us to pray for our daddy, who also happened to be our pastor.
Ministry almost feels like a family business to me. My father, father-in-law, husband, and brother are all pastors. One of my brother-in-laws is a worship pastor, and another brother-in-law is a deacon. It is all I’ve ever known! Every October, during Pastor Appreciation Month, I’m reminded of the deep need to pray for my pastor, who is also my husband. Praying for the pastor is not only a job for his biological family, it’s the job of each pastor’s church family as well.
Praying for the pastor is not only a job for his biological family, it’s the job of each pastor’s church family as well.
..As mothers, we teach and train our children in so many different ways. I believe this should include praying for and encouraging our pastors! Teach them about the biblical role of a pastor, and let them ask questions about what he does. Think of ways you can specifically encourage your pastor this month, involving your kids! Most of all, I hope you will teach your children to pray for their pastor. It will bless you as a family to pray together, and it truly will bless the shepherd God has given to your church.
To help us think through some ways pastors could use our prayers and encouragement, this month in particular, I want to share seven specific areas for which you can pray.
- Pray for His Joy.
Hebrews 13:17 says, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” Your pastor will be a better man of God and leader if you will commit to encourage and pray for him. Pastors bear many burdens on behalf of their church and community. You never know how a kind word can lift them up on a difficult day, and increase their joy as they run their race.
- Pray for Godly Wisdom.
Pastors are leaders. Every leader wants to make wise decisions, especially when leading others on spiritual matters. James 1:3 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach and it will be given him.” I regularly pray for the Lord to grant my husband wisdom to accomplish His will in our church.
- Pray for a Deep Love of Scripture.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) The vocation of a pastor is centered upon the Word of God. Pray that your pastor would deeply love God’s Word, and would be enriched by his time with the Lord each day.
- Pray for His Family.
It is often difficult for pastors to be fully present with their families. Many times urgent needs within the congregation come up, even on days off or during vacations. I’m thankful for my positive experience as a pastor’s child, but I have heard many stories of others who now have a difficult relationship with the church due to its unrealistic demands on their daddy while they were young. Pray your pastor will guard his time with his family as much as possible, but also pray his family would feel loved and encouraged by your church as well. A pastor who is not leading his family well will not flourish in the ministry God has entrusted to him. Pastors are biblically mandated to manage their households well (1 Timothy 3:4).
- Pray for His Purity.
Pastors are people too. They struggle with sin and battle the flesh just like anyone else. However, pastors are also biblically mandated to be above reproach (Titus 1:6-8). Pray your pastor would put to death the desires of the flesh and would walk victoriously in Christ (Romans 8:13-15).
- Pray for Gracious Speech.
Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” There are many instances where pastors must use self-control to not say what they are thinking! Pray your pastor would have a controlled tongue, and would respond in Christlike ways.
- Pray for Endurance.
According to research done by Lifeway, around 250 pastors leave the ministry each month. Pray for the Lord to give your pastor endurance to run the race set before him, and to faithfully minister until the end. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
Alli is married to Gentry Hill and they have four children, Hadley, Dempsey, Emery, and Levi. They live in Poteau, Oklahoma, where her husband serves as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Poteau. Alli hopes to minister to other new moms while continuing to learn how to mother her children in a Christ-honoring way, all while being a keeper of her home. Alli enjoys hospitality, painting, home renovations, & all things domestic. She serves as managing editor for Missional Motherhood.