Seven Prayers for Pastors for a New Year

January 4, 2021

As we move into 2021, may I suggest we churchgoers spend more time in prayer for our pastors? Could we commit to a few minutes a week specifically praying for these servant leaders? Frankly, I have never seen a season where pastors have withstood attacks at the level they did in the previous year. Perhaps one of our first lines of ministry should be praying for our pastors.

While I could provide a lengthy prayer guide, let’s begin with these seven prayers. I really believe we could see our churches renewed if we fervently prayed for the renewal and protection of our pastors.

  1. Protection in spiritual warfare. This prayer covers most of the other prayers, but I think we should be specific here. The enemy seeks to destroy the witness of churches by attacking pastors. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
  1. Their families. Families of pastors are under attack every single day. Pray for their spouses. Pray for their children. Many pastors have left vocational ministry because their families have been attacked relentlessly. 
  1. Protection from critics and naysayers. One church member told me she is not that critical of her pastor. She mentioned that she has a few “constructive” comments about three or four times a year. I reminded her she was one of 300 members in the church. If she was representative of the other members, the pastor would be subject to about 1,000 criticisms in a year.
  1. Preaching ministry. Pray for pastors in the preparation of their sermons. Pray for them as they preach. Consider asking two or three members to pray in another room in the church while they preach.
  1. Rest for pastors. Pastors would be fine if they were omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. But we often forget that every time we have an expectation of a pastor, that single expectation is multiplied many times throughout the week by other members with other expectations.
  1. Leadership clarity. Among the items on the lengthy list of expectations of pastors is the expectation to be a leader of the church. That means pastors need clarity from God on where and how to lead the church. That means we must pray for God to give them that clarity.
  1. Encouragement. I have conversed with more than one church member who sees his or her role to be keeping pastors humble with barbs and criticisms. On the other hand, I am immensely grateful for those church members who seek to be encouragers to pastors. May their tribe increase. 

As with many of us, 2020 was a difficult year for many pastors. Let us take the turning of a calendar year to be reminded of one act we can do to make our church and the world a better place. 

Would you join me in praying for our pastors? 

It will make a world of difference.

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22 Comments

  • My late husband was a Minister and died while serving the church, and I am in total agreement with praying for our Clergy. They are the Watchman for our souls.

    God bless you for bringing this necessity to the forefront.

  • Hello Thom,

    My name is Raymond Hollis. Jr, and I am a senior pastor. I would like to thank you for this prayer, it really blessed me.

    Remain Blessed!

  • Bob Mudie says on

    Thom, I think I’ll share this with our Session at the January meeting. As a layman, I know the value of praying for our pastor, a young, energetic woman with a husband and a 4-year old son. Lots on her plate these days and our congregation needs to be an encouragement to her every day thru prayer.
    Bob Mudie
    United Presbyterian Church, Greenville, TX

  • Hello Thom,
    Happy New Year,
    I live in the United Kingdom,
    Wales, N. Wales.
    Denbighshire
    Coastal town,
    PRESTATYN.
    We are so Blessed with
    Our Pastor and His Family,
    Coming to us, From S. Africa.
    I will certainly pray for him,
    And his family,
    Also the good helpful Team
    That support him.
    God Bless you.
    From
    Mrs Carolyn Hughes.

  • Am tired of pastors Churches using Skinney jeans and smokes mahines
    The late seieis using 7part with little depth baste using sermon on the mount telling people how to behave when they just lost there mother to covert19
    There no comfort in that
    Just legalistic in way presented
    The church has lost all credibility paststor to be paid for forsure to hear the voice of know the presence of preach ou of a revelation of the knowledge and presence FatherGod

  • Greg and Pam says on

    We will try to do this often. Seven things for seven days Great idea!

  • Thanks for these encouraging reminders. I have been a pastor for 30 years and 2020 brought cancer, covid and more cultural conflicts. We pastors are hanging on only by the grace of God! I’m glad he is faithful!

  • We have a rotating team of prayer warriors that pray during the Sunday morning worship service. Would you consider posting a list of things that they can pray about while they are praying during that special time? I know there are needs unique to our local church, but there are many more that are universal across the American church culture. Sometimes we run out of things to pray for before the service ends.

  • Charles Lord says on

    thank you Dr. Rainer.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to recommend that congregant pray for their pastor. Satan has not only been busy during the pandemic, but is always seeking which Pastor he can devour. We are losing pastors each day and every pastor lost is a reflection of members without a shepherd. God Bless

  • DALE AUBREY says on

    Thanks for the reminder

  • Thanks so much for more enlightenment, at the good Lord richly bless you.

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