When Pastors Need a Pastor

The pastor saw me walking in the hallway of the church yesterday, and he quickly stopped me for a brief chat. I knew something was wrong. He told me that his elderly father was sick, and that he was worried. Struggling to hold back tears, he said, “I’m still an eight-year-old little boy when I think of my dad. I would do anything for him.”

I offered words of consolation, probably insufficient, and a promise of prayer. He then departed quickly.

You see, other people wanted to talk to him. They wanted their pastor to hear about their hurts. They wanted him to minister to them. And he did so gladly.  He loves his congregation dearly. And though the pastor is hurting deeply, he does not hesitate to pour himself out for those God has called him to serve.

Shortly after he left me, he preached two more sermons. He preached with passion. He preached as a man who totally loves his church.

He did all of this even though his own heart was heavy and his emotions were raw.

After all, he is a pastor.

Looking for an Army of Pastors to Pastors

The expectations of a pastor are always high. Most are expected to omnipresent, omniscience, and always energetic and ready to serve. But these men are people with their own limitations and their own struggles. They hurt just like the rest of us, sometimes more than the rest of us.

What if every pastor had a number of people in his church who committed to be pastors to their pastor?  These “pastors” would not be the same as those who have the specific call of God and the qualifications noted in 1 Timothy 3. Instead they would include a host of “regular” folks like you and me who love our pastors, and who want somehow to help them as they carry their own burdens and hurts.

A Modest Proposal

My proposal, at least for now, is very simple. I am encouraging and praying that thousands of men and women in congregations across America will commit to pray for their pastors every day. Such a time of prayer can be brief and concise. I pray for my pastor every day at the same of time with rare exception. Sometimes I pray for him for 10 minutes or more, but most of them time it’s a brief prayer of just a couple of minutes.

What if we became “pastors” to our pastors by praying for these men of God every day? What if millions of Christians in churches across the world would take on this intercessory ministry for our pastors? I can only imagine how pastors would be strengthened and, thus, churches would become healthier.

Will You Join Me?

I saw this pastor as he walked away from me yesterday. I knew his burden was heavy, so I prayed to the One who is able to carry all of our burdens. I prayed that God would comfort him, his dad, and his family. And I prayed that God would give him strength to be the shepherd to rest of us.

Will you join me? Will you consider setting aside just a couple of minutes a day to pray for your pastor? Will you encourage others to do so? Will you be part of a movement of care, concern, and intercession for these men who pour out their hearts to us every day?

Feel free to make any comments, but I would especially like to hear from you who will commit to pray for your pastor. Simply say something like “I will pray.” Or you might even mention your pastor by name.

Thank God for our pastors.

They pour out their lives for those they have been called to serve.

The least we can do is to pray for them a few minutes every day. 

Posted on March 5, 2012

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18 Comments

  • Matt Rogers says on

    Yes, I will pray!
    I was convicted of this last week at the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention. Amen, I affirm everything you wrote and now I’m daily in prayer for Marc Farnell of Crossridge church!

  • What a timely post Dr. Rainer. My husband and I pastor Crossroads Vineyard Church in Fredericksburg, VA and have experienced this in action over the past few weeks. 5 weeks ago, we found out that we were pregnant with our 3rd child. We received confirmation from the Dr. and shortly afterward announced it to our church with great joy.
    Last week however, we had a halting turn of events when we went in for our first ultrasound. Unfortunately, the baby’s heartbeat was undetectable and it was confirmed several days later with a blood test that the baby was no longer living. This was an unexpected and devastating blow for us. Our children were heartbroken as well. Our biggest question as young pastors was, “how do we go through something like this in such a public way?”
    We took a Sunday off to spend together as a family and to process this horrible news. We found out from our Associate Pastor that when he announced our tragedy to the congregation, there was a collective gasp and a very emotional, prayerful response that followed.
    With every day that passed from that Sunday, I could feel my burden of pain easing. There is still an emptiness in my heart for our lost child – but the prayers of our church family have literally eased this burden.
    My husband delivered one of his most powerful messages this past Sunday in my opinion. He had been dreading it – wondering again, how do I preach an impacting message of hope when I am hurting myself? But again, thanks to the prayers of the faithful, he was able to preach out of his pain and be a living testimony of God’s power in his life. Nothing preaches louder than seeing God at work right before your eyes in a human pastor who is hurting like normal people do – but full faith, hope and joy.
    I say all of this to say: YES and AMEN! People of God, pray pray pray for your pastors!! And don’t stop. Don’t wait for tragedy to strike. Your prayer is powerful and is like a lever that lifts up the heavy burdens that your pastor carries on a daily basis.
    Thank you again Dr. Rainer for this important message!

  • Excellent and needed concept.
    Seeing as you are a Pastor to Pastors on a larger scale through you various platforms how does this concept translate to being a Pastor to other Pastors that you may not sit under?

  • Dan & Nancy Lembke says on

    From 2003 until 2009 the Lord provided for us so we could ‘host’ retreats for pastors & their spouse. Each retreat was from a Sunday until the following Friday – the main objective was “rest and renewal” but the Holy Spirit was never restricted so He ministered to each and every individual according to their needs; spiritual needs, physical needs and emotional needs. Those were fantastic years of blessings upon hundreds of God’s shepherds & shepherdesses. We cannot agree more that the prayers of God’s ‘sheep’ are absolutely vital AND Biblical. Now, it appears, that God has connected us (via internet/Facebook) with others who know that truth. We speak God’s blessings on all you do in His Name and for His Kingdom.

  • Dan & Nancy Lembke says on

    From 2003 until 2009 the Lord provided for us so we could ‘host’ retreats for pastors & their spouse. Each retreat was from a Sunday until the following Friday – the main objective was “rest and renewal” but the Holy Spirit was never restricted so He ministered to each and every individual according to their needs; spiritual needs, physical needs and emotional needs. Those were fantastic years of blessings upon hundreds of God’s shepherds & shepherdesses. We cannot agree more that the prayers of God’s ‘sheep’ are absolutely vital AND Biblical. Now, it appears, that God has connected us (via internet/Facebook) with others who know that truth. We speak God’s blessings on all you do in His Name and for His Kingdom.

  • Dan & Nancy Lembke says on

    From 2003 until 2009 the Lord provided for us so we could ‘host’ retreats for pastors & their spouse. Each retreat was from a Sunday until the following Friday – the main objective was “rest and renewal” but the Holy Spirit was never restricted so He ministered to each and every individual according to their needs; spiritual needs, physical needs and emotional needs. Those were fantastic years of blessings upon hundreds of God’s shepherds & shepherdesses. We cannot agree more that the prayers of God’s ‘sheep’ are absolutely vital AND Biblical. Now, it appears, that God has connected us (via internet/Facebook) with others who know that truth. We speak God’s blessings on all you do in His Name and for His Kingdom.

  • Dan & Nancy Lembke says on

    From 2003 until 2009 the Lord provided for us so we could ‘host’ retreats for pastors & their spouse. Each retreat was from a Sunday until the following Friday – the main objective was “rest and renewal” but the Holy Spirit was never restricted so He ministered to each and every individual according to their needs; spiritual needs, physical needs and emotional needs. Those were fantastic years of blessings upon hundreds of God’s shepherds & shepherdesses. We cannot agree more that the prayers of God’s ‘sheep’ are absolutely vital AND Biblical. Now, it appears, that God has connected us (via internet/Facebook) with others who know that truth. We speak God’s blessings on all you do in His Name and for His Kingdom.

  • Sheila G. Brown says on

    Being a Pastor’s wife I appreciate your call out to laypeople to be our support system. It’s really hard to pour out to others when you are tapped out and dried up yourself. Ministry is tiring, especially in a small church when you wear so many hats. At times we feel like giving up and then the Lord sends someone to say or do the right thing at that exact moment we need it to remind us of our calling. I know my husband/Pastor needs encouragement as do all servants of God. Thanks, Dr. Rainer for reminding us of that today.

  • Frankie Jones says on

    Yes I will pray for my pastor Michael Boarts.

  • Grover Westover III says on

    I’m sure it’s understood but please pray also for your pastor’s wife & children.

  • Kyle Abel says on

    Thanks, Dr. Rainer, for your encouraging blog. Thanks for being one the greatest champions of pastors around!

  • Richard Jones says on

    Dr Rainer, I’m so glad to see this message. I
    do pray for my pastor Sam Rainer every day.
    I became aware of my need to pray for my pastor
    after reading Dr Henry Webb’s book “Now That
    You’re a Deacon” several years ago. It has been a
    blessing to recognize that these men of
    God are indeed “men” of God. They have hurts
    and needs just as the rest of us. As I pray for
    Pastor Sam I sense a desire to not only ask Gods
    blessing on him and his family, but also a need
    to support him more as he shepherds our church.
    Yes, “I WILL PRAY”,

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