A Prayer for My Pastor
The Small Catechism includes a section in the Table of Duties on “What Hearers Owe Their Pastors.” Among the duties cited are financial support, respect for the office, and submission to their spiritual authority. But I’ve always thought that one thing is noticeably absent from this list: prayer.
I must admit, when it comes to praying for my pastor, I’ve failed miserably. But I want to add this to my daily prayer discipline. I’ve found prepared prayers help me maintain the proper focus and provide the framework for growth and adaptation. Unfortunately, there seems to be a shortage of resources that include such prayers for pastors. Most of the ones available are not very personal or specific. So, I’ve developed one of my own and offer it for your consideration.
Lord of the Church, bless ____________, my pastor. Enable him to be a true teacher of Your Word. Put the power of the Gospel into his heart so that he always preaches and counsels in a way that is consistent with Your saving will. I especially ask that You would open My heart and mind to the Word that he speaks on Your behalf. May Your Law show me my sins and bring me to repentance. May Your Gospel increase my faith and empower me to holy living. Help me to be forgiving of my pastor’s sins and patiently bear with his weaknesses. Enable him to do the same for me. Help me to continually encourage him as he strives to be a faithful witness to the Gospel. Help me always to put the best construction on his words and actions, and defend him and speak well of him among others. Be with my pastor and his family to support them in their every temporal and spiritual need (especially…..). Let your holy angels watch over them that they might be safe from danger and every evil. Grant us all hearts that are willingly instructed, comforted, and emboldened by Your Spirit so that as our congregation works together we will do those things which glorify Your name and are helpful for Your work among us. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.
Now of course, your prayers can be (and should be) even more personal and specific. But this is going to require some help from your pastor; he’s going to have to be willing to let down his guard and let you know his specific needs when you ask him. And, as you pray for him, it is also good to remember that in addition to his office, your pastor is your brother in Christ also. He—like you—is living in this fallen world simultaneously as a sinner and a saint. It is safe to assume that he has all the same physical and spiritual needs that any other Christian has. Be sure to include these in your prayers as well.