Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pastor Appreciation Day

Today is Pastor Appreciation day at my church. Normally this is the last Sunday in April but due to the 100th birthday for Ms. Kincaid we moved it to May 16. I don't think its wrong to show your pastor how much you appreciate all the work he does for the church and God. The bible states that the laborer is worthy of his hire. I can't imagine doing all the work that pastors and their wives do. A lot of them work secular jobs and then do the church work. I found this neat article on how to pray for your pastor and thought it appropriate for the day.

Do you know how to pray for your pastor? Do you understand the nature of the work your pastor does?

Some areas of a pastor’s ministry are undisclosed. Many times the pastor is dealing with hurting people who need a high level of confidentiality, so your pastor is unable to talk openly about this work.

A significant part of the pastor’s life is devoted to the ministry of the Word (both study and proclamation) and to prayer. Other urgent matters in the church tend to put demands on the pastor’s time—time that should be spent in the primary responsibility of study, proclamation and prayer. This tension between urgency and primary responsibility has been with the church from the beginning.

Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:1-4 NKJV).

Because a pastor’s prayer life and study time are in solitude, it is often hard for people to understand what the pastor is doing, let alone how to pray for him.

The following are seven suggestions to expand praying for your pastor beyond general blessing and health.

1. Pray for wisdom. Your pastor faces many daily decisions. Sometimes they are life changing and at other times they are commonplace, but even the ordinary decision can have a long term impact.

Your pastor needs wisdom to make the best use of time. It is easy for your pastor to become busy and neglect the primary responsibilities of the Word (study and proclamation) and prayer with demands coming from all corners.

2. Pray for diligence. It is easy for a pastor to become discouraged, especially with friends making far more money, with the pastor bearing the burdens of others, and also with him being a “transplant” into the community. Pray for God to bring people into your pastor’s life who will help furnish a spirit of renewed determination for the Lord’s work. Martin Luther said, “Watch, study, give attendance to reading! Verily, you cannot read too well; and what you read well you cannot understand too well; and what you understand well you cannot teach too well; and what you teach well you cannot live too well!”

3. Pray for zeal. When your pastor was ordained, he took solemn vows. Time has a way of eroding urgency. Sometimes your pastor needs you to intercede for motivation. Pray for your pastor to regain or retain the zeal from his ordination vows:

· Determined to instruct from the Scriptures

· Diligence to the Confessional writings of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church

· Faithful proclamation of the Gospel and administration of the Holy Sacraments according to Christ’s institution

· Adorning the Holy Preaching Office with a holy life

· Diligence in careful study of Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions

· Constant in prayer for the souls given to his charge.

4. Pray for soundness of doctrine. There are many sources other than God’s Word that can distract your pastor. Pray for your pastor to remain focused and to sort out false doctrine that can creep into the life of the church.

5. Pray for purity. Temptations to impurity abound on every side. Even the most innocent and godly pastors can fall into temptation. Pray not only for purity of body, but purity of mind. Pray that your pastor’s mind would filled with “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV).

6. Pray for humility. It can be difficult for a pastor to remain humble, especially if the church begins to grow. Even if your pastor is only preaching to a few people, it can be a source of pride. It is not the congregation’s duty to humble the pastor; true humility comes from intimacy with God. The pastor who is closest to God is the one who is most humbled (Job 42:1-6; Isaiah 6; Luke 5:1-11).

7. Pray for power. Your pastor needs to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. When stepping up to preach or telling the Good News of Jesus Christ in other situations, there is no substitute for the power that comes from being filled with the Spirit. Jesus said to His apostles: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NKJV).

Gerald W. Coates, February 2002.

Revised by David M. Juhl, June 2008.

Permission is granted to copy.


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