Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Worthy Word Wednesday: A Prayer for My Pastor (& Husband)

on December 31, 2014

woman_prayingBeing married to a pastor, especially a senior pastor brings many challenges (and blessings) to a marriage and family. My husband has been a senior pastor for a year and a half now–the most challenging time in our lives, our marriage, and our family.

What are some of the things that make pastoring (thus marriage to a pastor) so difficult? Here are a few:

 

  • A pastor (and his family) are growing sinners saved by grace–just like every other Christian. Yet, the pastor must get up 1-3 times a week (and more, when you include counseling) and tell other Christians how the Bible calls us to live, act, feel, think, etc. Talk about humbling and so discouraging when you are faced with your own sins!
  • A pastor can rarely get away from his work. Work=church=personal social interactions=kids’ friends=wife’s friends. My former pastor used to quote another pastor who answered the question, “When do you work?” with “I wake up in the middle of it.” So, so true (assuming, however, that your work hasn’t kept you from sleeping because you are so burdened about something).
  • A pastor’s burdens are his (and God’s) alone. A pastor knows many of the burdens of most of the people in his church. He cannot share this compilation of burdens with anyone within the church, including his wife. It is often a heavy burden to bear.

There are many other challenges, some varying on the location, size, and make-up of individual local churches. While we have faced many challenges, these difficulties have grown us in innumerable ways. They have stretched us personally, interpersonally, and as a couple.

These difficulties, though, have sometimes made it difficult for me to pray for my husband. Oftentimes I just don’t know how to pray, because–as I mentioned above–I don’t even know the issues that are burdening or discouraging him. I just know he needs my prayer.

So, one day, I sat down and read the book of Second Timothy. I compiled a list of ways that Paul (a veteran pastor) exhorted or encouraged his young friend and fellow pastor, Timothy. I realized that these embody the very struggles of a pastor. Thus, these are very specific ways I could pray for my own pastor and husband. (I framed a copy of this for him for Christmas this year!)

  1. I pray that you would fan into flame your gifts with courage, love, and self control (1:6-7).
  2. I pray that you would not be ashamed of the Gospel, but rather suffer for it by God’s power, the same power that saved you (1:8-12).
  3. I pray that you would be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2:1).
  4. I pray that you would pass the Gospel on to faithful men who will then teach others (2:2).
  5. I pray that you would share in suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2:3).
  6. I pray that you would have a single-minded desire to please God (2:4).
  7. I pray that you would obey God’s rules in order to succeed (2:5).
  8. I pray that you would work hard, holding to the promise of blessing (2:6).
  9. I pray that you (especially in times of suffering) would think and meditate on these things (#5-7), knowing that God will give you understanding (2:7).
  10. I pray that you would remember the Gospel, namely Jesus Christ, the One who is risen from the dead (2:8).
  11. I pray that you would be moved to endurance by the truths of the Gospel (2:10-13).
  12. I pray that you would zealously pursue God’s approval by correctly handling Scripture (2:15).
  13. I pray that you would avoid irreverent babble (2:16).
  14. I pray that you would flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2:22).
  15. I pray that you would avoid foolish and ignorant controversies; rather than being quarrelsome, I pray that you would be kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently endure evil, and correct opponents with gentleness, for some might repent (2:23-24).
  16. I pray that you will understand that there will be times of difficulty with sinful people who have an external appearance of godliness yet deny the Gospel; I pray that you would avoid these people (3:1-9)
  17. I pray that, despite persecution, you would continue in what you’ve learned in Scripture, knowing that it is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. I pray that you would be competent and equipped for every good work (3:10-17).
  18. I pray that you would preach the word, in season and out of season. I pray that you would reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching–especially in a time when people won’t endure sound teaching but rather find teachers who suit their own fancy and wander from truth to myths (4:1-4).
  19. I pray that you would always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry (4:5).
  20. I pray that you would be encouraged by Paul’s example of one who has fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith, and received a crown of righteousness (4:6-8).
  21. I pray that the Lord be with your spirit. I pray that grace be with you (4:22).

Amen.

Tomorrow starts a new year. Why not resolve to pray for your pastor at least every week? This would be such an encouragement for your pastor (and husband, if applicable). I know my husband has been so encouraged.

Know also that God answers prayer! These prayers are not simply ways to encourage your pastor/husband. But they are requests to a God who can and does answer the very requests that we ask of Him for another. God can use the very trials of pastoring to grow a pastor in greater Christlikeness through our prayers!

{On Wednesdays, I share from a book, blog, or other resource some “worthy words.” I love to read, but my time for reading has been much decreased since the birth of my first child. I am encouraged when I am able to read snippets of precious truth as I come across them. Hopefully these few words will encourage your heart, as well as give you a resource for fuller reading as your time allows.}

 

 

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