Prayer in the Body of Christ

Last week there were two posts on lessons learned on the need for prayer as pastors.

Michael Strand, associate pastor at the Free Church in Cheyenne, WY, and my son!, wrote of some lessons he is learning about life and ministry as a pastor in the local church, and the need for prayer, not only for the church, i.e. people that make up the church, but also for the pastors: “Praying for Your Church”.

Michael notes, “We should all be praying for the church.” Paul and his prayers in his epistles are used as the model for this sort of praying. He also lists specific things for which to pray, also listed from the Bible. Michael concludes with the following reminder/exhortation:

Pray for the pastors, elders and deacons who are in your church that we may faithfully lead the people that God has entrusted to us. May all of us remember to pray for our churches that God’s name may be made great and He would get all the glory.

Often the perception is that pastors are the ones doing the praying for others, but they are just as needy, just as desperate for prayer as others. This is a lesson Kevin DeYoung has relearned. Recently Kevin and his wife experienced a medical problem that caused pain to body and soul. As they walked through this, one of the elders at the church encouraged Kevin to let the people of God know so that they could join them in prayer. Kevin shared what he learned with an encouragement to others, “Pastors, Ask for Prayer:”

Here is one of the main lessons:

Every Christian needs the care and compassion of the body of Christ. Pastors knows this better than anyone. But we can be slow to accept it for ourselves. Obviously, I’m not suggesting we embrace a martyr’s complex or take advantage of our people’s kindness. But there is something deeply biblical, fundamentally wise, and particularly powerful about the shepherd acknowledging he is first of all a sheep. Pastors are real people-real fallen, hurting, human beings-and we need the church like everyone else.

What are the lessons you are learning about prayer . . .

  • in both doctrine and practice?
  • in both praying for others and requesting prayer for yourself?

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