Having been involved in ministry for a while now, I know just how stressful shepherding people can be. This is especially true for those who are truly sold out to the cause. A study carried out by Duke Divinity School revealed that the rate of depression among pastors is about double of that of everyone else.
The rate was slightly lower for pastors who were interviewed in person. One could accredit this to the pastors not wanting to burden others with their burdens. This is the way that our pastors are trained in general. https://today.duke.edu/2013/08/clergydepressionnewsrelease
As the body of Christ, we are called to hold each other up. The ones we often turn to and depend on need to know that at the very minimum they can depend on us to lift them up in prayer. Some of the greatest scandals that have rocked the church have been a result of mishaps and misfortunes of leaders.
These people are no deities; they are just as humane as any one of us. Expectations are higher for them, and so are some of the temptations and scrutiny that they face daily. Above that, they also carry additional problem that their flocks are facing at any given time. This is not easy, by any stretch of the imagination.
Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
The scripture above illustrates the key issue here. The enemy’s strategy will always be to target the ones who are in leadership positions. Jesus himself recognised this, as was said in Zechariah 13:7. Our prayers should stand guard over our shepherds. This is what these prayer points are about. As we stand guard over the men and women of God, the Lord will cover all of us.
Beyond the pastors, there are various leaders in ministries. These may be standing in official positions or simply functioning in said capacity. We want to lift these servants up to the Lord as well. Every individual who gives their time and effort to the work of the Lord within the church.
Father, keep our shepherds in the right place, may we not be scattered. Uphold and uplift their being, their standing and their voice. May they always stand in and rely on you! Guide and keep us oh Lord! We pray over every person that will raise their voice to you on behalf of their pastors and leaders. Bless and keep them oh Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Prayer for pastors and church leaders:
Day to Day Ministry
2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
- We want to pray that our pastors would be empowered by the Holy Spirit in the preaching of the word.
- Give them boldness oh Lord, to speak matters of your heart and not to seek to please a man.
- Give our pastors boldness to stand as a corrector to the flock. In these times where wickedness goes unchecked in the church. Let our pastors arise.
- Grant our pastors and leaders grace to be encouragers of the body of Christ. Give them the wisdom to know what to say!
- May their walk in Christ be filled with patience. May their footsteps bring peace and joy!
- May their walk be blameless before you! Raise them to truly be men and women after your own heart.
Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
- Father, we thank you for the gift of stewardship. We thank you for the flocks that you have given pastors to watch over. Grant them grace to lead as you would.
- May the value of the flock be never diminished in their eyes. May they always remember the price that you paid for every single person under their care.
- Grant our leaders grace to remain watchful over themselves, that they may not stray from your will, oh Lord!
Hebrews 13:17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority because they keep watching over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
- Lord, we come against the blinding spirit of pride and arrogance in our church leaders. May they remain coachable.
- Lord, we pray for the body of Christ. Grant us grace to submit to the authority of the office that our leaders stand under. Give us the wisdom to respect the anointing you have placed on these men and women.
- May our ministries not be a burden for the leaders. Let them be a great source of strength and joy.
To whom much is given
James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
- Father, we thank you for the sacrifice that leadership is. The pray for our leaders today. We pray for preservation for them and for their families.
New pastors and leaders
Jeremiah 3:15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
- Father in these selfish times, raise selfless shepherds for your people!
- Lord reveal your heart to your people. Raise pastors after your own heart.
- We come against the spirit of arrogance and self-centred aspiration.
- Father remove the spirit of greed that is eating at the heart of our churches today. May our churches be known for being your hand in our communities.
- We pray that you would pull down those who have strayed away from your will, and seeking to profit off the gospel.
Servant Hearted Leadership
1 Peter 5:1-4 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed:
2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;
3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
- Father, we pray that our pastors, deacons, elders and all others serving in ministry would never forget the honour that it is to be able to serve your people.
- Raise leaders who are keener to wash others’ feet than to have their own feet washed.
- May your gospel not be tainted by greed, oh Lord.
- Father, may our leaders be exemplary in all that they do.
- As church leaders, Lord we pray that we always remember that we are stewards of all that is in our hands. Grant us grace to multiply and not to hoard for ourselves.
Strength and Perseverance
Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
- Father, we pray for all pastors going through tough periods. Renew their strength.
- May they never forget that they can lean on you. Grant them humility and wisdom to know when they are weary and in need of rest. More than anything, grant them wisdom to seek you in these times.
- We pray that you would raise a solid support system for our leaders. We come against the spirit of loneliness, in Jesus’ name.
- We declare that our pastors will hope in you, oh Lord. They will soar like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Prayer Points for Pastors: Unshakable leadership
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
- Father, we thank you for the families of church leaders. We thank you for the sacrifices that they also have to make. There is a cost to them as well, as their loved ones serve. Bless them oh Lord!
- We pray for leaders who have sown seed but are yet to see fruit. Give them the wisdom to know to wait for you.
- Father let none of our services, as leaders are half-hearted. May we always be fully committed to all we do for you and through you!
- We come against the spirit of envy, and denominationalism. Grant us grace to walk in one accord, in Christ.
Do not be weary
Galatian 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
- Father, we call upon a harvest for every seed sown in evangelism. Wherever the gospel has been shared, let it begin to take root.
- We pray for consistency and persistence in doing your will.
- May your good works never run short of doers, oh Lord. I refuse that the rocks would cry out while I live!!
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
- Lord, we pray for sustenance and provision for our leaders. May they not be plagued by lack while they serve.
- We pray that their needs would not become gluttonous.
- May their hearts not be filled with worldly desires of gathering possessions and wealth for themselves.
Prayer Points for pastors and church leaders: Do not muzzle
1 Timothy 5:18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”
- Lord raise us to always be uplifters of leadership.
- May our leaders never have to carry burdens alone.
- Grant us grace to be their providers as they provide for us spiritually.
- May our leaders be known to be yours even by how they spend their resources. Your word says that where our treasure is, is where our heart is. May their hearts be in you always.
The ministry of prayer
Acts 6:2 “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
- Lord, we banish the spirit of prayerlessness among our leaders. May they be men and women of prayer, more than they are doers.
- Let their actions be birthed in the prayer closet.
- We pray for our church prayer meetings to be uplifted.
- Let our church prayer meetings become incubators of your glory.
- We pray for overflow in the miraculous. Overflow in healing, in testimonies from time vested in prayer.
- Our prayer closets will never be neglected.
- Lord may your eternal word be shared relentless among us.
- Bring unity and harmony beyond our religious and denominational divides.
- Bring a prayer revival into our homes, into our workplaces, into our schools and more than ever, into our churches. In Jesus’ name.
We want to take this time to thank you for taking the time to pray with us. Let us keep our churches and leaders uplifted through prayer. I remember reading how high the rates of suicide were among pastors. God forbid that this would become acceptable under our watch.
We are stewards even of our words, of our prayers. Let us not be the steward that buried his talent. May your mouth bring forth great things in your sphere, through Christ Jesus! Thanks for using these prayer points for pastors and church leaders.
These prayer points and more can be found on www.prayerrelay.com