October is Pastor Appreciation Month and I’m excited about what how we’re going to celebrate it at my church. And more specifically, what the children are going to do. On October 2, instead of the usual children’s sermon, we’re going to call the children up front and give each one a copy of the colorful, practical, Scripture-based prayer card “Praying for My Pastor.” http://www.navpress.com/product/9781600061820/Praying-for-My-Pastor-Sandra-Higley
Then we’ll ask our pastors to sit in the middle of the group of children so the kids can lay hands on them and pray for them. The children will be invited to pray their own prayers or one of the prayers on the card—out loud—and to set an example for the adults.
This pastor prayer emphasis is part of a bigger prayer initiative our church prayer ministry is leading this fall. We’ve designated fall as “Elder Prayer Focus.” Like many churches, ours faces challenges on multiple levels. Our elders and pastors are working overtime and we want to show them our appreciation and support by praying for them and providing opportunities for the congregation to do that, too.
To that end, four times this fall we will invite elders to stand and be prayed for in the Sunday morning service. People who know them and their areas of ministry will lead in prayer for specific needs and challenges they face. We’ve also created a means for congregation members to “adopt” an elder for prayer and intercede specifically for that elder’s (or pastor’s) prayer requests over the next three months.
All of us—congregation, elders and pastors—seem to be encouraged by this prayer focus. And I know the Lord is blessed—after all, He encourages us to pray for everyone in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and to do whatever we can to make our spiritual leaders’ work a joy and not a burden (Hebrews 13:17).
I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you—or how does your church—support your pastors and leaders in prayer?