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8 Ways Pastors Need You to Pray for Them

  • Michelle Lazurek
8 Ways Pastors Need You to Pray for Them

Pastors live and work to maintain the health and well-being of their congregations. How often do you consider the spiritual battles pastors face as they head to work on the front lines? They need all the prayer and support of their congregations.

Do you pray for your pastor regularly?

Each pastor’s needs vary, but here are a few ways you can uplift your pastor in prayer:

1. His Job

1. His Job

I know it seems odd to equate the church with a job, but for all intents and purposes, it is. He earns a paycheck from it (no matter how big or small), and the lines between home and work hours can easily blur.

A pastor may find himself working extra hours, creating a church culture where everything depends on him and he is the center of all activities.

He may even be encouraged to do this rather than spend more time with his family.

Pray that he can make good choices about which activities to lead and which to delegate to other church leaders. Pray he draws proper boundaries and does not yield to the pressure of having to be at the church day and night. 

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2. His Marriage

2. His Marriage

With so many church activities that often crowd an already overpacked schedule, it is common for a pastor’s relationship with his wife to suffer.

In addition to the temptation of having a physical affair, there are also many ways for a pastor and his wife to be drawn apart emotionally. Fitness, money, ministry—so many things can become idols, taking priority over his marriage. 

Yet, most pastors don’t have a network of trusted friends or colleagues who can help keep them accountable in this area. Pray for your pastor to be able to draw proper boundaries and prioritize his marriage. Pray that he makes regular time to connect with his wife—scheduling date nights and communicating intimately.

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3. His Family

3. His Family

Many pastors also have children. And they are often held to a higher standard, their lives on display and sometimes judged by the congregation.

This can put undue pressure on pastor’s kids, not only to be perfect children but also perfect examples of the faith. Some kids bow to the pressure, while others rebel and stray from the faith. This puts the pastor in a position where many members might accuse him of not “keeping his house in order.”

Kids make decisions on how to live their own lives. It is not always the pastors’ fault if his kids, raised in the faith, choose not to adopt it as their own.

Pray for protection around his family and relief from that pressure to be perfect. And pray for his relationship with his kids, not only as their dad, but also as a spiritual guide.

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4. His Spiritual Life

4. His Spiritual Life

This is perhaps one of the most important areas to cover in prayer for your pastor.

Without a close relationship with God, everything else in his life will fall out of balance.

Pastors endure seasons of spiritual dryness like everyone else, and they need to be encouraged through the prayers of the congregation.

Pray that your pastor can draw from the times he feels close to God and allow it to sustain him when he endures times of distance and isolation.

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5. His Vision

5. His Vision

As long as the pastor is the leader of the church, he carries the main responsibility of having (and achieving) a vision for the church.

But what happens when a pastor has become so burned out that he lacks just as much vision as his congregation?

Pray that your pastor can receive fresh vision. Ask that he will remember to lean on God as he waits for Him to reveal that vision. Pray that he can figure out the necessary steps to help him achieve that vision in God’s timing.

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6. His Decisions

6. His Decisions

Sin is the enemy of any thriving spiritual life. This is true for all Christians, including pastors. Pastors are often on the frontlines of battle, vulnerable to the devil’s schemes just as much (or even more) than anyone else.

If a pastor doesn’t have at least one person to hold him accountable and pray for him, he is left vulnerable. The devil slinks around, waiting to pounce like a lion, and he will take every opportunity to pounce on your pastor when the time is right.

Pray that your pastor can resist the devil’s schemes. Pray that he can lean on a trusted group of friends to lift him up during times of temptation. If he does give into temptation, pray that he can find the help he needs to address it before it damages the ministry God has given him.

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7. His Self-Care

7. His Self-Care

Pastors often push themselves past their physical, mental, and emotional limits. Members see the polished, put-together pastor on Sunday morning. But they don’t see the pastor who tosses and turns in worry about his unwritten sermon the night before and carries the burdens of his congregation the other six days of the week.

Sunday morning is not the time for him to share his struggles with concerned members, so he will often keep his struggles to himself.

Pray that he will find adequate rest. Ask God to help him go to bed at a normal time and establish a good nighttime routine to foster this. Pray that God guides him to share his struggles with those who can keep them confidential and offer encouragement.

If he needs professional help, pray for God to lead him to the right counselors, and ask for financial provision to receive those services.

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8. His Free Time

8. His Free Time

All people (including pastors) need to find good hobbies to keep them busy and help them unwind. Fishing, hunting, and reading are all great ways for a pastor to allow his mind to rest.

We often think about the importance of physical rest, but mental rest is just as important.  

Pray that he can find good hobbies to help him relax and destress. He will be a new man for it, better equipped to meet the needs of his family and his congregation.  

It is easy to assume your pastor is doing well if you are receiving great biblical teaching from the pulpit each week. But know that he needs to be filled and sustained as much as any member of Christ’s flock.

Start by praying for him in these six ways. Then go one step further and ask your pastor how you can pray for him specifically. Your gesture will demonstrate how much you care, and you will bless him in more ways than you thought you could.


Michelle S. Lazurek is an award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife and mother. Winner of the Golden Scroll Children's Book of the Year, the Enduring Light Silver Medal and the Maxwell Award, she is a member of the Christian Author's Network and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She is also an associate literary agent with Wordwise Media Services. For more information, please visit her website at michellelazurek.com.

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