Winter 2022 magazine

Daily Devotional: Monday, September 26 - Pray For Your Pastor

“Brothers and sisters, pray for us.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:25

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Sports chaplains bring the Church to athletes, coaches and support personnel. If chaplains didn’t put aside their own convenience and give devotionals, Bible studies and worship services at non-traditional times, then many Christian athletes would be isolated and many non-Christian athletes would have fewer opportunities to hear about Jesus. On any given day, chaplains may hear multiple heartbreaking stories, just like a traditional pastor. These problems are ongoing, and many issues linger and need regular attention.

According to recent studies, more current pastors are changing occupations, choosing less stressful careers for their personal health and for the opportunity to spend more time with their families. For example, Rodney was a full-time pastor for a dozen years or more and is now working for a lawn care service provider. He is still a good Christian, a faithful husband and father, but he felt the need to leave the pastorate. If more people in his congregation had prayed for Rodney when he was a pastor, would he still be one today? If he had heard more words of encouragement, would he still be in the ministry? We may not know the answers, but we can all learn one lesson: Pray more for our ministers and give them words of encouragement.

As we study the lives of the apostles, we see they developed tender hearts for people and tough skin in dealing with critics, but they needed prayer to persevere and continue spreading the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Paul wrote letters to various churches, he assured the readers of his prayers for them, but he also pleaded for them to pray regularly for him and other spiritual leaders. When we send a letter, text or email, we sometimes say the most important part last. In 1 Thessalonians 5:25, he asked for prayer just before he concluded: “Brothers and sisters, pray for us.”

When we speak about loving God and others, we sometimes forget that pastors and their families need kindness and compassion, just like anybody else. The command to love others includes you too, not just ministers. “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself'” (Matthew 22:37-39).

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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