Pastoral work is a labor of love, a labor of the Spirit, a labor of the Kingdom, a labor in the gospel. No matter how you slice it, pastoral work is a labor. I long to be faithful, joyful and fruitful in the ministry to which the Lord has assigned me, all the while knowing that I will be called to give account to the souls under my charge. (Heb. 13:17)
Jesus reminds, ‘apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) That includes my life as a pastor. I need help, which means I need you to pray for me. If the Lord brings it to mind, will you please pray for me? A pastor named Ligon Duncan made some suggestions for his congregation. It’s a good place to start.
1. That [your pastor] would know and love the living God, would have a saving interest in Christ, being purchased by His blood, and thus would be bound to the Lord by the indissoluble bond of the Holy Spirit.
2. That [your pastor] would know, embrace and ever more deeply understand the Gospel and be shaped by it in life and ministry.
3. That [your pastor] would be useful servant of the Lord, that he would know and love God’s word, God’s people, and God’s kingdom; that he would be used to build it up and so that it prevails even against Hell’s gates.
4. That [your pastor] would study, practice and teach the Word of the Lord, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
5. That [your pastor] would love to pray, because he loves to commune with his God, and that he would be a man of prayer, characteristically.
6. That [your pastor] would be ever dependent upon and filled with the Spirit; and that he would possess true Spiritual wisdom.
7. That [your pastor] would be holy unto the Lord. That his tongue and heart would be wholly God’s.
8. That [your pastor] would be kept from pride, and especially spiritual pride. That the Lord himself would be gracious to slay pride in him, and that your pastor would endeavor to always be putting pride to death, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
9. That God would give [your pastor] guidance as to where to focus his efforts in ministry.
10. That He would protect [your pastor] from himself, from the enemy of his soul, and from all earthly enemies.
11. That no decision which [your pastor] ever makes or desire that [your pastor] ever pursues would restrict his ability to pour his whole soul into the Gospel ministry.
12.That many would be converted and many built up under [your pastor]’s ministry, to God’s glory alone.
13. That the Lord would bless [your pastor]’s wife, [. . . ], with holiness and happiness, Gospel assurance and Gospel rest.
14. That God would make [your pastor] a decent husband and father.
15. That [your pastor] would be a good friend to his wife, and love her self-sacrificially,
16. That [your pastor] would be a good daddy to his children. That they would love God, their parents and the church.
17. That [your pastor] would be a testimony in the home so that his wife might be able to respect him when he is in the pulpit, and so that [your pastor] will be able to feed her soul, along with the rest of the congregation.