For it is by grace you have been saved...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Please Pray for Your Pastor

There are all kinds of needs in the world.  Persecution and war in the Middle East.  Riots just up the interstate here in Missouri.  People you know who are struggling with family issues, health issues, job issues.  Our prayer lists certainly have no lack for entries. 

But might I suggest that your pastor needs to be near the top.  I know that comes across very selfish, being a pastor and all.  Yet, as I see all the struggles in this world, I know that the answer for them is Christ.  And the church is tasked with telling that truth to the world.  And the pastor is tasked with leading the church.  What a responsibility!

Last December I posted some comments about pastors being "targets" for the enemy based on a book our class was reading at the time. (You can read here if you're interested).  And that is certainly true.  This is a spiritual battle, and those in leading roles on the front lines will be targeted.  But target of direct attack or not, you pastor needs your prayer.  If you don't realize that, then I don't think I can say anything that will convince you.  That's not even my point here.  For now, I just want to offer some suggestions for those who do see the need. 

It's no secret around here about my love for old hymnals.  And there are a couple of hymns I've come across that are actually prayers for pastors.  I love that.  The church at one times saw this as such a need that men wrote songs, and churches put them in their hymnals to pray for their pastors.  I just want to share a couple of these prayers/hymns to maybe prompt your own prayers as you think of your pastor.  Trust me, he'll appreciate it!

With heavenly power, O Lord, defend
Him whom we now to Thee commend
His person bless, his soul secure,
And make him to the end endure.

Gird him with all-sufficient grace;
Direct his feet in paths of peace;
Thy truth and faithfullness fulfil,
And help him to obey Thy will.

Before him Thy protection send;
Oh love him, save him to the end;
Nor let him as Thy pilgrim rove,
Without the convoy of Thy love. 

Enlarge, inflame, and fill his heart;
In him Thy mighty power exert;
That thousands yet unborn may praise
The wonders of redeeming grace.

~Rowland Hill's Collection, 1774

Father of mercies, bow Thine ear,
Attentive to our earnest prayer;
We plead for those who plead for Theee;
Successful pleaders may they be!

Clothe Thou with energy divine
Their words, and let those words be Thine;
To them Thy sacred truth reveal,
Suppress their fear, inflame their zeal.

Teach them aright to sow the seed;
Teach them Thy chosen flock to feed;
Teach them immortal souls to gain,
Nor let them labour, Lord, in vain.

Let thronging multitudes around
Hear from their lips the joyful sound,
In humble strains Thy grace adore,
And feel Thy new-creating power.

Let sinners break their massy chains,
Distressed souls forget their pains;
Let light through distant realms be spread,
Till Zion rears her drooping head. 

~Benjamin Beddome, 1818

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