[Column] Pray for church leaders

Pray for church leaders

Written By Rev.Dr. Joshua Hong

Senior Pastor of Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

 

In a growing church, the flame of prayer is never put out. Such a church is the house of fervent prayers for the leaders of church. The church whose members earnestly pray for their pastors experiences God’s great blessings. Their pastors will deliver empowered sermons; their church will generate love and care; the entire church community will be spiritually strengthened.

Pastors cannot assume their God-given responsibility without the support of prayers because they are also vulnerable human beings. Therefore, their wisdom and power are not without limits. John Maxwell lists loneliness, stress, insecurity, depression and spiritual warfare as the common problems experienced by pastors.

For a church to be healthy and growing, its pastors must be healthy first and foremost. In this respect, the intercession of the faithful is essential. It is a spiritual vitamin. The intercession for pastors may address protection from evil, empowerment and revival of ministry, visions and directions of ministry, wisdom and creativity, provision of all needs, character of pastor, social interactions and so on.

The intercession for the church leader can ignite church revival. Charles Spurgeon was a gifted and prominent preacher and a revivalist. Some disciple of his asked him, “How can you preach such spirit-filled sermons and bring revival to churches?” Spurgeon then took him to the basement of the church and showed him two elderly female members of the church who were praying intently. “ Because these ladies pray for me and the church, all these things I do are possible. The church has survived because of their pure, all-consuming prayers.” Spurgeon knew all too well that God’s work stems only from prayers.

Apostle Paul knew the importance of prayer and exhorted us to continual prayers.“ Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison.” Colossians 4:2-3) Paul knew that the spiritual warfare of evangelization too overwhelming and difficult to engage in only with his own strength. He realized how difficult it was to assume evangelization ministry without spiritual support of prayers.

The revival of church takes place because of those who intercede without self-display. One of the greatest revivalists in the 19th century, Charles Finney met Daniel Nash in the early days of his ministry. Nash became Finney’s personal intercessor and accompanied him on his travels and prayed whenever Finney delivered sermons. Billy Graham also had an intercessor named Pearl Goody. William Carey, who made substantial contributions to Indian missions, is known as the “father of modern missions.” He had a bed-ridden sister who was almost completely paralyzed for life. She interceded for him for 50 years.

One of the main reasons for Yoido Full Gospel Chruch’s growth as the world’s biggest church is the dedicated intercessions of the faithful for Pastor Yonggi Cho and other church leaders. The intercession for ministers will enable them to overcome their limits and transform as God’s great servants. The intercession for church leaders can serve as the foundation for church revival. Do you pray for your ministers or pastors?

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