Do You Pray for your Pastor?


One of the most humane statements the seemingly inhuman apostle Paul ever uttered can be found in 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 and 3:5-6 where we read, “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing... And who is adequate for these things? ...Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God….” Three times in these few verses Paul speaks of his (and our) total inability and inadequacy to Minister God’s Word to a fallen world.


Why was he so sobered by this responsibility? Charles Hodge helps us to understand, “If the work is so great, if eternal life or eternal death must follow the preaching of the gospel, who then is sufficient for this eternally-responsible calling? (James 3:1)” Oh yes, Paul felt deeply his inability and inadequacy in “these things.”  In speaking about “these things” in 1 Timothy 4:15-16, he said, “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them,...for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” Obviously, from this context, Paul means the sense of inability and inadequacy that comes to the minister whose aim is to carefully handle God’s Word (2 Corinthians 2:17). Why does Paul (and all true ministers) feel this way about his ministerial capabilities? Two reasons: Firstly, because he knows his own heart (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 7:14-25). One well-known minister recently affirmed this truth when he said, “There is no heartache to a minster like the heartache of his own heart.” And secondly, in addition to a realistic appraisal of his own private ministerial life, personal inabilities and failings (and if the minister has a family, personal ministry to his wife and children; 1 Timothy 3:2, 4-5), he has the daily concerns of the churches upon his heart (2 Corinthians 11:28-30). Those are the same churches that caused child-birth like labor pains in his heart until Christ was formed in them (Galatians 4:19), all the while knowing he was to give an account on the Day of Judgment (Hebrews 13:17).  So then, in a very real way, if a minister is faithful, and thereby a true shepherd of Christ’s sheep, he will continually be a spiritually-overwhelmed man. This should produce humility and constantly call him to cling to Christ alone in prayer (1 Peter 5:7)… Christ, who alone makes all ministers adequate for New Covenant ministry (2 Corinthians 3:6). Do you now understand why Paul made the following prayer request in 1 Thessalonians 5:25, “Brethren, pray  for us”? Dear saints of God, true ministers of the gospel are remembered daily before the throne of grace by the “true” sheep of the Chief Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4). C.H. Spurgeon often said that the power in his ministry was due to the fact that his people prayed for him. I believe your pastor needs your prayers right now!

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