It’s overflow Monday. Each Monday I share from the overflow of the previous Sunday’s message.
Speaking of overflow, my original plan was to preach through all of Nehemiah 6, but I just couldn’t do it. There was too much. I ended up cutting the message in half, and I’ll preach part 2 next Sunday. You can catch Sunday’s message as well as the other #AwakenUnruined messages on the Awaken teaching archive.
You can read the previous 8 Overflow blogs HERE.
In Nehemiah 4, the enemies mock, jeer, and plan to ambush the Jews…to no avail.
In Nehemiah 5, infighting and selfishness threatens to defeat what the enemy couldn’t defeat a chapter earlier.
In Nehemiah 6, the enemy aims their sights on the leader. If they can’t take the group out, they’ll take the leader out, in an effort to defeat the whole work.
You spiritual leaders – pastors, ministry leaders, church staff – are under attack. It’s a bigger deal than you may realize to prepare and deliver Bible studies, consistently bear others’ burdens during counseling, and lead people spiritually.
Speaking as a leader in the church, I thought it would be helpful for you to know how you can pray for your leaders. Here are 8 practical ways you can pray for us:
Pray for rest.
Leading in any capacity, especially spiritual leadership, is exhausting. Pray for God to supernaturally refresh your leaders, and that your leaders would guard their time off and time with their family. And on a practical level, help your pastors protect that time. We need some time off, just like you do.
Pray for vision.
Ask God to reveal Himself and His direction for their ministry. Pray for God to make it evidently clear which direction your leaders should go and that they would have the faith to follow Him, despite the risk.
Pray for wisdom.
Leaders, by definition, have to make decisions that many people (often including themselves) have never made. It can be frightening to pioneer new ground and step out into uncharted territory. Just as King Solomon recognized his inadequacies and prayed for wisdom, ask the same for your leaders.
Pray for integrity.
Arguably one of the most important qualifications for pastors is being “above reproach” – living a life of integrity in order to silence the enemy (see 1 Peter 2:15). Pray that your leaders would be resilient against temptation and would keep their guard up at all times.
Pray for their families.
It’s tough being the wife or the kids of a pastor. People know more about them than almost anyone else at the church, and they are often expected to live up to impossibly high standards. If a pastor compromises his marriage, he forfeits his ministry. Pray that he would love and lead his wife and children well.
Pray against discouragement.
I am most vulnerable right after I walk off the stage after preaching and in the coming hours after I leave church on a Sunday. Even when the day has seemed successful, your leaders are prone to sudden discouragement. It’s often heightened when we are exhausted after a long day of ministry. Pray that we would not lose heart, and not take ourselves too seriously.
Pray for confidence in their calling.
Don’t just pray against discouragement; pray for confidence. Confidence in a God-given calling builds faith, opens opportunities, and contagiously spreads to others. Godly confidence is the opposite of arrogance. Arrogance says, “Look what I can do.” Confidence says, “Look what God can do.”
Pray for supernatural empowerment.
A spiritual leader needs to be just that: spiritual. Pray that your leaders would be supernaturally empowered with the things listed above, so that supernatural results will come from their ministry. Speaking as a pastor, I am not interested in doing what only I can do. I aim to keep my ministry on a miracle basis.
And one more thing: let us know you’re praying for us! As a pastor, I love the opportunities I have to pray with and for people. But it’s always refreshing when on a Sunday at church, instead of someone waiting for me to pray for them, they wait to pray for me. Send your pastor or leader a card, text, email, or even a simple mention on social media, letting them know you are praying for them!