A word from guest writer and Energize Ministries Board-Member, Joel Steindel

“Rub-a-dub dub, thanks for the grub. Yay God!”

Does a quick prayer before we eat reflect the depth of our prayer life? Perhaps we only feel effective praying when we are on our knees at some special time when we set aside life for an hour. But Christians know we are called to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). What does that look like? Well, it includes the meal blessing and the “sweet hour of prayer”, but beyond that it is an honest sharing of our every thought with God. For me, that continual sharing often leads me into prayer for specific people that come to mind as I think about day-to-day circumstances; family, friends, missionaries, those unsaved, antagonists, ministry leaders, persecuted believers and others.

My pastor is another that must be on that list. When I think about the people that I pray for, the pastor isn’t usually the one with the most urgent need, nor is his need generally the most immediate. But in the big picture, his impact for the kingdom of God is immeasurable and his need for prayer very significant.  Under his watch, the faithful are nurtured. In turn, they use their gifts to minister, including to those on my prayer list.

The pastor’s influence reaches far beyond his own actions. A pastor may never open an orphanage, but someone in his congregation may, and many others may support it. He may never minister directly to the persecuted church, but the youth in the back row (who never seem  to be paying attention) may fill  that role. There are innumerable  things a pastor will never do  himself, but thanks to his  ministry, his congregation will.  That ministry can be awesome at  times. At others it can feel like a  24/7/365 parade of pettiness,  minutia, tragedy, failure,  thanklessness, criticism and struggle – that he never speaks of.  Discouragement and a weakened ministry can result.

If we truly believe in the power of prayer, we must be more intentional in praying for our pastors as they minister the gospel, planting seeds that impact the local and worldwide church for generations to come.