Some church members looking at the calendar saw Groundhog Day coming up and asked themselves, “If a groundhog can have its own day, shouldn’t our pastors?” So they started Pastor Appreciation Day in 1992. Since then, the day has grown to an entire month of celebration—not in February, but in October.
While churches may recognize their pastors in many different ways, the thing many pastors say they would appreciate is simply to pray for them.
During the month of October, the IBSA staff will lift up nearly 1,000 pastors and congregations in prayer, both individually and as a group. Pastors are welcome to share specific prayer requests at https://bit.ly/2PBcR9U, or by calling IBSA Church Relationships Manager John Carruthers at (217) 391-3110.
Based on recent interviews with IBSA pastors, here are five ways churches can support their pastor(s) in prayer.
1. Pray for wisdom. These men are confronted everyday with many decisions and they desire clarity from the Lord. Pray for God to supply them with his wisdom. Proverbs 3:5-6
2. Pray for protection. Temptations and attacks come from many different angles and are continuous. Pray for God to protect the pastor from the enemy. I Peter 5:8
3. Pray for his family. Isolation, attacks, and bullying are very common for a pastor’s family to deal with. Pray protection around his family to avoid the fiery snares. Proverbs 12:22
4. Pray for financial pressures. Many pastors are underpaid and some live below the poverty level. They continue to serve joyfully through financial stress. Pray for God to provide not only basic needs but additional resources to provide for times of celebration and comfort. Philippians 4:19
5. Pray for gospel opportunities. Being a pastor can open up gospel conversations, or sometimes it can shut them down. Pray for the pastor to have friendships with unbelievers, and to have opportunity to share the gospel this week. Psalm 105:1
John Carruthers is IBSA’s Church Relationships Manager.