2.5 Make Us Pliable in Your Hand

Praying for the church has always been a part of our lives.

Maybe that’s because we grew up, not only in the church, but in the homes of the pastors of those churches. Our prayers intensified as we stepped into the role of pastor ourselves, and now it has even increased as we attend the church our son-in-law pastors (Emmanuel Reformed Church).

Some people make jokes about how bad many preachers kids turn out. I say it’s because they see the worst of church people up close and personal. If a person is a hypocrite, tries to control everything, or sows discord among church members, the preacher’s kids get a front row seat. As we observed those things, my parents were quick to point out that was not the way God intended Christians to act.

Seeing my father on his knees in front of his office chair made a huge impression on me. He took his needs, and his requests for his church, to Jesus. And that is exactly where every aspect of a church needs to be—laid at the feet of Jesus.

You see, the church wasn’t my father’s church or our church, it was the Church of Jesus Christ. Jesus was its head. A pastor can do everything in his power to change the atmosphere of the congregation or motivate individuals to a deeper walk with Christ, but only the Holy Spirit can actually do those things. And so we call upon Him to do His work.

Some of the sweetest moments of my life have been praying together with others for the Church of Jesus Christ.

When we lived in Oregon, one of the pastors in our community had a vision of thousands of people in our valley coming to Jesus. In the vision, God asked him, “If all these people come to know Me and come into the church, but none of them come to your church, is it okay with you?” This outgoing, evangelistic pastor struggled, but finally said yes. He came to the other church leaders in town with the same question and together they agreed that it was the Kingdom of God that was important, not how large their individual churches were. It was God’s Kingdom that was important, not their kingdom. These men became each other’s best friends as they poured out their hearts to God for their community. There were seven churches in our small town, and they ranged from very conservative Mennonite, to strict Baptist, to Assembly of God, to Evangelical Free, to Calvary Chapel. Each had their own distinct traditions and beliefs, but foremost between them was the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.

Another sweet moment of prayer for the Church came on a visit to Achiltibuie, Scotland, a tiny town high on the northwest coast. After a night of fellowship, our friends Ross and Amy McFarland and David and I spent an hour or more face down on the kitchen floor of their small vicarage crying out to God to revive the churches He had put under our leadership. It was such a precious time that it still brings tears to my eyes as I think about it twenty-three years later.

I wonder at the Apostle Paul who had such a heart for the lost that he told God he would be willing to lose his own salvation and spend eternity in hell if it would mean the Jewish nation would turn to Christ. I have to admit, my passion for the Church has not reached that pitch, but I know God is the only one who can change hearts, soften hard edges, and bring people to Himself.

So, I ask. I ask in faith, believing that the people of our church will dig deep into God’s Word and come to love and obey Him with all their hearts.

In the book of Isaiah God tells the prophet that He has rendered the hearts of the people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, because of their sin and the fact that punishment is on the way, “Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and return and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:10, and quoted in Matthew 13:15 and Acts 28:27) God’s people had stepped beyond the point of no return and only punishment lay before them. The plea of our hearts for the Church is “God, give her eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart that understands so Your Church remains pliable in Your hand.”

Julia Ewert

Video for this Lesson

Study Guide for this Lesson


Suggested Growth Activities

ACTIVITY: Praying for the Church with Jesus in John 17


  • Read John 17:9-26.
  • Note carefully His prayers for us: perseverance (17:11,15,24), unity (17:11,21-23), spiritual fulfillment (joy, contentment, rest) (17:13), growth in personal holiness (17:17), and witness to those who are not yet Christians (17:20, Matt. 28:16-20, Acts 1:8).
  • Now craft a prayer for you and your church family along the lines of one of those five things, incorporating the perspective and even the words of Christ into your prayer.

ACTIVITY: Praying for the Persecuted Church

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, Sunday, November 1, 2020


  1. Read the brief summary article from Open Doors USA, and watch their video “2020 World Watch List.”
  2. Listen to Pete Greig’s inspiring call to prayer
  3. Pray: spend time praying the five prayers listed in the article, “Praying for the Persecuted” — for courage, contentment, consolation, compassion and composure.
  4. Become acquainted with the work of Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors USA, and Spirit of Martyrdom.
  5. Pray, using the SOM Prayer Guide or VOM’s “How To Pray For Persecuted Christians
  6. Work your way through the Open Door’s (UK & Ireland) resource entitled “Dangerous Faith: Journey through the book of Acts with the persecuted church.” The videos are amazing! To get an idea of what the curriculum will introduce you to, check out the discussion guide for the series.
  7. Be inspired by stories from the persecuted church. We suggest starting with the following two: “Fassal:Pakistan” and “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus ♫ The Story & The Song

Other Recommended Resources:

ACTIVITY: P.R.A.Y. Let’s get specific in our prayers for the church!

You have 10 days or weeks of growth activities below to experience! We hope it strengthens your prayer life and teaches you much about loving others through prayer.

First, choose a category from this list:

  1. Pray for your church family
  2. Pray for leaders
  3. Pray for children
  4. Pray for students
  5. Pray for young adults
  6. Pray for worship gatherings
  7. Pray for mission outreach
  8. Pray for revival
  9. Pray for Christ’s Kingdom
  10. Pray for your pastor

Second, work through the questions for each category, as found in the pages which follow.

Third, craft your prayers according to how God is leading you after answering the questions.

Fourth, continue your prayer work by praying through another category.

Note: We’re especially grateful to NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina who has granted permission to use 10 of their devotionals in developing our P.R.A.Y. activity – from their excellent “Teach Us to Pray: A 21-Day Prayer Guide.”

[1] Pray for your church family

Read Ephesians 2:19-221 Corinthians 12:26Romans 12:5

Thinking of the church as a family gets complicated. Baggage from biological relationships and past religious experiences can cloud our understanding of what God intends a church family to be. But the Bible paints an extraordinary picture of who we are together. The people of God are the church, a dwelling place for God. We’re like a body, connected by bones, joints, marrow, blood vessels, and more. Like a biological family, we don’t get to choose who’s in the church family with us. God is creating this structure; He’s designed this body. Over time, throughout history, in every language, nationality, and continent. Despite our differences, we are called to be unified. So when one person suffers, the others feel it. When one person rejoices, others are lifted up. Each member of the church is integral to the next.


  • What do you see God doing that is unique or different from years’ past?
  • Who makes coming to church special for you?
  • Whose partnership in the Gospel are you thankful for today? Thank God for the names and faces that come to mind.
  • Is there anyone in the church you can’t imagine this journey without? Thank God for them and the joy they bring.
  • Who in the church do you struggle to understand, but you know God has placed them alongside you for a reason? Thank God for that person and His purposes in both your lives.


  • How do you feel about the people you attend church with each week? Is there anyone you need to forgive or extend grace to? Is there anyone us you need to ask forgiveness from?
  • Has anyone in the church offended or annoyed you? Maybe a leader you disagree with or a volunteer who’s too outspoken? Think of one way you can seek unity with this person. 
  • How could you ask forgiveness for the part you played in the conflict?


  • Are there relational needs you long to see fulfilled in the church? If so, ask God to bring those relationships to fruition. Ask Him to give you courage as you step out in faith to connect with a church family. 
  • Is anyone in your church family in need? Pray for them and ask God if there’s a way you can fulfill their need.
  • What do you want to see God do in your church this year?
  • What does your church need to further its dreams for your city?
  • Not sure where to start? Reread Paul’s prayer for his friends in Philippians 1:9-11. How might you pray this in your own words?


  • Is there anything you’re longing to hear from God on behalf of your group or serving team?
  • Sit a moment longer. What do you feel the Spirit saying to you as you think about your church family?
  • Does the idea of church family confuse or bother you? Allow God to reveal where those feelings come from and to bring clarity and peace to your heart.
  • Has a wound or relationship from your past made connecting with your church family difficult? Ask God to intervene and reveal your next step.
Adapted from Pray for your campus and Pray for your church family courtesy of NewSpring Church, copyright ©2020 NewSpring Church

[2] Pray for leaders

Read 1 Timothy 2:1-4

God puts leaders over us for our benefit, and their decisions can significantly impact our circumstances. This is one reason the Bible tells us to pray for those in authority over us from our parents and pastors to our employers and government officials. 

Even if we don’t like or disagree with the leaders in our lives, we can still pray for them. We pray for them to have the wisdom and strength to obey God and lead us well. 

When those in authority are obeying God’s will, it’s much easier for us to live peaceful and quiet lives. When they are not obeying God, we pray for their salvation and God’s guidance in their choices, as well as for protection from spiritual warfare.


  • Have you experienced the blessing of being under a good leader? What are some ways that person’s leadership reflected God’s character and leadership?
  • Who are the wise people in authority over you now? How would your life be different without their leadership? Consider how their counsel has helped you and thank God for putting them in those positions. 


  • We can all take good leaders for granted. Do you forget to pray for your leaders if things are going well for you? 
  • How do you respond to your leaders when life is difficult? Is there anything you need to change in how you react to immature, chaotic, or new leadership?
  • Do you ever refuse to pray for someone in charge because you dislike their personality or politics? How do you think God feels about that attitude?


  • What kind of leader do you want to serve under? Ask God to give those characteristics to the people over you. 
  • Are there big decisions facing your church, your school, your work, or the country? Ask God to give wisdom and discernment to the leaders who will be making those calls. 


  •  What, if anything, challenged you today as you prayed for your leaders? Allow God to speak to you about your heart toward your leaders, and to reveal anything else He wants you to pray for them. 
Adapted from Pray for your leaders courtesy of NewSpring Church, copyright ©2020 NewSpring Church

[3] Pray for children

Read Matthew 19:13-15Psalm 78:4-6

In Matthew 9:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus wants to connect with kids just as much as He wants to connect with us. In fact, there’s a lot we can learn from kids about faith when we welcome them as Jesus did. 

Our children’s mininstry exists so kids can experience Jesus on their level. Children from birth through fifth grade come to a safe environment with age-appropriate, creative, and fun Bible teaching. It’s a place where relationships with other kids and leaders can be established. The goal is that kids would be engaged, have fun, and be excited about church. By making a space for kids, we’re making a way for kids to come to know all the reason we love God and He loves them.  


  • Each week, volunteers play and teach kids about Jesus. Who are some of the people who invested in you as a kid? Thank God for them. 
  • What are some reasons you can be thankful for our children’s ministry? If you have kids, ask them what they are thankful for. If you don’t have kids, think about how our church is influencing kids or families you know. 
  • How does it feel to know that God loves and welcomes kids? What does that tell you about His character?


  • When you think of kids, your own or someone else’s, what comes to mind? Do you get stressed and annoyed, or do you find yourself smiling and filled with love?
  • Is there anything about your attitude toward kids that needs to change to align with Jesus’ heart for kids?
  • What’s been your experience with children’s ministry? Is there anyone in our children’s ministry that you need to forgive or ask forgiveness from?


  • It takes many dedicated volunteers every week to make a children’s ministry happen. Ask God to call adults into our children’s ministry. Ask Him specifically if children’s ministry is what’s next for you. 
  • How might your community look different if more people knew Jesus and started following Him as children? Ask God to bring kids to a saving understanding of who Jesus is through the lessons they experience in our children’s ministry. 


  • Who are the kids in your life? Whether you birthed them, adopted them, or love them as your own, when’s the last time you asked God what He would have you pray for your kids? Before they were “ours,” they were His. Sit for a minute and wait for the Lord to speak to you about the kids you love. 
Adapted from Pray for KidSpring, courtesy of NewSpring Church, copyright ©2020 NewSpring Church

[4] Pray for students

Read Psalm 145:3-71 Timothy 4:12Jeremiah 1:4-8

You may have noticed that each generation likes to blame other generations for problems. Older people often look critically upon younger generations for doing things differently. Younger people often get frustrated with older generations for not being more progressive. 

But God is clear that every demographic is precious to him. We are as much His beloved children at 16 as we are at 60. And we have as much purpose in our 80s as we did in our 20s.

Psalm 145:4 instructs those who are older to tell of God’s awesome works and mighty acts to those who are younger. At every age and stage, let’s encourage and build the faith of those coming behind us by sharing how we have seen God at work through the years.


  • How has God shown Himself to you in different seasons of life? Praise Him for His faithfulness.
  • What were your hopes, dreams, fears, and insecurities 5, 10, or 15 years ago? Consider how God has protected you through the years. 
  • Who are the young people God has placed in your life? Thank God for their unique personalities and the way they reflect His character in the world. 


  • Notice how you speak to and about students. Do you catch yourself complaining or holding negative or misguided toward another generation?
  • What might you need to repent of in relation to the way you treat people younger or older than you?


  • What do you hope to see God do in our students in 2021? Put those dreams and desires before God and ask Him to bring them to fruition. 
  • Jeremiah and Timothy both felt like they were too young to make a difference or do what God had called them to. Do you feel (or have you ever felt) that way? Ask God to give students the boldness to live for Him.  
  • We all need spiritual mothers and fathers to show us how to love God and live the life He has for us. Ask God to call mature believers into student ministry. Ask Him how you can serve students. 


  • Reread today’s verses paying special attention to the relationship between generations. Allow God to show you where you fit in the generational ministry of our church. 
Adapted from Pray for Fuse, courtesy of NewSpring Church, copyright ©2020 NewSpring Church

[5] Pray for young adults

Read Ephesians 4:13-15Hebrews 5:12-142 Timothy 2:22

Some of life’s most significant decisions happen between the ages of 18 and 25. We pick careers and degree programs. We move away from home, maybe buy a house or meet our spouse. The journey to maturity isn’t easy, but young adults don’t have to go at it alone. Our church exists to rally a generation around Jesus and each other. Through large gatherings and small groups, we seek to help young adults understand who they are and who God’s calling them to be. As they do, a beautiful shift occurs. Instead of being influenced by others, they begin “speaking the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church” (Ephesians 4:15). 


  • Who helped, or is helping, you navigate the transition from adolescence to adulthood? What specifically are you thankful to that person for?
  • Maturing doesn’t always feel good, but it produces good things in us. How has God been faithful to you as you’ve matured? What are some good things maturity has brought out in you?


  • 2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteous living (NLT). Where do you find yourself drawn to immature thinking or irresponsibility? Where do you find it easy to revert back to who you were before Jesus?
  • Each generation faces its own challenges. How is your attitude toward those older or younger than you? Are you quick to dismiss the Boomers or Gen Zers around you?


  • What do you want to see more of in young adults at our church? Ask God to fill them with wisdom, compassion, boldness, kindness — any fruits of the Spirit that come to mind. 
  • We all need spiritual mothers and fathers, those who are a life stage ahead and can help us follow Jesus. Ask God to continue to send spiritual mothers and fathers to invest in the young adults coming to church. 


  • What is God saying to you about your role in rallying a generation around Jesus and each other?  
  • If you’re in your 30s or older, allow the Holy Spirit to show you if there’s someone you can invite to follow you as you follow Jesus. If so, who?
Adapted from Pray for Rally, courtesy of NewSpring Church, copyright ©2020 NewSpring Church

[6] Pray for worship gatherings

Read Acts 2:42-47Hebrews 10:24-251 Chronicles 16:23-31Romans 12:1-2James 5:16

God did not design us to go through life alone. Adam had Eve. Jesus had the disciples, and the early church had each other. We can learn a lot about God from His Word, and we can experience His presence wherever we are. But some things can only be experienced when we gather. 

Sunday gatherings are a time to be encouraged, to give faith and to receive faith, to pray for one another, and to remind ourselves what’s true. When we gather as a family, we slow down and settle our hearts, making space to receive healing and a greater view of Jesus. 


  • What do you love about the Sunday gathering? 
  • How has your understanding of God grown through gathering with others?


  • What do you need to surrender to hear God more clearly this Sunday?
  • Do you show up ready to hear what God has for you on Sundays? Are you open to the people around you that may need some prayer, a hug, or a smile? 
  • What, if anything, needs to change so you can experience all the benefits of gathering on Sundays?


  • Ask God to continue to guide our worship leaders and pastor(s) as they plan and prepare for Sunday gatherings. 
  • What’s the spiritual atmosphere at your church on a Sunday? Ask God to give freedom from spiritual darkness and help every heart to beat with rising joy and faith.


  • What is God saying to you about your next step when it comes to the Sunday gathering?
Adapted from Pray for our gatherings, courtesy of NewSpring Church, copyright ©2020 NewSpring Church

[7] Pray for mission outreach

Read Matthew 28:16-20Mark 16:15Psalm 96:3Romans 10:13-152 Corinthians 5:18-20

If we’re being honest, Jesus’ directive to go into the world and preach the Gospel to all creation can feel like the Overwhelming Commission rather than the Great Commission. Rather than focusing on how big and complex the world is, what if we focused on being Christ’s ambassadors to our world every day? No matter how big or small our world may be, we can share the good news that Jesus’ kingdom is coming. In Him, we are saved and set free! Wherever you live, whatever you do, you can share how Jesus changed you. When we’re all doing what we can do — when we’re sharing the Gospel with those we know and praying and supporting those who go — we begin to see the world isn’t nearly as big as it seems. 


  • How have you seen God work through other people to spread the good news? How did that person’s decision to live on mission affect you?
  • How is the Gospel changing your family, your workplace, your neighborhood, or your school? Where are you seeing the ministry of reconciliation happening in real-time?


  • Can you think of a time when you shied away from the opportunity to share who Jesus is to you?
  • What stopped you? What are the fears, doubts, or other factors that stop you from sharing what God has done? Nothing you say to God is going to surprise Him or make Him stop loving you. So take a few minutes to confess any fears and ask for His forgiveness. 


  • Ask God where, or with whom, He wants you on mission. Where does He have you in this season of life? Where do you have influence, time, and opportunity to get to know people who don’t know Jesus?
  • Ask God to continue to call people into church planting and mission work. Are any names coming to mind? Is there someone the Holy Spirit might be asking you to encourage or support financially?


  • Reread today’s verses and wait for the Lord to speak to you. What role does He have for you in helping the Gospel reach the ends of the earth? (Acts 1:8)
Adapted from Pray for missions, courtesy of NewSpring Church, copyright ©2020 NewSpring Church

[8] Pray for revival

Read Ezekiel 37:1-14Mark 11:24Psalm 80:18-19Psalm 85:6-7Psalm 51:10

You don’t have to look far to feel despair. Turn on the news. Spend 5 minutes on your social feed. We live in a work that’s ripe for revival. Like Ezekiel, we’ve all stared at situations that seem impossible — the addiction, the betrayal, a barren womb, or a wayward child. Yet Ezekiel put all doubts aside and prophesied. Bones came together and filled with breath. The final vision is of a great army for the Lord. God says He brought dry, brittle bones to life, so “you shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 37:13). What if we approached each day believing that what God did then, He can do again? 


  • Where have you seen God bring something dead to life? Maybe it was a relationship, a career, or a dream. 
  • What did you learn about God’s faithfulness and unfailing love from that experience? 


  • Is there any situation where you’ve given up because things feel too far gone or too impossible to change? Where have you lost faith?
  • How is your heart toward God? How do you deal with disappointments or despair?


  • What do you want to see God revive in you?
  • Where do you want to see a revival around you? Ask God to show how you can help bring revival to your home, work, or community.
  • Where do you long to see revival in the church? Ask to fill His church with joy, unity, boldness, confidence, generosity — and whatever else His Spirit brings to mind.  


  • Read Psalm 51, making these words your own. If a line causes your heart to skip a beat, pause and wait to hear God speak. When you get to the end, consider what God said to you. The first step in any revival is aligning what we say about ourselves with what our Father says to us.
Adapted from Pray for revival, courtesy of NewSpring Church, copyright ©2020 NewSpring Church

[9] Pray for Christ’s Kingdom

Read Psalm 103:19Matthew 4:23Matthew 28:16-20Acts 28:30-31

The kingdom of God is everywhere. Psalm 103:19 says, “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.” 

In a more personal way, we buy into His kingdom by accepting Jesus’ payment for our sins. As we receive the Gospel personally and let it change us from the inside out, the Holy Spirit works through us to bring glimpses of heaven’s perfection to Earth. Like the disciples who healed the sick and proclaimed the Gospel, we get to be part of bringing the promises of heaven to Earth (Matthew 4:23Matthew 28:16-20). 

Living in light of the kingdom — Jesus’ forever rule over creation — gives us an eternal hope. It allows us to stop being satisfied with what we see and start believing what can be. 


  • What’s one place where you see glimpses of God’s kingdom on earth?
  • When you think about the future Jesus promises, what affections does it stir in you?
  • Where do you see God righting the wrongs of a fallen world? Have you been the beneficiary of a miracle or seen Jesus change someone’s life? 


  • Is there any area of your life where you’ve been settling for less than Jesus has for you?
  • Are you content to go your own way rather than trust in His kingdom to come? 
  • Where do you need to start trusting God’s plan over your own? Where have you sought your own agenda instead of having a kingdom mentality?


  • Where do long to see more of heaven on Earth? Ask the Lord to bring His kingdom in your city, state, nation, and the world. 
  • Where do you see brokenness in your family or community? Ask God to bring healing, intervention, and lasting change. Ask Him where you can partner with Him in bringing that change. 


  • Pause and allow the Lord to speak to you about your role in bringing good to the world around you. Try sitting with your hands open, signaling your willingness to say, “Here I am Lord, send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
Adapted from Pray for the kingdom, courtesy of NewSpring Church, copyright ©2020 NewSpring Church

[10] Pray for your pastor

Pray for His Spiritual Walk

One of the most dangerous lies congregants believe is that their pastor is blessed with a deeper relationship with Christ simply as a result of his position. You may think your pastor has it easy. He gets paid to study God’s Word. But your pastor has so many distractions and so many demands for his time that his devotional life may be one of the first things to suffer during a busy spell. Praying or spending time in God’s Word for personal edification can really start to feel like work when that’s what he’s been doing at the office all week. He might be so busy feeding his flock so to speak that he neglects to nourish his own soul on the refreshing Word of God.

Lord, please help my pastor to look to you for his strength, encouragement, and inspiration. Fill him with your anointing this week. Give him joy as he studies your Word and bless him in his prayer life so he can enjoy deeper fellowship with you.

Pray for Spiritual Protection

Without the power of the Holy Spirit, even the most talented preacher will be unable to breathe life and hope and encouragement into his congregation Sunday after Sunday. So many pastors are fulfilling the work God’s called them to with very little prayer covering protecting them. As a prayer warrior, you’re the ground support. You’re the one blessing your pastor with strength and inspiration by your prayers while he’s out there ministering on the frontlines. Don’t let him jump into that battle alone! Your pastor needs the Holy Spirit every day as he ministers to your church body.

Father God, please encourage my pastor today. Deliver him from discouragement and exhaustion. Give him strength and energy to fulfill the work you’ve called him to. Give him victory over every evil attack against him, and cover his mind, body, and spirit with your powerful protection.

Pray for His Family

When a pastor is doing the work of the Lord day in and day out, he’s opening himself up to spiritual assault. One of the places the enemy loves to attack is his family. Your pastor’s marriage, his wife, his children — all of these will suffer if the devil has his way. Don’t assume that just because your pastor is a full-time minister that he has the perfect home life. Instead, bless him by your prayers and ask God to strengthen his family every single day.

Lord, please watch over my pastor’s family. Bless his marriage and allow them to enjoy open communication, harmonious unity, and refreshing joy. Protect his children and watch over their health and spiritual well-being. Give him wisdom as a husband and a father to make wise decisions as the head of his home.

Adapted from Praying for Your Pastor by Alana Terry. Alana Terry is a pastor’s wife, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second. Alana is also the co-founder of the Praying Christian Women Podcast with Candid Gal, Jaime Hampton. Praying Christian Women is a ministry committed to encouraging believers to draw closer to God and change the world, one prayer at a time. Find out more by visiting PrayingChristianWomen.com.

A helpful acrostic for praying for your family…

To get a better understanding of what pastors are facing in these days…

Becoming the Answer

By Kim Butts (Prayer And Care For Pastors and Their Families) [11]

Now that you have prayed for and blessed your pastor(s) and their families, here are some practical ways to care for, encourage, and show your appreciation to them:

  • Submit to the spiritual authority of your pastor(s) and encourage others to do the same…especially if there are any who are complaining or grumbling.
  • Extend hospitality to your pastor(s) and their families by inviting them to your home for a meal or including them in family activities. Think of other creative ideas.
  • Recognize that your pastor(s) and their families go through the same struggles as everyone else’s families and be empathetic rather than critical.
  • Give your pastor(s) and their spouses time together while you care for their children or hire someone to do so.
  • Fix a meal and take it to them with an encouraging note.
  • Take a basket of items such as fruit and nuts, freshly baked bread, etc.
  • Send notes of encouragement and appreciation from your whole family; have your children draw pictures or write their own notes.
  • Find out if there are any needs in their home that need attention: leaky shower, car repairs, yard work, etc. and see that they are taken care of.
  • Recruit as many people as you can to pray regularly for your pastors and their families. Try to cover them in prayer seven days a week.
  • Encourage your church leaders to send your pastor(s) on a spiritual retreat regularly so that they can be renewed and refreshed by the Holy Spirit.
  • Use your imagination. There are so many things you can do to show your love and appreciation.

Be determined to pray for and care for your pastors and their families, and allow the Lord to work in and through you by encouraging other families to do the same. Your simple efforts will do much to advance the cause of Christ in your church and community, as God does a mighty work in and through your pastor(s) lives. May your prayers and those of many others in your church, along with expressions of kindness, care and appreciation, keep pastors and their families safe, joyful and productive for many years to the glory and honor of Christ Jesus, our Lord!

Kim Butts is the vice president  Harvest Prayer Ministries. She is also the author of The Praying Family.

One comment

  1. I love, love, love, the title of your blog ! If we all pondered the significance of these words, we would all say : ‘How great, and merciful is our God.’ 🤗


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