Praying for Pastors
Do you pray for your church/ministry leader and his/her family?
Your leader might be Apostle, Bishop, Pastor, Evangelist, Prophet, Teacher, Rabbi, all here will be simply refered to as "Pastor"
Numbers 27:12 (NKJV)
Now the Lord said to Moses: “Go up into this Mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel. 13 And when you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered. 14 For in the Wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to hallow Me at the waters before their eyes.” (These are the waters of Meribah, at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin.)
And again… Mathew 26:31; Zech 13:7
Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Pastors are prime target in the church of the Devil. They go through stuff that most Christians can not endure. I love what Bishop TD Jakes once said in a Man Power conference, that it is easy to see a man, or a pastor smiling from outside but bleeding from within. This happens to most pastors.
Pastors got saved like everybody else in the church, yet they are treated like they got saved better than the rest of the Christians. Pastor have feelings like all of us. Infact, most people talk to their pastors when they are in need of prayers, or help of some kind, spiritual or physical, etc. This is why they are the prime target of the enemy.
Many pastors don’t have real friends. I once met a pastor who had been going through a lot in his ministry. He was completely fed up and wanted to quit the ministry. We talked and fellowship about the calling of the Lord upon us. He promised to continue but shockingly, he ended up closing the church. Why? The people he valued so much were not true friends. They betrayed him. In fact he ended up divorcing his dear wife! What a tragedy! The other day, I was talking to a pastor, who had a huge church in one of the city near mine. He ended up quitting the ministry. Why, he felt betrayed by the people he thought were his good friends.
This has lead me to write this script with heaviness in my heart. The prophet laments in Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil. Many churches have closed down here in USA. The church buildings have turned into commercial building, just because men and women of God are resigning from the ministry. I was reading some materials and was shocked to find this….according to the New York Times August 1, 2010) "Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than most Americans. In the last decade, their use of antidepressants has risen, while their life expectancy has fallen. Many would change jobs if they could." Am not sure how these data is collected. But I can identify with these facts:- (http://www.pastorburnout.com/pastor-burnout-statistics.html)
- 13% of active pastors are divorced.
- 23% have been fired or pressured to resign at least once in their careers.
- 25% don't know where to turn when they have a family or personal conflict or issue.
- 25% of pastors' wives see their husband's work schedule as a source of conflict.
- 33% felt burned out within their first five years of ministry.
- 33% say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
- 40% of pastors and 47% of spouses are suffering from burnout, frantic schedules, and/or unrealistic expectations.
- 45% of pastors' wives say the greatest danger to them and their family is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual burnout.
- Though I can find no specific statistics (I'm sure they are out there), the pastorate is seeing a significant rise in the number of female pastors.
- 45% of pastors say that they've experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry.
- 50% feel unable to meet the needs of the job.
- 52% of pastors say they and their spouses believe that being in pastoral ministry is hazardous to their family's well-being and health.
- 56% of pastors' wives say that they have no close friends.
- 57% would leave the pastorate if they had somewhere else to go or some other vocation they could do.
- 70% don't have any close friends.
- 75% report severe stress causing anguish, worry, bewilderment, anger, depression, fear, and alienation.
- 80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with their spouse.
- 80% believe that pastoral ministry affects their families negatively.
- 90% feel unqualified or poorly prepared for ministry.
- 90% work more than 50 hours a week.
- 94% feel under pressure to have a perfect family.
- 1,500 pastors leave their ministries each month due to burnout, conflict, or moral failure.
Can you find your pastor anywhere in the above? This is why I started by asking a question, do you pray for your pastor? If yes, do you call him/her for an encouragement or you call when you need help of some kind?
The bible says Moses did not made it to Canaan (Numbers 27:12). He missed Canaan, the promised land, which he had been working hard and leading God’s people to possess it. Why? Because he got annoyed when people charged him to give them water. Instead of talking to the rock, he smote it with his rod. The answer is …..the people….But themselves the made it! Jesus himself quoted prophet Zechariah, that the enemy shall strike the shepherd, so that the sheep can go astray. That’s the reason why the Devil aims the pastors and generally the leaders.
Christians should learn not to give their pastors un necessary burdens that can cause burn outs. Instead they should create a way to keep his hands up like Moses. A pastor said that every time Moses got tired and put his hands down,(Exodus 17) Joshua and his team lost the battle at the bottom of the mount. Remember Moses was not doing that deliberately. It was because of being tired. But that doesn’t matter. The enemy was still prevailing. Whether he is dropping his hands down due to fatigue, tiredness or sickness, the enemy was prevailing. How many of us, in our churches, are failing because the pastors/leaders are getting tired? May the Lord help us. The repercussion remains the same. The effect is not felt by the pastor alone but by all Christians. When the priests/leaders left the temple in Jerusalem, the repercussion was the destruction of the walls.
Please, pray for your pastor. Pray for their wives/husbands. Pray for their children. Please pray for all pastors/leaders and God will bless you!