Important Things to Pray for Your Pastor


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Living in the clergy fishbowl is hard. Here is a list of things to pray for your pastor that will positively bless them and their family. #Pray #Bible #Faith

Rev isn’t pastoring a congregation at the moment, but he has in the past. We know what it’s like to lead a group of people with varying personalities and opinions.

We know what it’s like to have someone threaten to leave for exactly the opposite reasons that someone else is threatening to leave. If you’re in leadership you know that it’s impossible to make everyone happy, and you may even feel like you’re gifted at making everyone unhappy.

Many pastor’s families struggle with:
  • living in a fishbowl.
  • conflict between members.
  • criticism of their efforts.
  • financial challenges.
  • unrealistic expectations.
  • balancing family and ministry.
  • distance from extended family.
  • loneliness.

While most don’t have to cope with everything on this list; every pastor’s family will have to deal with some of them.

Imagine yourself with hundreds of bosses. Why? Because with every contribution there is an unwritten belief that the giver has the “right” to tell the pastor how to do his job.

Pastor’s wives and their children are under constant scrutiny. Sometimes they know how they are being criticized more often they are just being talked about family to family.

Pastor’s families also receive complaints about their husband and father. How would you feel if your husband’s coworkers came to you when they were unhappy with him.

[Tweet “People – your pastor’s job is hard and it’s hard on his family, too.”]

But he’s faithful because he loves the Lord, he’s following his calling, and he loves you.

Pray for your Pastor

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ.

Then we will no longer be immature like children . . . Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Ephesians 4:11–12, 15–16
Living in the clergy fishbowl is hard. Here is a list of things to pray for your pastor that will positively bless them and their family.

Please pray that your pastor…

  •  To love the Lord … heart, mind, soul, and strength.
  • To have a passion for God’s Word.
  • To have a heart for prayer.
  • To encourage others to be in the Word and to pray.
  • To be blessed with wisdom and strength.
  •  To boldly preach the Word of God.
  • To receive the help they need to carry out their calling.
  • To enjoy God’s peace.
  • To cling to their faith in Christ.
  • To receive the encouragement they need.
  • To feel loved and appreciated.
  • To get the rest they need.
  •  To have and enjoy family time. 
  • To be blessed with God’s provision.
  •  To be surrounded by God’s protection as they serve others.
  • To have strong supportive friendships.
  • To remain tender-hearted when criticized.

There’s an old saying . . . if you want to get rid of your pastor, compliment him – he’ll work himself to death.

Your pastor is trying hard. He’s doing his best, but he’s human just like you with weaknesses and flaws. His family, well they’re human too. They need you.

Although it's a blessing, it's not always easy to be a pastor's family under scrutiny. You can help . . . 12 things to pray for your pastor and his family.

Love them the way you want them to love you. 

One final note – our family has been blessed at every congregation with many wonderful people who have loved and encouraged us and made it very easy to love them. A huge thank-you to each and every one.

I wrote this referring to pastors in the masculine, not to make a political statement but because that is the perspective with which I’m familiar.

One more thing…

Let your pastors know you’re praying . . . it will bless them.

If you are a pastor’s wife looking for a place to share your journey with others who are able to relate and understand your ministry responsibilities . . . please contact me by leaving a comment here or shoot me an email me at:

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  1. leah sparks says:

    Lovely, thank you, now I’ll have more specific ways to pray for my Pastor.

  2. Just from the little bit of ministry I’ve done, I can see how hard it would be to be a pastor – and a pastor’s family. These are great ideas of what to pray for – but I’m guessing you know what to pray for from experience!

  3. HI Deb! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You deserve some time away, good for you. Enjoy a little peace and celebrate you 🙂

    I think your post is so good, I told another blog friend about it. What a heart you have for pastors and families, which comes from your experience. It’s hard won!
    What really touched me was the ‘loneliness’. Surrounded by so many that need you, but no one to share yourself with…that is a true problem for all who serve. I hope this rerun post serves so many more people that they will reach out to their leaders and thank them for their hard work.
    Birthday blessings!

    1. Thank you Ceil, I enjoyed a lovely day! The weather was perfect, a little fun out and about St. Louis, and a quiet evening with Rev.

      One of the things most don’t see is the separation from extended family. FaceTime and internet help, but it’s not the same as sitting around the table together. Thanks so much for your best wishes and encouragement. Blessings my friend!

  4. Happy Birthday, Deb! Enjoy some time off this week.
    This was a great reflection; too many times, we take our pastors for granted, especially considering the huge responsibilities they have. I will remember to pray more often for mine.

    1. Thank you Martha. I know your pastor and his family will be blessed by your prayers.

  5. Thanks for sharing your heart. How humbling to remember that we need to lift up and treasure our shepherds and their families.

  6. This is a great post and one I’m going to put to use. Thanks!

  7. Hi Deb! I am the blogger friend Ceil mentioned. I am also a pastor. Want to thank you for this post. Most people have no clue what our life is like. I don’t regret it. My wife doesn’t regret it. She does sometimes dislike the time I spend away from home. Now that our girls are adults and on their own and it is just us two, she likes having me around even more. 🙂 That has led to some “interesting” conversations, especially since her love language is quality time. Mine is not. All in all though we have a good life, a fantastic ministry in a church we love, and (still) have plenty of time together.

    1. Hi Bill, I’m so glad you joined the conversation. You said it perfectly . . . it’s the life to which we’ve been called, much of it is a huge blessing and we can’t imagine doing anything else even with the challenges and separation from family. God is good and gracious through the ups and downs! One of my favorite parts about ministry is being able to serve together. It has been a great blessing for our marriage. God’s blessings to you and your dear wife.

  8. Love this list!! As a pastor, I agree wholeheartedly that we need to do a better job of supporting all of our pastors. It’s a hard job and we love it. We especially love it when our congregations pray for us! Thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!

  9. I love this post! My son is a youth pastor and he is feeling some of the things on this list. I will be sharing this with him. The item that says that because a church member is a contributor they can also dictate what you do was huge. There is a sense of entitlement from what I hear from my son. Happy birthday and blessed you linked up with The Weekend Brew.

  10. Claudette says:

    Greetings from another pastor’s wife (for 49 years). Your list was absolutely true. No one but another pastor’s wife understands what our life is like. I think you have to live in the pastorium to understand. On the point of loneliness, though we have many friends, pretty much all of them consider us somehow different from them…..we don’t fit, they seem to hold us at arm’s length. And they don’t seem to feel comfortable being themselves around us. It isn’t obvious. It’s very subtle. I wish they knew we are just like them, with the same faults, the same needs, the same everything. On another point, I am interested when and how you changed from being a “good little church girl” to a “joy-filled blessing counter, crazy about Jesus”. Was it before you married a pastor, or has it come since then? I find that very interesting and would like to hear your testimony. Thanks.

    1. Oh, you’re right, Claudette! You have to live it to actually get it! There are so many blessings that come with serving in ministry but the challenges are real. Thanks so much for reaching out and letting me know you “get it.” I lived with the fear of rejection for most of my life. It made me a huge “pleaser.” My goal was to keep everyone happy. God and the people around me. And for some reason, it seemed like the right thing to do. We had served in ministry for many years when two of the most important people in my life … rejected me. I could barely breathe … but by God’s grace, He prodded me to grab His Word like a life-line and over the next few years, everything changed. God proved to me that He could heal a shattered heart. This post will tell you a little more …

      I’m so blessed by your comment. I hope you will visit often and keep in touch! God bless you!