The Soldier's Prayer — Part 10

The Need to Pray for Pastors

Sermon delivered on October 1st, 2017
Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: Ephesians 6:18-20


Ephesians 6:18   Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19: And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20: For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.



The great apostle Paul here is asking believers in Ephesus to pray for him. This is not mere formality or a statement of spiritual modesty or a Christian cliche'. Paul is serious about this request, for there are many times in his epistles where we read him pleading, "Brethren, pray for us.


1 Thessalonians 5:25 Brethren, pray for us.


2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 


Hebrews 13:18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.


Romans 5:30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;

Paul is beseeching, begging, pleading that they strive, that they agonize — with him in their prayers to God for him. That's how serious Paul is with this request.


If the great Apostle Paul, who wrote most of the books in the New Testament; filled with the Spirit of God; and who has been to the "third heaven," where no mere human being ever goes, needed the prayers of fellow believers, how much more do I need your prayers. Pastors are men who need prayers. However gifted a pastor may be; however much experience he may have as a pastor; however godly the Lord may have made him, he still needs to be prayed for. "Brethren, pray for me.


By the way, prayer is not just the pastors' responsibility. As someone has said, "Prayer is a mutual responsibility. It is the responsibility of the servant of the Lord, the minister of the Word, the shepherd of the flock of God, to pray for everyone associated with the flock. It is the responsibility of the flock to undergird the shepherd with prayer as well."


Not only is prayer a mutual responsibility, it is also a continuous responsibility. When Paul pleaded "Brethren, pray for us,he is actually saying is, "Keep on praying for me and don't stop because the need is tremendous." And that is what I am asking this congregation and I know you do and please continue to do so.


The apostle Paul, himself was a man of deep prayer. He knew the power and necessity of prayer in the ministry. He knew it is only through earnest and fervent prayer that he will be an effective minister in the hands of God. He is well aware of  ...

Psalm 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. 2: It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.


We know that Paul is a man of prayer. He prayed unceasingly for the people he ministered to.  We have considered some of the prayers he prayed for his congregation. They are life-changing and life-transforming prayers. I believe that if we take these prayers and make it our own and  pray them over earnestly, fervently, and faithfully, we will see God work in our midst as we have never seen before.


But this morning I want as to look at three reasons why pastors need your prayer. Why do you need to pray for me as I minister in Word and prayer?


I - Because of Our Natural Frailty

Paul knows who he is. He is aware of his humanity. As a human being he is aware that he is frail. He knows his limitations and weaknesses. And so is this pastor. 


Please turn to ...

John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7: The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8: He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

I like the way John the Baptist is described here. John the Baptist is a recipient of great honor and privilege. He was sent from God to bear witness of the Light. 


Listen to how the Lord Jesus Christ described him ...

Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.


Luke 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.


Though there is no greater prophet than John the Baptist, we must never forget that he is still a man. 

John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

And John the Baptist's humanity was clearly seen when he was thrown in prison. 

Matthew 11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3: And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

John just like the rest of us experienced doubts and discouragements. 


Paul in his letter to the believers in Thessalonica pleaded ...

1 Thessalonians 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 

He is pleading with them to get to know their leaders and understand that they are people and do not stop praying for them.


The more you know how frail we are, the more you will get on your knees and intercede on our behalf. 


"Brethren, pray for us.


II - Because of Our Heavy Responsibility

Pastoring a church is a difficult responsibility. It is a responsibility unlike any other. It is not like not selling vacuum cleaners. It is serious and sacred. It is a dangerous task. It is a task where the souls of people are at stake. True, it is supremely rewarding work, but it is a challenging and demanding work.


We cannot do our work without the help of God. We are not sufficient of ourselves. We need God's grace, strength, wisdom and enablement. And the only way to get it from God is through prayer.


Paul speaking of himself as a minister of the gospel said, 

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6: Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

The apostle Paul had a tremendous sense of his own insufficiency to do the job that he was called to do. He knew that any sufficiency, any ability, any confidence he had, come from God and he said, it is God who had made us able ministers. And so he asked people to pray for him and to call down God's help upon him so that with God's help he would be able to carry out the task. 


1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Paul knew that his confidence and his ability came from God's grace.


Peter, another minister of the gospel, understood the same truth.

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


Ministry is only accomplished by the ability which God gives. If something is done it is God who gets the glory for it, because He is the One who provided the grace and the strength and the power and the ability to accomplish it.


This is the second reason why pastors need to be prayed for.  This is the second reason why I as your pastor need your prayers - because I have a task to do that is far beyond my human abilities.


"Brethren, pray for us.


III - Because of Our Strong Enemy

Not only we pastors are frail and a have a difficult task, we also face a very strong opposition in the carrying out our responsibilities. This is what makes the task doubly difficult, because it is being opposed by a great and relentless enemy. It is hard enough when you have a heavy responsibility and difficult job to do but when it is opposed, it makes even more difficult.


Satan attacks the pastor more than anybody in the church because he knows if he can destroy the pastor he can destroy the church. Satan has been attacking the leaders of the God's church from the very beginning. 


Satan attacked Peter ...

Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Here is Peter the leader of the apostles, and our Lord comes to him and He said, Satan has desired to have you and he wants to sift you. He wants to grind you to powder. He wants to toss you to and fro. He wants to shake and remove you.


Ministers are the constant and relentless target of the enemy. Satan attacks them to discourage them, to disorient them, to distract them, and to destroy them. They are greatly tempted to quit and abandon the faith. The task is extremely difficult and the enemy is enormously strong.


But Jesus says...

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Our Lord Jesus Christ recognized that Peter need to be prayed for. What would have happened if our Lord did not pray for Peter?


In John 17:5-21, the Lord Jesus Christ prayed for the ministers of the gospel that God would keep them from the evil one and that He would keep them from the assaults of the wicked.


There is a battle going on in the work of the ministry and the pastor is out there trying to advance the kingdom of God and the devil and his people are out there trying to destroy it. 


Paul faced similar attacks.

1 Thessalonians 2:17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. 18: Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. 

Satan is always hindering. He is always opposing. Satan uses his people to do his work to persecute ministers of the gospel and to try to stop and destroy everything that they do. 


"Brethren, pray for us."


Closing Thoughts

Brothers and sisters this is why pastors like me  needs your prayers. I need your prayer because of my natural frailty. I need your prayer because of the heavy responsibility I carry. I need your prayers because as I carry this heavy responsibility and difficult task and I have a strong enemy who constantly opposes to undo the work I do.


When it comes to why you should pray for your pastor, take the words of Charles Spurgeon to heart: "No man can do me a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me."


"It is important for us to understand that this group of people that Paul asks were not some elite group. They were the ordinary Christians who were in ordinary churches and who were at all levels of maturity.  He recognize that the simplest prayer by the simplest believer expressed in the simplest way was able to bring the blessing of God down upon both his person and his ministry. And so you do not need to be some giant in the faith to pray for your pastor. You simply need to be brother in the Lord." - Max Doner


"Brethren, pray for us."   "Brethren, pray for me."