There is no greater blessing than to see obedient Christians exercise their gifts under the guidance of agape love. Whether it be the gift of helps, administration, evangelism or any of the other gifts clearly described in the Bible, each one is equally important to God, useful to Jesus Christ and can be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
In 2 Corinthians 1: 11 there is a very special person that pastors are especially thankful for–prayer warriors. The greatest missionary of all time, the apostle Paul wrote, “As you help us by your prayers, then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” (2 Corinthians 1:11) Paul writes this as a statement of fact proclaiming that it was the power of God in answer to prayer that enabled him and the ministry team he was working with to complete all that God had for them to do.
Paul’s life was often in danger and it was only by the hand of God that he had been delivered out of it. Paul also wrote “…But this happened that we might not rely upon ourselves but on God.” (2 Corinthians 1:9) Yes, Paul knew that it was God who protected them through and delivered them out of their great perils. He also was not so foolish as to deny or undervalue the secondary cause. Having first praised God earlier in this chapter, 2 Corinthians 1:11 shows how Paul remembers with great gratitude the earnest prayers of many loving prayer warriors.
The greatest ministry to the pastor of any Bible-believing church is the ministry of fasting and prayer. The church that looks past the world’s way of doing business and gets serious about praying for their spiritual leaders is the church that God will use to reach the lost and make true disciples of Christ. Your pastor faces great perils every day, the flesh often tempts him, the world continually draws him and the devil attacks in many different ways. Most pastors every week search desperately for times of fasting, prayer, Bible reading and study. Spending time alone with the Lord is the pastor’s food for strength to fulfill God’s calling. Pastors, now and especially in the near future, need the faithful prayers of those they oversee for the Lord.
An American preacher became the pastor of a London Church. On the first Sunday there were many converts. For the next year the Lord’s messages were delivered with power and many lost souls came to Christ. At the end of that first year this pastor was called to the bedside of a vary ill member of the church who told him how she had passed through a period of rebellion and spiritual darkness because of poverty, lameness and sickness. Upon repentance God revealed to her that He had given her the privilege of intercession. On the Saturday night before the pastor’s first Sunday this woman spent the entire night in prayer and had done that every Saturday night since. As her weak voice ceased, the pastor knew that this wonderful child of God had most certainly ministered to him and the Lord.
October is pastoral appreciation month. Will you be the one to uphold your pastor in agape love? Sacrificial prayer warriors have the most appreciation of their pastors.