Pray for Your Pastor
By Richard Maffeo
“[A]nd pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:18-20)
Whenever I read these words of St. Paul to the Church at Ephesus, I'm surprised. Why would that great apostle ask for prayer to speak of Christ's gospel “boldly, as I ought to speak”?
I’m surprised because of what we know of his missionary journeys recorded in the book of Acts. Boldness did not seem to be his weak suite. And I wonder if the Holy Spirit moved Paul to write what he did, not only for his sake, but for ours as well.
I mean, think of it a moment. If fear sometimes restrained the great apostle from boldly preaching the whole truth of sin, righteousness, and judgement, then fear can hinder any of us from speaking God’s word as we ought. Fear of persecution, fear of lost income, fear of exclusion from the group . . . .
That’s why our pastors need our prayers for boldness, for courage. When was the last time they warned their flock against societal hot-buttons such as sins of abortion, adultery, fornication, or homosexuality?
Clerical collars do not confer courage on a man or woman. Only through the consistent prayers of God’s people will God’s servants become empowered to speak truth as it ought to be spoken.
Jesus was serious when He said: “He who is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38)
Christians! Pray for your pastors.