My heart was gripped with such sorrow when I read the news story last week about pastor Stoecklein, who took his life.
He struggled with depression and anxiety.
While it may seem to us strange that a pastor, who leads and teaches the church, should struggle with anxiety and depression, the fact is that 1 in 4 pastors struggle in these areas.
Many parishioners who have little understanding of the deep, inner personal struggles a pastor faces on a daily basis.
This list of statistics reveals a lot about the attacks our pastors face regularly, and reveals why depression and anxiety are so prevalent in the pulpit and why many pastors feel they battle some level of mental illness.
We need to pray for our pastors.
It is easy to forget that while our pastors have a level of authority given to them by God, they are still human. They still struggle with the same issues we all have.
They still struggle with sin.
In a way, their struggle can even be greater because the enemy would love nothing more than to completely destroy a pastor and his family.
They are on the front-lines of battle.
7 War Room Prayers You Can Pray Over Your Pastor
1. "Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching" (2 Tim. 4:2).
"Heavenly Father, I pray for my pastor today that You would strengthen him to preach the Word. Help him be ready in every season and in every situation to speak your word to those who come across his path. Sharpen his mind so that he can convince, rebuke, and exhort patiently and lovingly, teaching us and guiding us as Your disciples."
2. "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Cor. 15:58).
"Heavenly Father, strengthen my pastor and his wife today with your supernatural strength and joy. Help them to stand firm and multiply their work and labor for You. Help them to know that their labor is not in vain, and help us to know how best to encourage and bless them as our faithful pastors."
3. "But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary,
and they shall walk and not faint" (Isa. 40:31).
"Heavenly Father, remind my pastor today how valuable and necessary it is that he wait on You for daily renewal. Remind him that his strength comes from daily waiting on You in Your presence. Give him the strength today to face every situation with joy in the mighty power of the Holy Spirit."
4. "For you need patience, so that after you have done the will of God, you will receive the promise" (Heb. 10:36).
"Heavenly Father, help my pastor and his family today to continue in joyful endurance, knowing that fulfilling Your will and call for their life will be rewarded with the promise You given to us in your Word. Remind us, as their congregation, to encourage and bless them and to daily lift them up before you as our faithful pastor's family."
5. "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).
"Heavenly Father, I pray for my pastor and his family today. Provide for their every need. They are so faithful in serving us, I pray that you will meet every spiritual need, every emotional need and every physical and financial need they have. In Jesus' name."
6. "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 15:13).
"Heavenly Father, I know that pastors face a lot of pressure every day; and many of them deal with far more stress than we realize. I pray that you fill my pastor and his wife and children with all joy and peace. Strengthen their faith to believe in the call you given them. I pray that their hearts will overflow with hope, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Protect them from the strategy of the enemy to destroy them and their testimony. Give them spiritual understanding to see ahead of time the trap that the enemy has laid for them and the wisdom to use the Word of God as their weapon of defense. Give us, as their congregation, wisdom to know how to pray for our pastor and his family."
7. "That you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, pleasing to all, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might according to His glorious power, enduring everything with perseverance and patience joyfully" (Col. 1:10-11).
"Heavenly Father, I pray that our pastor and his family will finish strong. Help them to remain faithful to You and Your commands each day. Help them to walk worthy of you, pleasing you and bearing good fruit through their faithful work for your kingdom. Increase their knowledge of You, as they daily spend time in your presence. Strengthen them by the might of Your Holy Spirit, according to your glorious power! Help them to bear patience and long-suffering in their life, along with the joy of the Lord that will strengthen them each day as they faithfully serve You and the church."
Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her hero. Together, they live with their two active boys in the country, where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an associate degree in practical theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of "A Little R & R," where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You may follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.
This article originally appeared at rosilindjukic.com.
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