Praying for our Church Leaders
Monday, August 26, 2019
Devotional for Day 15
And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. — Acts 14:23 (ESV)
Raising up, establishing, and praying for strong church leaders is as important today as it has ever been. In Acts 14, the apostles Paul and Barnabas share the gospel of the Kingdom with demonstrations of power to the people in Lystra and a revival breaks out as a result. In order to sustain this move of God and extend its reach and impact, Paul and Barnabas appoint leaders and with prayer and fasting, they commit them to the Lord. We can see from this example and elsewhere in the book of Acts the great value placed on fasting and praying for God to establish committed church leaders and sustain them in ministry in order to advance the Kingdom of God.
We also see examples of this in church history. Charles Spurgeon, a spiritual powerhouse from another generation, went down in church history as the ‘Prince of Preachers,’ and for good reason, since a century after his death he was the most widely printed and read English author. It would be no exaggeration to say that Spurgeon led thousands to faith in Christ. What was behind the success of this giant in the faith? Spurgeon himself attributed the source of his power and fruitfulness to the prayers of the saints in his church, in what he called the church’s ‘boiler room.’
The early church prayed for their leaders and revivals broke out. Charles Spurgeon’s church congregants prayed for his ministry and many came to know the Lord through him. It is clear that in order to advance the Kingdom of God, we need to pray for our church leaders. Let us ask for God’s grace upon their ministry. Let us pray for their families to be protected and blessed. Let us pray that God would give them insight, revelation and understanding. Let us pray for them to be men and women of prayer, power and purpose. Let us pray that they would equip the saints for the work of ministry. Let us pray that God would bear lasting fruit through their lives and ministries. We can trust that as we commit our church leaders to the Lord, we will see Him do wonders in our midst.
God, we ask that You bless our church leaders. Anoint them with Your Holy Spirit. Provide for all their needs. Grant them wisdom as they raise up and appoint new leaders. Fill them with power to preach the gospel with signs and wonders. Sustain them through every season of their ministries. Bless their families, their marriages and their children. Equip and use all the pastors, elders and leaders in the local churches in my city, and all over the globe, to bring glory and honor to the name of Jesus. Amen.
Ministry Fellow, Christian Union at Harvard