MANY CHRISTIAN believers think that pastors do not need others to pray for them. Some ministers of the gospel themselves are so proud that they would not ask the church to pray for them. But Paul, an apostle, who was highly anointed and did mighty works for God asked the church to pray for him and other facilitating ministers in their day.
“At the same time, PRAY ALSO FOR US, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison – that I make it clear, which is how I ought to speak,” (Colossians 4: 3).
“Finally, BROTHERS, PRAY FOR US, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honoured, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith,” (2 Thessalonians 3: 1- 2).
Some church members have no idea that they have the responsibility to pray for their pastors. They think only their pastors should pray for them. But no, that is not the plan of God. Christians must pray for one another. Everyone needs someone else’s prayers. In the two passages of scripture above, we read about Paul asking his ‘church members’ to pray for him and other ministers.
In the first scripture, Paul asked the church to pray for him so that God might open a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ. Similarly, in the second, Paul asked the church to pray for the effective and efficient preaching of the gospel. He also asked for their prayers to deliver them from evil men like Alexander the coppersmith, who attacked Paul while preaching the gospel (2 Timothy 4: 14).
One man of God wrote that prayer is the work and the work is prayer. The first-century Apostles were mostly concerned about the success of the work of God. They were concerned about the expansion of the kingdom business, especially the preaching of the gospel of Christ. They were concerned about souls, souls and souls. I have not read anywhere in the Bible where the early church prayed for material things – donkeys, camels (cars) and houses.
Of course, these are important things for life we all need, and it is certainly not wrong or sinful to pray to God for them, but the early church did not spend time praying for them. It is obvious that the then believers understood the teaching of Christ Jesus that His disciples should seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and that all material resources will be added unto them (Matthew 6:33).
When Hannah prayed for the fruit of her womb, she did so with the pledge to give her son to the LORD all the days of his life. Hannah sought the kingdom of God first, and trusted God to address her personal plight. And God answered her prayers (1 Samuel 1: 11).
Similarly, when the early Jewish Christians were being persecuted, they prayed for boldness to preach the Word of God. They sought the welfare of the kingdom business. “…And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus,” (Acts 4: 23- 29).
It is high time we repented and learnt from the early church and prayed for our pastors to preach the gospel. We must bow our knees and pray for our Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors/Bishops and Teachers to grow in the grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We must ask God to guide the hearts of our pastors to be in His perfect will.
Brethren, many men of God in Ghana and elsewhere, today, are straying from the truth of the gospel and are following the devil and the world. In most church meetings, today, the pulpits have been turned into motivational speaking to excite people.
Teachings about sanctification, holiness, faith, love, suffering, trial, testing, righteousness, purity, Holy Spirit baptism, second coming of Christ, rapture, judgment day and life after death have been abandoned.
One day, a lead pastor of a charismatic church, remarked that teachings and preaching about Jesus Christ are reserved for only beginner preachers and teachers. In his opinion, a matured man of God should not waste his time feeding his congregation with Christo-centric messages. He meant to say that senior pastors must focus on feeding the church with materialistic stuff. The pastor seemed to have no burden to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to save souls and disciple them to know Christ and grow in Him.
By the pastor’s words, you will wonder whether a person sincerely called and commissioned by Christ Jesus will utter such words in his right frame of mind. A pastor may blaspheme against the Lord if he has rejected Christ in his heart or if his eye of faith has been blinded to keep him from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
This is not the time to reject Jesus Christ, but accept Him. This is not a time to leave a church but join it for your salvation. While in the church, we must see the need to pray for all ministers of the gospel to remain focused and determined to faithfully discharge the divine duties assigned to them. The work Christ Jesus accomplished on the cross for the world must be proclaimed, and God is the ultimate rewarder.
By James Quansah