Pray For Your Leaders

Hebrews 13:18-19
18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. 19 And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you the sooner.

After talking about Godly leadership, the author asks that his readers pray for him and his group.  This is something we all need to do more.  Our pastor asks for it all the time and quite honestly, they need it the most!  Being a spiritual leader is hard work and puts a target on your back for the enemy.  I remember a scene from the movie “The Patriot” in the beginning when Mel Gibson’s character teaches his sons to shoot the officers of the platoon they are ambushing so the men will be without leadership and lost.  Imagine a flock of sheep without a shepherd.

A while back I discussed that spiritual leaders need to be careful to not become false teachers.  It is hard work to make sure you are teaching the Word of God honestly, truthfully, and fully.  In the United States, we’ve become accustomed to complaining about our leaders (spiritual or otherwise) before we work hard to pray for them and encourage them.  Much like we are Monday morning quarterbacks in regards to football, we become Sunday afternoon preachers.  We go to lunch after church service and criticize how the pastor did this or said that.  We find an online argument against the very point he preached and send him an exhaustive email about how wrong he was, even though he probably spent all week praying and studying and making sure that what he taught was directly from the Word of God.  Or maybe they haven’t; maybe your teacher doesn’t give due diligence to the lessons they teach and preach.  Regardless, we must pray for them first.

“It’s a lot harder to criticize someone if you continually pray for them.”  Our pastor always encourages us to pray for him before we criticize him.  I think the most important aspect of this is that it is more productive.  Criticizing and complaining only makes things worse, really.  Think about it, if someone came at you telling you all the things you did wrong and they aren’t even in a similar position as you, you’re likely to ignore them.  If we pray for our leaders, we petition for them to God and we put ourselves in a place to understand how, if at all, God wants us to help them through encouragement, exhortation, or anything else.  It will help us better understand the position our leaders are in and give us God’s perspective on the situation.

Have you prayed for your leaders before you have criticized them?  How can you better support your leaders than you have been?

Here are a few resources to help you pray for your leaders:

Prayer Guide
Short prayers for Leaders
Scriptural guidance on praying for leaders
Biblical references for Godly leadership

 

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