Monday, July 18, 2005

Become a Praying Pastor


Dear Fellow Pastor,

As someone who has known the struggles and joys of pastoring and the success and failures of personal prayer, I welcome you to PrayingPastor.com.


The motivation behind this website began several years ago when Paul Radford and the Woerner Foundation invited several national prayer leaders to meet to discuss what they considered a crisis among pastors. Too much pressure and too little prayer.

Jon Graf, founder of Pray! magazine and president of the Church Prayer Leaders Network, was a participant at that early meeting. Now, several years later, as an arm of the Church Prayer Leaders Network, we have taken a strategic step to resource struggling pastors and reduce the number of those in crisis. PrayingPastor.com has been established for just that purpose.

Our aim is to provide resources and ideas to both strengthen your personal prayer life and shield you through the prayers of the saints. It is our hope you will utilize the resources and ideas posted here. But we also hope to hear from you; this site will allow you to share ideas and resources that have benefited you as well as stories and strategies of your own successes and failures.

Lord, may we each take a new step toward you in prayer, even now.

Your fellow traveler,

Phil

What We Provide
Sad but true, most pastors struggle to sustain a strong daily prayer life. We have many things calling our time--sermon preparation, the demands of a busy congregation, family needs, and for those of us who are bi-vocational, work outside the ministry just to survive. PrayingPastpr.com wants to be an encouragement for you.

PrayingPastor.com is both a website and a monthly e-magazine. The website will provide:

* resources, ideas, and practical encouragement to help in you your personal prayer life
* tips on how to motivate and mobilize your congregation toward more prayer
* guides and suggestions to get your congregation to pray for you

The monthly e-magazine will provide articles and ideas that inspire, challenge, and equip you in your desire to becoming a praying pastor. Its articles--written almost entirely by pastors--will encourage you that you are not alone in your sturggles with prayer. To see a sample issue, click here. The annual subscription price is $10.

PrayingPastor.com is sponsored by the Church Prayer Leaders Network.

This website is currently under construction. Over the next few weeks you will start to see it take shape as each section gets populated with material picked especially for you--a pastor who wants to grow in his or her prayer life. Keep checking the site to see what's new.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

For Your Prayer Shield

Pray For Your Pastor

"Satan has always attacked leaders. He has grabbed hold of Zech. 13:7 which states, 'Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' In congregation after congregation, the accuser has come against a pastor (shepherd), and the result has been a scattered flock. It's tragic how many Christians allow the enemy to use them to achieve his aim of discrediting and discouraging Christian leaders. The attacks often focus on pastors, but they are by no means limited to them… It is time for a militant church to stand up against - not participate in - the lies and schemes of the enemy in this regard."
David Butts, National Prayer Committee Chairman

Dear Intercessors,
It is so important with today's challenges and with increased difficulties in the world that we surround pastors and ministry leaders and their families with constant prayer. It is hard to be a pastor in the church today. Often a leader’s authority is challenged and criticized. A pastor may struggle with low self-esteem and with being compared with other well-known leaders. He may find it hard to achieve what is best for the church because of lack of commitment in his congregation. A pastor today has to try to lead his church in the midst of constant change in the world. Families are under spiritual attack and his own family may be personally struggling. It is easy to get discouraged, relationships may be difficult, and a pastor’s own needs might go unmet.
Prayer for pastors is vital because Satan brings the greatest attack against those in spiritual leadership. Pastors face daily struggles just like everyone else. Some struggle in their marriages and even with pornography. Leadership magazine in December 2001 reported that 37% of pastors say cyber porn is a current struggle, and 4 out of 10 pastors have visited a porn site. The Institute of Church Growth at Fuller Seminary conducted a survey of pastors in 1991, and these were the results: 75% reported a personal stress related crisis in their ministry, 90% work more than 46 hours a week, 80% felt the ministry has affected their families negatively, 90% felt inadequately trained for the demands of the job, 70% did not have a close friend, and 70% said that they now had lower self-esteem than when they started. We must begin to realize just how intense the warfare is against pastors worldwide. Just as Moses’ arms needed to be held up in battle, our leaders need us to uphold them in intercession. We must pray for our pastors!


Ways to Help your Pastor

“There has never been a time in our nation when it has been harder to pastor a church."

· Pray for any problems you see rather than criticize - I heard a well-known intercessor say that when we see a problem, instead of criticizing or gossiping about it, we need to pray what we want to see happen until it rises up to that level.

· Attend the prayer meetings in your church - We all need to participate in corporate prayer whenever possible. For example, our church has many prayer meetings; for our nation, our missionaries, for Turkey, for the youth, etc. It would be so easy for each of us to go to at least one of these prayer meetings.

· Start a 24-hour prayer chain in your church - This is an excellent way to uphold in prayer the needs of your pastor, leadership staff, and missionaries. Pray for a spirit of prayer to permeate your church.

· Encourage others in your church to pray for your pastor - It is time well spent that will bring blessing to your church in so many ways.

· Read the book Prayer Shield by C. Peter Wagner - It tells you how to intercede for pastors, Christian leaders and others on the spiritual frontlines. This book covers topics such as the power of personal prayer partners, why pastors need intercession, secrets of pastors' prayer lives, recruiting prayer partners, maintaining your intercessors, etc.

· Be submissive to your pastoral leadership - You want to be a joy to them and not a burden as they keep watch over you.

“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:17).

How to Pray for Pastors

“To what extent does praying for the preacher help preaching? It helps him personally and officially. It helps him to maintain a righteous life; it helps him in preparing his message; and it helps the Word he preaches to run to its appointed goal, unhindered and unhampered. A praying church creates a spiritual atmosphere most favorable to preaching… It renders preaching an easy task; it enables the Word to run quickly and without friction, propelled by the warmth of souls engaged in prayer.” E. M. Bounds

Pray for their intimacy with God - Pray for your pastor to walk in holiness and for God to give him spiritual revelation.
Pray for their preaching and teaching - Pray for anointed messages and that they would preach with boldness and courage.
Pray for their leadership - Pray for favor with others in leadership and that God will show them how to lead your church. Pray that people would follow their leadership enthusiastically.
Pray for their example and Godly wisdom - Pray that they would be good examples in speech, life, love, faith, and purity (I Timothy 4:12). Pray for increased vision, wisdom, and guidance.
Pray for their health - Pray for their physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. Pray that God will sustain them with His strength. Leadership carries enormous demands.
Pray for their protection - Pray for protection from Satan’s temptations, deception, discouragement, etc.
Pray for their family life - Pray for your pastor to have quality time with his wife and children. Wives and children are often under attack and need prayer.
Pray for your pastor’s wife - Pray for her intimacy with the Lord, quality relationships where she can share her own struggles and joys, her own sense of calling and confidence in it, her balance between family needs and ministry, and that she may be encouraged in heart. Her job is not easy, and she needs your prayers.

“As we pray for pastors, evangelists, missionaries and denominational leaders, we are like telephone poles. We are like the structure that accommodate the electric wires, making it possible for the power of God to be distributed around the world at just the right time, in just the right way, that God’s will might be done.” J.B. London Jr.


Together in the Harvest, Debbie Przybylski, Intercessors Arise

deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsarise.org

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Learning to Worship and Pray Strategically


Then learn to pray strategically with others in an attitude of worship and declaration of the Lordship of Jesus Christ over your city in a spirit of unity and agreement, with fervency of heart and sustainment of intent until God rains down His Presence and Glory for city transformation. Praying Strategically is the key from worship-based-corporate prayer.

The blessing of two cities . . .

-City Reaching.com
Phil Miglioratti of National Pastors Prayer Network and National Facilitator of City & Community Ministries, hosted the monthly conference call for veteran city reachers that is normally led by Barney Field of El Paso, TX. The topic today was "What's working in Cities?" The Call talked about what happened in our cities during the Global Day of Prayer, May 15th.

There developed a striking contrast in the way God worked, particularly in two cities: Sacramento, CA and St. Louis, MO. The firsthad a focus given by large churches with a 3 week notice before the event which brought out to the ARCO Arena about 8,000 people from the Sacramento Valley. Full Story @ Mission America City Reaching Blog

The Struggle of Prayer


Prayer, in the sense of union with God, is the most crucifying thing there is. One must do it for God's sake; but one will not get any satisfaction out of it, in the sense of feeling "I am good at prayer. I have an infallible method."

That would be disastrous, since what we want to learn is precisely our own weakness, powerlessness, unworthiness. Nor ought one to expect "a sense of the reality of the supernatural" of which I speak. And one should wish for no prayer, except precisely the prayer that God gives us -- probably very distracted and unsatisfactory in every way. Click herefor the rest of the story.