Prayer Partner Ministry

Part One
Prayer Ministry For Pastors

The ministry of supporting our pastors and leaders in prayer is of vital importance to the church.

Scripture gives this story as an example:

“The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.’

“So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.

“As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady until sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” ( Ex. 17:8-13.)

Christian author, Ellen White, comments on these verses:

“Happy the minister who has a faithful Aaron and Hur to strengthen his hands when they become weary, and to hold them up by faith and prayer. Such a support is a powerful aid to the servant of Christ in his work, and will often make the cause of truth to triumph gloriously.” Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, p. 531.

The apostle Paul recognized the importance of the prayers of the church members for him:

“Pray also for me,” Paul wrote in Ephesians 6, verse 19, “that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

Jesus Himself longed for the prayer support of His disciples:

“Then He (Jesus) returned to His disciples and found them sleeping, 'Could you men not keep watch with Me for one hour?” (Matt. 26:40.)

These are difficult days for pastors. They should be surrounded by the prayers of the church members. Every church member is encouraged to become part of the Aaron and Hur ministry, covenanting to pray daily for their pastor.

Pastoral Prayer Partners

God will call some church members not only to pray daily for their pastor but to become his prayer partner–sharing burdens, praying with him as best suits his time schedule and available to pray with and for him and his family in times of special need.

(One caution: A close emotional bond is often formed through prayer partner praying. The male pastor’s chief prayer partners should be male–or husband and wife teams. Likewise, the female pastor would choose female prayer partners–or husband and wife teams. Those who are wise will close every door through which Satan might enter.)

The pastoral prayer partners are the pastor’s primary prayer team.

The ministry of pastoral prayer partners includes the following:

  1. Working closely with the prayer coordinator to schedule convenient times to pray with the pastor. These prayer times will usually be by telephone.
  2. The pastor may at times initiate calls for prayer. Pastoral prayer partners should be people with whom the pastor can safely confide his prayer needs.
  3. These prayer partners may also choose to pray with each other, either by phone or in groups, taking care that prayer–not gossip about church problems–is the focus of the time together.
  4. Pastoral prayer partners should be available to intercede in prayer at church services, prayer meetings, board meetings, business meetings, evangelistic meetings, Bible studies, or small groups.

Suggestions on What to Pray For with Your Pastor

  1. Ask the pastor for any special personal concerns or church needs for which he would like prayer and then mention each of these in your prayer with him.
  2. Pray that your pastor will have peace with God and be Spirit-filled.
  3. Pray that God will give the pastor wisdom on how to conduct board meetings and deal with difficult church members.
  4. Pray especially for evangelism, outreach programs, and Bible studies he is giving.
  5. Pray for the pastor's sermon preparation, that the Holy Spirit will give him words to say and that God will bring to church those who need this special message and who will recognize the sermon as God's words to them.
  6. Pray for revival for the church.
  7. Pray for the pastor's health and for his family
  8. Pray for angelic protection for the pastor and his family.

Ellen White has this to say about praying for men in ministry:

“Pray that God will connect them with Himself and give them wisdom, grace, and knowledge. Pray that they may be guarded from the snares of Satan and kept pure in thought and holy in heart.” (5 T, p. 162.)

Like Stephen and Philip, who were chosen to serve the early church as deacons, and later were led by God into powerful ministry, so God may lead those who become faithful pastoral prayer partners into a more visible ministry. Yet when the final record is revealed, those who held up the pastor’s hands in prayer as Aaron and Hur upheld the hands of Moses, will be shown to be just as great contributors to the victory as was the pastor. No one will be greater than any other. All were in the battle together and only God is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

With the Ten Commandments of Exodus 20 in mind, here are
Ten commitments for pastoral prayer partners to make

  1. I will first of all remember that God has brought me out of Egypt to honor God in His church. I will daily commit my life to Him and ask Him to fill me with his Spirit so that I can be a blessing.
  2. I will sincerely affirm (but not idolize) my pastor. I will affirm whatever is commendable in his leadership and tell him whenever a sermon has been a blessing to me.
  3. I will speak positively of my church and my denomination and it’s leaders, realizing that even if mistakes are made, God is still in control.
  4. I will remember that the Sabbath is the pastor’s heaviest day of ministry. I will especially uphold his ministry on this day by prayer and affirmation, seeking to help carry his burdens.
  5. I will honor with confidence whatever the pastor shares with me.
  6. I will stop life-destroying gossip about anyone when it gets to me.
  7. I will pray daily for my pastor’s family and his home life, since Satan is especially attempting to destroy the pastor’s home and thus destroy his ministry.
  8. I will follow the admonition of Jesus in Matthew 18:15-20 whenever accusations are made against my pastor. I will give him the benefit of the doubt rather than allow his reputation to be stolen or his ministry diminished by unfounded rumors.
  9. I will tell only the truth about my pastor, remembering that while I must always tell the truth, it is not always best to tell all the truth. Selah.
  10. I will give support to my pastor in his overall program of leadership for the church, not coveting for myself leadership which rightfully belongs to my pastor.

Praying for the Pastor on Sabbath Morning

The pastor especially needs encouragement and prayers Sabbath morning before the services. If possible it would be well for the pastor and some of his prayer partners to meet for prayer before the classes begin. You may wish to place your hands upon him as you pray, asking that the Holy Spirit anoint the pastor's mind and lips as he leads out in the Sabbath services. Even if your pastor is too busy to meet with you, make sure that several prayer partners pray for him together.  Continue to pray for your pastor throughout the services.

  1. Pray for the children's divisions, the teachers and leaders for the adults.
  2. Pray for the worship services, the special music, the prayer and announcements.
  3. Pray for the presiding elder, the deacons and ushers.
  4. Pray that the guests in your church may feel welcome and sense the presence of the Lord.
  5. Pray especially that the Holy Spirit will fill the church with His presence and that everyone in attendance will be touched by the hand of God.

Special Opportunities for Sabbath Prayer

Although every day can be a day of prayer the Sabbath offers special opportunities. What a wonderful opportunity for all pastoral prayer partners to join in silent intercession as they enter the sanctuary on Sabbath morning–for the pastor and those who take part in the Sabbath services, for the members, and for guests. Pray especially for the presence of the Holy Spirit. The whole atmosphere of Sabbath services can be changed by a praying congregation. Your prayers can and will make a difference!

Next: Part Two: Personal Prayer Partners