Praying for a Church Planter or Pastor

Man praying on his knees with his head bowed at church
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Over the last several years, I have especially had the privilege of praying for church planters on a regular basis. Church planting is a spiritual engagement in darkness – to plant the Gospel in a community needing new Gospel impact.

In praying for leaders, and godly men and women, I have used Proverbs 13 as a great guide and outline to pray more deeply. The following is a sequence that has been helpful though not comprehensive:

VERSE 1 – Like David, may he respond well to God’s discipline and rebuke. The Lord disciplines those He loves, so may he experience and know of God’s love drawing him to accept correction and repent.

VERSE 2 – May good fruit come from his mouth as he weighs his words.

VERSE 3 – May his words, Lord, be guarded and true.

VERSE 4 – May he be diligent for your kingdom and priorities.

VERSE 5 – May your righteousness, Lord, protect and cover him from attacks and challenges that he may face at home and in the community he serves.

VERSE 12 – May your desires in his life come to fulfillment, and may he know the hope and joy you have for him.

VERSE 14 – May his time in your Word and in preparation to teach his congregation provide the foundation for your wisdom to be spoken.

VERSE 15 – May he have your understanding, and may it give him sound judgment and favor with those in his community.

VERSE 20 – Loneliness is a deep concern for those in ministry, Lord. May he find wise men to walk with to become wiser and so better serve you.

VERSE 22 – May he leave an inheritance of godliness and joy to his family along with resources so that your name would be lifted from the legacy of his life.

VERSE 24 – May he have inner strength to confront opposition with grace and the fortitude to bring discipline where needed regardless of the consequences.

VERSE 25 – May your righteousness, O Lord, be enough for him. May he find true peace and comfort in knowing You.

Praying the Word is refreshing. Many times, it has moved me to text a note or write a card to a church planter of encouragement. Paul reminds us: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing” 1 Thess. 5:11 (CSB).

May prayer be the foundation of true encouragement and may we continually seek to “encourage each other daily, while it is still called today” Heb. 3:13 (CSB).

State Missionary Brian Harper serves as lead church planting strategist at the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. He may be contacted at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 2332, or (334) 613-2332, bharper@alsbom.org.

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