Prayer in the Body of Christ

Greg Strand – March 25, 2013 2 Comments

Last week there were two posts on lessons learned on the need for prayer as pastors.

Michael Strand, associate pastor at the Free Church in Cheyenne, WY, and my son!, wrote of some lessons he is learning about life and ministry as a pastor in the local church, and the need for prayer, not only for the church, i.e. people that make up the church, but also for the pastors: “Praying for Your Church”.

Michael notes, “We should all be praying for the church.” Paul and his prayers in his epistles are used as the model for this sort of praying. He also lists specific things for which to pray, also listed from the Bible. Michael concludes with the following reminder/exhortation:

Pray for the pastors, elders and deacons who are in your church that we may faithfully lead the people that God has entrusted to us. May all of us remember to pray for our churches that God’s name may be made great and He would get all the glory.

Often the perception is that pastors are the ones doing the praying for others, but they are just as needy, just as desperate for prayer as others. This is a lesson Kevin DeYoung has relearned. Recently Kevin and his wife experienced a medical problem that caused pain to body and soul. As they walked through this, one of the elders at the church encouraged Kevin to let the people of God know so that they could join them in prayer. Kevin shared what he learned with an encouragement to others, “Pastors, Ask for Prayer:”

Here is one of the main lessons:

Every Christian needs the care and compassion of the body of Christ. Pastors knows this better than anyone. But we can be slow to accept it for ourselves. Obviously, I’m not suggesting we embrace a martyr’s complex or take advantage of our people’s kindness. But there is something deeply biblical, fundamentally wise, and particularly powerful about the shepherd acknowledging he is first of all a sheep. Pastors are real people-real fallen, hurting, human beings-and we need the church like everyone else.

What are the lessons you are learning about prayer . . .

  • in both doctrine and practice?
  • in both praying for others and requesting prayer for yourself?

Greg Strand

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Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

2 responses to Prayer in the Body of Christ

  1. Prayer for me it seems is about “higher up and deeper in.” It is a part of my spiritual life, and the spiritual life of the church that always needs to be fed and also massaged.

    One aspect that has been affecting more and more as a pastor is losing my prayer-partners to heaven. I have been blessed throughout my ministry to have some very dedicated older saints who pray for me daily and for some that has been for years! Now, God is taking them home one by one, and I grieve their passing in part because I have lost another of my pastor’s prayer warriors! My fear is there are none to replace them. Prayer, for much of the “younger generation” has not learned the prayer patterns of the older saints. The task is how to raise up new warriors. I may sound a little selfish here, but as you stated above, we pastors NEED prayer, constantly, consistently, lovingly.

    • Randal, I agree with you. I remember years ago when I was serving as a teaching assistant for Robert Coleman while at TEDS, another dear saint “went to be with the Lord,” and Robert replied, “I am getting to the stage of life where I know more people in heaven with the Lord than I know here!”

      When those dear elderly saints pass on, we become those elderly saints. May we receive the baton faithfully, and may we also faithfully pass it on to the younger generation.

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