Our spiritual leaders are the ones who guide us on our journey of faith. They are the ones who give us the courage to face the challenges of life and the wisdom to make the right decisions. They are the ones who show us the way to God. But what many of us forget is that our spiritual leaders need our prayers too. They are just as human as we are and they need our prayers to help them stay strong in their faith and to guide us in the right direction. In this article, we will explore why it is so important to pray for our spiritual leaders and how it can help us all in our spiritual journey.
Why pray for our spiritual Leaders?
God sometimes identifies Himself as the Good Shepherd ( John 10:11 ), and one of the Shepherd’s roles is to lead the sheep to good pastures ( Psalms 23:2, Psalms 95:7 ).
In this light, when we speak of spiritual authorities, we are referring to people who are established in a position of spiritual leadership to lead the people of God to the destination that God has chosen.
The goal of spiritual leadership is for people to come to know God. So a spiritual leader uses God’s methods to bring people to that dimension. It is clear that where the Spirit of God is, there is freedom ( 2 Corinthians 3:17 ), but this freedom does is not synonymous with licentiousness where everyone must behave as they want and do what they want.
This is why as we go through the Bible, we see that God always establishes a spiritual authority over a people or a community. The present world situation really demands the influence of the Church, and to achieve this, it is therefore imperative that it be provided with leaders who are endowed with spiritual authority.
So too often, we think that being under the spiritual direction of a man of God (pastor, apostle, …) the latter will only be there to carry our burdens and that he does not necessarily need that we support him. A little like it was the case of Moses who was always there to intercede for the people of Israel, while the latter did not support him for all that.
There are also many other examples from the Bible that we can give. Normally, it should not be like this, and it is also essential to pray for our spiritual authorities. This is why the apostle Paul, understanding the demands of his ministry and of his position as a spiritual leader, asks that we also pray for him. Ephesians 6: 19-20 (KJV) “Pray for me, that it may be given to me, when I open my mouth, to make known boldly and freely the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, and that I speak of it with confidence as I must speak of it.
Reasons why we should pray for our spiritual leaders.
- Pray that our spiritual leaders will apply their hearts to putting God’s Word into practice.
There is a saying that goes, “Do as I say but don’t follow what I do”, a way of saying that even if the conduct is not in accordance with the Word taught, it is not a problem. . If you are a spiritual leader, you must never apply this adage. A spiritual leader needs to be exemplary in his conduct, that is to say, to be able to apply first what he requires of others.
For it is also good to preach by one’s quality of life, which is why Luke said of Jesus that He did everything He taught ( Acts 1:1 ). Ezra, also being an exemplary leader, also understood this principle. Ezra 7:10 (KJV) “For Ezra had set his heart to study and do the Law of the Lord, and to teach laws and ordinances among Israel.
Let us, therefore, ask God to give them a heart that is totally consecrated to Him, that they rely unceasingly on the action of the Spirit of God, not on their own strength so that their desire to conform to His Word will be free from of any compromise.
- Pray that our spiritual authorities will always have victory in their battles.
We must come out of the illusions that a spiritual leader is free from the enemy’s attacks. Moreover, the spiritual authorities are the number one target of the enemy. Indeed, to disperse a herd, you just have to hit their driver.
Our spiritual leaders know the same struggles as all of us! However, their spiritual victories and defeats greatly impact God’s people, hence the need to carry them in prayer with particular care. Let us present them, with perseverance, before the throne of God’s grace. This will impact our own spiritual health.
- Pray that our spiritual authorities always keep a servant’s heart despite their position.
Jesus, although being the greatest leader, makes us understand that He did not come to be served but to serve ( Matthew 20:28 ). Too often, the misunderstanding of a spiritual position can cause us to fall into pride. This is why it is important to pray for our authorities so that they do not forget that they are there to serve God, take care of His people, and not serve or use God.
- Pray that it will be given to them to announce the Word of God with boldness.
Assurance is based on faith. An insecure leader is likely to communicate doubt and even disbelief in the hearts of those they lead. This is why we must pray for them as it says in Acts 4:28 (KJV), “And now, Lord, see their threats, and grant Your servants to speak Your Word with full boldness…”. This is almost the same prayer that Paul asks in Ephesians 6:19-20.
- Pray that our spiritual authorities will be blameless in their conduct.
The apostle Paul speaking to his son Timothy about the qualities that should be possessed by all who aspire to a leadership position gives a number of characteristics that I consider to be a good prayer for our future authorities and even those who are already established. So let’s pray for them according to 1 Timothy 3:1-16.
There are so many reasons to pray for our spiritual authorities that we cannot list them all in this article. As important as it is to have spiritual leaders for the direction of God’s work, we must realize that having more is not enough. So also ask God for leaders after His heart, whose service reflects His priorities, for the future of His work depends on it.