This month is Pastor Appreciation Month. Some people have issues with this because they believe that we should be showing appreciation for, and praying for, our pastors throughout the year. I agree with that. However, I see this month as a reminder of exactly that. By having a specific month and day (Oct. 11th) for this, we are reminded that we do need to be showing those pastors and spiritual leaders that they are appreciated, and we need to be praying for them.
Today, we had this opportunity in Church. Our youth leaders/teachers banded together to arrange gifts and pictures and posters and prayers to show our pastor that he truly is appreciated and loved and that we are incredibly blessed to have him in our family.
Of course, the best part, was we kept it a secret from him. The kids even loved that when I told them today what we were doing. My group of K-2nd graders were so wonderful in wanting to do something special for our pastor. They all expressed how wonderful he is. They all worked together to help color pictures and make posters for him. And they were excited to be able to share their gifts with him. And they were so well behaved as we prayed, as a church, for him and his family. (Yes, I really love my Sunday School class!)
Anyway, regarding prayer... please please please pray for your pastors and spiritual leaders. Not just today. Not just next Sunday. Not just this month. Not just on Sundays. Pray every day for them. And pray for their families. Their spouses share them with you. Their children share them with you. They are on call 24/7, and constantly pray for you and care for you. God called them to shepherd His flock... let's try to help make that job a little easier.
Here's a few things to make sure you remember to include in your prayers regarding your pastor:
Wisdom to preach God's Word faithfully
Integrity and strong character to lead others on the right path
Strength and courage to face all challences
Comfort and peace when they're feeling discouraged
Pray for their spouse as he/she stands beside him/her in ministry. Strengthen the spouse to face the trials of having a pastor as a spouse.
Pray for their marriage, asking God to keep it strong and to help them through any marital issue they may face.
Pray for their children, that God provide them with love, stability, guidance, and as strong a faith as their parents.
Pray for his/her ministry, providing guidance to preach God's Word wisely.
Pray for all the relationships within the church, that they are strong and working together for the betterment of the Church and all its people.
Pray that your pastor and the pastor's family are blessed with friends who will encourage them in their ministry, and can provide meaningful fellowship and rest.
Pray that they have the financial stability needed to raise a healthy family.
Pray they are protected from hurt caused by negative attitudes they may encounter such as criticism, discouragement, worry and stress. Pray they are healed of any hurts.
Pray they get time to rest and relax and renew their faith and energy.
I may have missed a few things... please comment if you can think of anything else our pastors need our prayers for.
And to all those I have been blessed to be able to call Pastor - Thank you. You are appreciated. You are loved.