by Vicki Nunn
Do you struggle with your prayer time? Do you find it hard to know what to pray? Do you find that you are praying mostly for yourself or just the people you know?
Prayer and reading the Bible should be a part of our daily routine
Prayer for my Pastor
Dear Heavenly Father,
You know that sometimes I find it hard to pray. Forgive me when I allow busyness or even laziness to keep from spending time with You in prayer
Our pastor works really hard and probably works far too many hours than is good for them. Please encourage them to take time off to rest and to not neglect their health. Please keep them well and healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
For married Pastors: bless their relationships with their partner, children and friends.
For single Pastors: bless their relationships with family and friends.
Encourage them to put aside valuable time for those closest to them and show them if they need to mend bridges and overcome problems in their relationships.
Help my Pastor to meet their financial obligations. Please encourage our congregation to provide stable financial support to our Pastor, above and beyond their requirements, so that we can undertake all ministries without adding financial pressure onto our Pastor.
Show them ways in which they can improve and lighten their workload. In fact, please show me how I can be of service to my Pastor – open my eyes and heart to consider how I can offer my help. Don’t allow me to let laziness or any natural sinful tendencies on my part, discourage me from really contributing to making my Pastor’s life a little easier. I want to help them be the best Pastor they can be, and to do that, they need my help and the help of our congregation.
My Pastor is not a super-hero. Let me be mindful not to set them up on a pedestal but be compassionate and understanding when they make mistakes, because they will likely fail me at some point. Help me to learn to forgive them and to let go of any grudges, resentments or anger that I may experience if a problem arises. If they are married, I pray that you will help me not to expect more from their partner and children than I do other Christians.
Love them Lord, and show me and other church members how to love them too. Perhaps I can encourage others to find ways to show them their love and support. Thank you for them, for their commitment to this church, to our congregation, and to You.
Most of all, please encourage them firmly, but lovingly to prioritise time with You in their busy lives. Help them to recognise if they are neglecting their relationship with You. Bless their bond and connection with You and help them to continue growing more like You every day. Through our church, please help us to find ways to reach out into the community and be a blessing for them.
Prayer for my church
Our Father in Heaven,
Thank you for all of the things you do in my life and the lives of your people. I pray that we may be able to share the blessings that you give us with others in our church and our community.
Day 1: Leadership
I pray for our shepherds and the people you have in leadership. We know that they are there for a reason and a purpose and that You have called them into these positions. We pray for spiritual and physical safety for them and their families, and that their connection with You will grow stronger. Please grow them in compassion and wisdom.
Day 2: Congregation/Unity
Please help our church family to be strong and united. I pray for protection from spiritual forces that would seek to divide us. Help us to be aware when our own pride might stand in the way of that unity, and grow each of us individually so that we may be able to reach out to others within our church, and to love them through You.
Day 3: Church Services and Bible Study Groups
May our leaders be led well by Your Holy Spirit, and that they will be able to breathe the breath of God into the congregation through their words and actions. I pray that our Bible Studies will be an incredible source of strength and spiritual growth, and that our groups and our church family will be unified in its desire to grow more Christ-like.
Day 4: Youth and Children’s Ministries
I pray for the leaders in our youth and children’s ministries, that You will continue to develop and grow them in their walk with You. I pray that many of these younger ones will be inspired and encouraged to want to know You, because of the example set by these leaders. Help these groups to grow not just in numbers, but develop a hunger in the hearts of these children to want to know you more. We pray for those whose families don’t regularly attend our church, that they may be encouraged to do so through their children and the ministry leaders.
Day 5: Newcomers
Please let newcomers to our church feel warmly welcomed. Encourage them to want to establish a firm foundation within our spiritual family. I pray that each of us will ensure that our welcome is more than lukewarm. Encourage us not to be content to be friendly only with others that are like us, but to reach out to people from all walks of life and be open to them.
Day 6: Sick and/or Elderly Members
I pray for those who are sick, particularly those with long-term illness, pain and physical restrictions, that their faith will remain strong, even during ongoing difficult trials, pain and suffering. Show us how to be Your heart and hands to them and find ways in which we can be a source of encouragement, love, compassion and companionship to those who may not be able to attend church or Bible study.
Day 7: Outreach
Please show us ways in which we can reach out into our community with the love of God. As Jesus spent time with sinners and those who were lost, show us how to open our hearts and minds in compassion towards others, being a light for You in this world, without being judgemental or critical.
Prayer for my country
(Proverbs has some great insight for the leaders in our country, and these daily prayer suggestions are based on many of them.)
Our Father in Heaven,
Thank you for the freedoms that we have in our country. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted for their faith, that the leaders in their country will develop compassion, integrity and wisdom and please create in them, a desire to make their country better for its people, including those who have a different faith to them.
Day 1: Grow decency and purity in their heart
Grow our leaders in decency, sincerity, humility and purity, for it is from the heart that good and noble things arise. Urge them be quick to forgive and slow to anger, swift to correct problems and wisely turn away from sin and selfishness. Let them be leaders who heed counsel, act on wise instruction, and are keen to grow in wisdom, decency, purity and humility.
Be a beacon for our leaders, so that their hearts, minds and souls are stirred to strive towards what is right, and encourage them to search their hearts and minds to ensure that their motives and actions are good and trustworthy.
Day 2: Guard their tongue
Encourage our leaders to speak always with a truthful tongue. Remind them with a guilty conscience if they attempt to twist or distort the truth, and let those who act dishonestly be quickly found out. Let the leaders in our country stand out from many others across the world, and let their words demonstrate a compassionate and caring heart.
Day 3: Steer them towards integrity and guide their goals
We know that wise guidance is necessary for the good of our nation. Encourage our leaders to turn their eyes towards what is good, right and noble. Open their minds and hearts to the truth of Your gospel, and encourage them to fix their minds on what is good and holy.
Help them to set clear and honourable goals for the good of our country and its people, rather than seeking to line their own pockets or to boost their status. Help them to recognise that wealth and celebrity and other worldly aims may promise happiness and fulfilment, but they’re empty and will ultimately leave them devoid of contentment.
Encourage them to stay on the straight and narrow path and not to be tempted to leave the safety of your road, for those who live rightly lean towards justice and are a good guide for those who follow.
Day 4: Encourage them to aim towards gaining wisdom
Let our leaders desire to grow in wisdom and help them to understand that living and guiding wisely can lead to a satisfied life. Let their good judgement and insight be a beacon for those who follow. I pray that You will bring joy to those who delight in wisdom, particularly wisdom found in Your Word. Let those who follow be filled with a desire to light the way for truthfulness, honesty and decency within politics.
Day 5: Grow in compassionate wisdom
Let the wisdom of our leaders bring healing to rifts and problems within our country and to those people who have been harmed. Encourage our leaders to be kind to all who are struggling whether due to limited finances or physical and/or mental or other challenges. Let the kindness of their leadership bring about a change in attitudes and hearts within our communities, and particularly that systems and finances are set up which will benefit those in need.
Day 6: Create a thirst for truth and godly understanding
Cultivate a hunger within our leaders to make our country great and to live in a way that honours You. Help them to turn away from paths that lead away from You. I pray that our political system will change so that it winnows out the dishonourable, indecent and selfish, rather than encouraging those kinds of people into its ranks, which has been the way for many years now.
Bring about a change so that the upright and those who trust in You, will not only find a place within our political system, but also shine Your light to guide others along the right path for leadership in our country.
Day 7: Let our country’s leaders become a shining example
Let our leaders become known for their wisdom and knowledge. May their example encourage other leaders across the world to desire that for themselves. Let us become great, not because of our wealth, but because of our wisdom, compassion, honesty and decency. Encourage others to recognise that their country too can be great, particularly if they live according to God’s instructions and right-living.
Prayer for my persecuted brothers and sister in Christ
God reminds us that we should pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted for their faith:
“Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.”
Proverbs: 31:8 [CEB]
“Remember those imprisoned for their beliefs as if you were their cellmate; and care for any who suffer harsh treatment, as you are all one body.”
Hebrews 13:3 [VOICE]
A note from Vicki Nunn, Editor of SPAG Magazine:
Over 200 million Christians around the world suffer some form of persecution. It’s hard to grasp that this kind of persecution against our brothers and sisters in Christ, is happening, because you and I have such a limited view of our own small, freer world.
Remember, we aren’t helpless or hopeless – we have the incredible power of prayer at our disposal! In fact, I would suggest though that we have a responsibility to do MORE than pray, we have a duty to stand up and demand help for others and to intervene on their behalf, and if possible to care for their physical needs ourselves.
Suggestion for beginning your prayer:
“Eternal Lord, we call on You to honour the promise in Isaiah 25:4-5:
“You stand up for the poor and weak, You comfort and empower them in their distress, giving them safe harbour and cool shade when it’s hot; You shelter them from their oppressors’ blows, as a strong wall holds back the driving rain. You shelter from the relentless heat of the desert. You quiet the clamour of outsiders, ease them to stillness. Like a full, dark cloud relieves the heat, You silence the arrogant song of the violent.”
Let my heart, mind and spirit be opened to the reality of the suffering of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Help me to look upon them with a heart and a spirit of compassion, and open my mind to ways in which I may help them.
Show me my own struggles in light of what is happening to Your children elsewhere, letting me always be mindful of my blessings, especially since so many others have so little. Forgive me for my selfish ways.”
Our Heavenly Father,
Day 1: For those who suffer terrible persecution
Thank you for the freedom that Christians still have in many parts of the world, but we know there are many who are persecuted in their own countries, resulting in physical, emotional and/or psychological harm, or even death. The stress on Your children to endure often daily persecution, must make them feel so very weary, struggling to get through each day, wondering and worrying about their loved ones and friends, or perhaps how they will provide for their families.
We pray for those who are persecuted for their faith, that the leaders in their country will develop compassion, integrity and wisdom and please create in those leaders, a strong desire to make their country better for its people, particularly for those of a different faith to them. Break through those barriers of hatred, and speak to those who have hardened their hearts towards You and your children.
Day 2: Stand up for our brothers and sisters
Dear Lord, we ask You to honour the promises in Isaiah 25:4-5 and help those who are oppressed, whether through persecution or slavery:
“‘You stand up for the poor and weak, You comfort and empower them in their distress, Giving them safe harbour and cool shade when it’s hot; You shelter them from their oppressors’ blows As a strong wall holds back the driving rain. You shelter from the relentless heat of the desert. You quiet the clamour of outsiders, ease them to stillness. Like a full, dark cloud relieves the heat, You silence the arrogant song of the violent.”
Day 3: Heal and strengthen our brothers and sisters
Bring healing to our brothers and sisters who are persecuted for Your name. Strengthen them, and give them wisdom and guidance as they endeavour to live in a country where their faith is treated as hateful. Give them strength to stand up for You when danger arises, and send Your angels to protect them. Reveal to their oppressors, the vision of Your angels so that they are filled with fear and trembling and understand and know without a doubt, that You are real. Continue speaking in dreams and visions to your children, and reveal Yourself to those who would harm them.
Day 4: Bring about a change in attitudes in places of persecution
Where we have seen oppression and persecution, continue working daily in those places in the hearts and minds of the persecutors. Open their hearts and minds to Your presence, to Your incredible power and might, to Your love and compassion and break through those whose stubborn hearts refuse to want to know you. Break through the barriers they put in place, in every single person who seeks to harm Your children. Let those countries which once were known for their heavy oppression of Christians, become places of love and freedom in Your name we pray, and lead the world back towards You.
Day 5: Help us to speak out for the voiceless and the vulnerable
Teach us to honour the requests in Proverbs 31:8 “Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.” [CEB] and in Hebrews 13:3 “Remember those imprisoned for their beliefs as if you were their cellmate; and care for any who suffer harsh treatment, as you are all one body.” [Voice] Help us to join with the voices of others to demand that governments and people of other religions be strongly encouraged to desire to see change for the better for Christians in their country. Let their own countrymen who stand quietly by and allow persecution to happen, at last find a voice so that they too will be encouraged to use their strength for the oppressed.
Day 6: Help us when we are subjected to negative behaviours
Each day, as many of our brothers and sisters in Christ face terrible persecution from those that do not know You, whether due to ignorance, hatred or fear. Sometimes we too may experience poor behaviours from non-believers who see us as a target for their nastiness and negativity. This can impact us, even in the workplace. Please let Your children feel You near to them in those moments, to know the comfort of Your Holy Spirit’s presence, and to grow in our faith so that despite our ongoing struggles, we can trust that we are safe under the protection of Your wings, no matter our circumstances.
Day 7: Show us how to help those who are persecuted for You
Give us wisdom and guidance and show us how we can reach out and make a difference in the lives of those who are persecuted. Answer our prayers we ask, so that their oppressors will come to know Your name. Guide us and show us how and where to write to governments and their leaders who encourage oppression in their country either openly or by their silence and lack of action. Amen
You can find current stories about the struggles of real Christians at Persecution.org http://www.persecution.org/, Open Doors https://www.opendoors.org.au/ and Voice of the Martyrs. https://vom.com.au/blog/
Does prayer work? Do organisations like Persecution.org and Open Doors make a difference? Read some success stories from Persecution.org. Link here. http://www.persecution.org/advocacy/success-stories/
[CEB] Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible
[Voice] The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.