By Christopher Ash

How to Pray for Your Pastor During Lockdown

If you pray for your pastor, as I hope you do, how will you pray for him during this coronavirus lockdown?

Of course, this global lockdown affects us all differently. We live under widely varying regulations in different countries or even in different counties within the same country. But there are some things you can pray for your pastor—regardless of his circumstance.

Consider these five ways to pray for your pastor.

1. Pray for him to entrust his flock to the Chief Shepherd.

Any pastor worth his salt cares deeply for the men and women under his leadership. He loves them, he watches over their souls (Hebrews 13:17), and he longs to lead them into maturity in Christ, laboring with all the energy that Christ so powerfully works within him (Colossians 1:28, 29). It is therefore deeply—deeply!—frustrating not to be able to visit them, hold their hands, pray with them in person, sit with them, and listen to their hopes and fears.

Oh, sure, the ubiquitous Zoom means he can speak to and “see” most of them, unless they cannot manage the technology. But video calls are tiring for all parties and, at the very best, second-best. There really is no substitute for face-to-face, person-to-person proximity. All the more important, therefore, for your pastor to remember that he is an under-shepherd and that the pastoring is both ultimately and presently being done by Jesus the Chief Shepherd. Pray that he will be given grace to entrust his people to the Chief Shepherd when he keenly feels this frustration.

2. Pray for him to bear up under the shadow of death.

Pastors often feel the shadow of death more keenly than others. They sit with the dying, they weep with the bereaved, they conduct funerals, and they visit the grieving for weeks afterward. For most of us, death is an occasional visitor; for pastors, it’s a familiar intruder.

These days, funerals are small, as the nearest and dearest are self-isolating and not allowed to attend. Gone are larger funerals, where mourners cheer and encourage one another as they grieve together. Pray for your pastor, that more than ever he will be deeply convinced that Jesus offers life and immortality to all who come to him in faith.

3. Pray for your pastor to sleep and take a day off.

Working from home makes it harder than ever to draw healthy boundaries between the day’s work and the night’s sleep, between the six days of work and the one day of rest. Work is everywhere. It shouts at you from your laptop, your tablet, your iPhone. It comes into the bedroom. Under normal conditions, you might spend your day off outside, or even a coffee shop. Not now.

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