Pray for Your Pastor: 8 Prayers for Pastor Appreciation Day

Today is Pastor Appreciation Day, a special reminder to encourage and pray for your pastor. We’ve pulled together eight prayers from Scripture and respected pastors to guide your intercession. Feel free to use them as-is, drop in your pastor’s name, or adapt them to fit your context.

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Guide our ministers with your Holy Spirit

We ask you, most dear Father and Savior, for all such as you have appointed ministers unto your faithful people, and unto whom you have committed the charge of souls, and the ministry of your holy gospel, that it would please you to so guide them with your Holy Spirit that they may be found faithful and zealous of your glory. May they always direct their whole studies unto this end, that the poor sheep that are gone astray out of the flock may be sought out, and brought again unto the Lord Jesus, who is the chief Shepherd, to the intent they may from day to day grow and increase in him unto all righteousness and holiness. And we ask that it would please you to deliver all the churches from the danger of ravening wolves, and from hirelings, who seek their own ambition and profit, and not the setting forth of your glory only, and the safeguard of your flock.1

—John Knox

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Philippians 1:9–11

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. 

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A prayer for those to be ordained

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, in your divine providence you have appointed various orders in your Church: Give your grace, we humbly pray, to all who are [now] called to any office and ministry for your people; and so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great Name and for the benefit of your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.2

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A prayer for preparing a sermon

Blessed God! You gave me a rational soul, and I depend on you entirely to empower every capacity you have given me.

I am not sufficient in myself; all my sufficiency is of you.

Now I enter this important work, and I want to be aware of my need for your gracious assistance. Keep me focused on the work ahead of me, I beg you. Do not let any vain or intruding thoughts break in or hinder me. Direct my mind to proper thoughts, and to the best way of arranging and expressing them.

Fire my heart with holy affection, that divine thoughts still warm from my own soul may more easily penetrate into the hearts of those who hear me.

Help me remember that I am not speaking to gain a reputation for eloquence, but that I am preparing food for precious and immortal souls, dispensing that sacred gospel which my Redeemer brought from heaven and sealed with his blood.

So direct me to make this sermon most useful for Christian edification. And grant me refreshment as I study, that it may be one of the most joy-filled tasks of my life. While I am watering others, may I be watered myself also, and bring forth daily more and more fruit, to the glory of your great name, through Jesus Christ. Amen.3

—Philip Doddridge

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2 Corinthians 1:3–7

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. 

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A prayer for dependence on the Spirit

Lord, may I be more and more under the rich influences and glorious outpourings of the Spirit, that I may be an able minister of the new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit.

I pray that you may always find an everlasting spring and an overflowing fountain within me, which may always make me faithful, constant, and abundant in your work.

May I live daily under those inward teachings of the Spirit that enable me to speak from the heart to the heart, from the conscience to the conscience, and from experience to experience. Let me be a burning and a shining light.

I pray that everlasting arms may be always under me, that while I live, I may be useful for your glory and your people’s good, and that no discouragements may keep me from my work.

And when my work is done, help me to give up my account with joy, not with grief. Amen.4

—Thomas Brooks

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Grant that your preachers may be endued with your power

Grant, Almighty God, that as you would have us to be ruled by the preaching of your Word—O grant that those who have to discharge this office may be really endued with your celestial power, that they may not attempt anything of themselves, but with all devotedness spend all their labors for you and for our benefit, that through them we may be thus edified, so that you may ever dwell among us, and that we through our whole life may become the habitation of your Majesty, and that finally we may come to your heavenly sanctuary, where you daily invite us, as an entrance there has been once for all opened to us by the blood of your only begotten Son. Amen.5

—John Calvin

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Psalm 63:1–8

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; 

my soul thirsts for you; 

my flesh faints for you, 

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, 

beholding your power and glory. 

Because your steadfast love is better than life, 

my lips will praise you. 

 

So I will bless you as long as I live; 

in your name I will lift up my hands. 

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, 

and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, 

when I remember you upon my bed, 

and meditate on you in the watches of the night; 

for you have been my help, 

and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. 

My soul clings to you; 

your right hand upholds me.

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Send your pastor a quick email today just to say thanks. Today, on Pastor Appreciation Day, don’t let your gratitude be unspoken.

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  1. John Knox Adapted from Knox, Vol. 6: The Works of John Knox, 300.

    Elliot Ritzema, ed., 400 Prayers for Preachers (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012).

  2. The Episcopal Church, The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church (New York: Church Publishing Incorporated, 2007), 256.

  3. Philip Doddridge, “A Prayer for Preparing a Sermon,” in Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans, ed. Robert Elmer (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2019), 140.
  4. Thomas Brooks, “A Prayer for Dependence on the Spirit,” in Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans, ed. Robert Elmer (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2019), 113.

  5. John Calvin Adapted from Calvin and Owen, Vol. 3: Twelve Minor Prophets, 239.

     Elliot Ritzema, ed., 400 Prayers for Preachers (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012).

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