What do you feel after you put yourself out there to minister to others? Many people struggle with self-doubt or self-criticism.
Pastors may wonder if they preached a good sermon. Small group leaders may question their effectiveness. Counselors and caregivers might feel unsure they said the right thing. Anyone who serves others is likely to ask: “Did I make a difference?”
One pastor was so stressed, depleted, and discouraged he was ready to quit until he found this prayer for pastors and prayed it over and over.
In order to feel adequate in our ministry to others, most of us try too hard. We rely more on our own wisdom and strength than on the Holy Spirit. We try to please people and base our identity on what they think of us. What exhaustion and distress this causes us. It may leave us disconnected from God and his Kingdom. We may burnout.
You can avoid stress overload. You can beat burnout. There is a life-giving way of going about ministry.
Jesus taught us to cultivate a continuous secret prayer life with the Father and to consider God’s affirmation as the only reward we need (Matthew 6:4,6,18). He said, “Abide in me and you will bear much fruit” (John 15:5).
An important way to abide in Jesus is to meditate on Scripture before you teach, counsel, or serve others in order to get your mindset right.
This prayer is to strengthen you in your ministry of preaching, leading, teaching, counseling, soul friendship, or serving in another way. It’s a medley of Scriptures to prevent stress overload and beat burnout. Renewing our minds in this prayer trains and empowers us to minister to others out of our abiding in Christ. God’s Word to us as pastors and ministry leaders will not fail!
The Smile of the Father: A Prayer for Pastors
The smile of the Father shines on me – I am approved of; [i]
I have the mind of Christ – I have important things to say; [ii]
Upon me is the anointing of the Holy Spirit – I am empowered. [iii]
Jesus is my Lord and Savior and I dwell in his Kingdom of the Heavens; [iv]
He is my Teacher and I am his beloved apprentice, – [v]
I urge people to join me and be with Jesus to become like him. [vi]
The Word of God is alive and active and it dwells richly in me; [vii]
And the Holy Spirit reminds me of Jesus’ words of truth and grace, – [viii]
So I can minister the Word of life to others and it will not return void. [ix]
The Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in me; [x]
So I do not speak with human wisdom or worldly excitement, [xi]
Or rely on my own strength – I count on the power of Almighty God.[xii]
As I teach I listen to the voice of God and invite others to listen too; [xiii]
As I serve I join the intercessions of the Holy Spirit, [xiv]
Praying that we all cry out with the Spirit, “Abba Father! Jesus is Lord!” [xv]
The Lord is glorious in all things and captivates me continually;
So I do not draw attention to myself, but to Jesus Christ alone;
Nor do I base my identity on what people say about me.
My citizenship is in heaven’s kingdom; [xvii]
My message is simply: “Follow me as I follow Christ!” [xviii]
These are the sources of the promises and affirmations from the Bible to bless pastors:
[i] Psalm 21:1, 80:3, 7, 19, MSG
[ii] 1 Corinthians 2:16
[iii] 1 John 2:20, 27
[iv] Matthew 4:17
[v] John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20
[vi] Matthew 4:19
[vii] Hebrews 4:16, Colossians 3:16
[viii] John 1:14, 14:26
[ix] Philippians 2:16, 1 John 1:1, Isaiah 55:11, KJV
[x] Romans 8:11
[xi] 1 Corinthians 1:17, 2:13
[xii] Zechariah 4:6
[xiii] John 10:3, 27
[xiv] Romans 8:26-27
[xv] Galatians 4:6, 1 Corinthians 12:3
[xvi] 2 Corinthians 5:20
[xvii] Philippians 3:20
[xviii] 1 Corinthians 11:1
Listen to this week’s SoulTalk: Most of us in ministry can be tempted to try too hard. We tend to put too much time, worry, and stress into making people happy. This can get exhausting and turn into burn-out! Join Bill and Kristi as they share a blessing of prayer and affirmation for leaders and share their journey of fully depending on the Lord in ministry.