“Be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Paul ends his focus on the spiritual armour of God with a call to pray in the Spirit on all occasions. He then turns the focus outwards to remind us to keep on praying for others – ‘for all the saints’ – as well.
Some years ago, when a well-known evangelist fell dramatically from grace, a friend of his wrote to apologise to him! He had realised that, in all the years that he had known his friend to be in front-line ministry, he had never once prayed for his protection from temptation and evil. At the other end of the scale are the people who complain about their minister for one reason or another, and also do not pray for him or her.
All of those called into a public Christian ministry need prayer, as they well know – because most of them know the loneliness and the burden of responsibility that goes with it, as well as the strain of being in the public eye in this way for so much of the time. And only they may know the true cost to their families. The pressures that they face are certainly no less than those faced by other men and women and, in some instances, are far greater. And, whether their ministry appears successful or not in terms of worldly measurements, they need to keep their eyes upon the Lord and not be swayed by a sense of pride or despair. They are expected to be the voice and reflection of God at all times and in all places – and heaven help them if they should be short-tempered, preach for too long or too boringly and, generally, not be exciting or available enough. Many also carry within themselves the heartrending ache and the agony for those who just don’t ‘see the light.’
Now of course there are other ‘saints’ who need prayer as well, as both Scripture and our hearts tell us. But today, and regularly in the weeks ahead, pray for your minister/s – for their ministry, for their families, for their personal relationship with God and their spiritual well-being. Pray also for their protection against evil and temptation. Pray that they will be filled with the Holy Spirit in a new and deeper way. Encourage them whenever you can. It’s one of the areas where your prayers for others may result in a blessing to you!
Write their names in your diaries, and pray for them. Send them a card of appreciation.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the ministers that I have or know. Please help me to value them and hold them before you. Amen.