An Easter prayer for pastors

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An Easter prayer for pastors

March 26, 2024 -

Hands folded in prayer over an open Bible. By doidam10/stock.adobe.com

Hands folded in prayer over an open Bible. By doidam10/stock.adobe.com

Hands folded in prayer over an open Bible. By doidam10/stock.adobe.com

It’s “Holy Week.” Holy means different, sacred, set apart. It can also mean “most beautiful.” This is what pastors and churches think of as “The Big Time.” Hopefully you also consider it the “best time” all year.

Easter is the heart of the Christian faith, the pulse of Jesus’ Good News. Pastors are usually excited about the expected larger crowds that bring a burst of spring energy.

At the same time, Easter often brings added stress to the privilege of pastoring. Additional services require more planning and stamina. The desire to put your best foot (I should say sermon) forward as a preacher and as a church feels like a heavy responsibility.

Pastors also try to push away the knowledge that the Sunday after Easter will be one of the least attended all year. Some pastors purposely plan to be off the Sunday following Easter for this reason. I talked to one pastor recently who had no good expectations for Easter Sunday. He said that virtually everyone in his town and church traveled to somewhere else for Easter making it one of the poorest attended services all year. That’s a big bummer.

Even though I am not pastoring a local congregation full time these days, I do have the high honor of leading and preaching two Easter services at a chapel west of Fort Worth this Easter. I say that so you’ll know I’m in it with you.

A reminder we all need

Easter is vital. Paul told the Corinthians, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved” (1 Corinthians 15:1–2, my emphasis). We all need to be regularly reminded by Easter.

I pray you and your people will invite unsaved people to gather with you on Easter. I pray the Spirit of Jesus draws them with or without a specific invitation. Let’s pray they will hear the good news and are saved by grace through faith on this high holy day. How great it is when people believe in Christ for the first time on Resurrection Sunday.

I pray too that many Christians who have drifted from their relationship with Christ will return and will be renewed in their personal adventure with Jesus.

I pray that those who are struggling will receive comfort, that those who are lonely will experience the warmth of fellowship.

I pray that those with healthy faith will overflow even more with gratitude and an infectious faith, hope, and love.

Let’s also pray that God calls out some among us to vocational Christian service.

An Easter prayer for ministry leaders

But right now, I want to pray for you, the pastor who will lead and the ministers who will guide a specific area of ministry.

Lord, thank you for saving us.

Thank you for forgiving us, cleansing us, adopting us, and entrusting us with church leadership.

Lord, give us deep and vibrant conviction about the true reality of your Great News: you died for our sin and rose in victory.

Jesus, equip us with hearts overflowing with your compassion for all we will meet and minister to and with during this holy week.

Spirit of God, blow away fog and confusion and give us clarity about what to say and how.

Lord, energize our creativity and use it for your exaltation.

Save us from ever being boring, confusing, or self-promoting.

Jesus, may your hope, love, and light fill us.

May the wonder, excitement, and awe of that first Easter consume us again this day and every day until we see you face to face.

Amen.

God bless you and all you do for Jesus and his kingdom.

NOTE: If you’d like to hear more about Easter, listen to The Denison Forum Podcast releasing this Thursday, where Dr. Jim Denison and I discuss our most recent thoughts about Jesus, his cross, and his resurrection.

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