“Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.” (Hebrews 13:18–19, AV)
My wife is a prayer warrior who faithfully prays every day. I am convinced that her prayers were vital for my time in pastoral ministry. I am not sure why many do not have the same passion for prayer. Perhaps we do not understand how important it is. Often, we have the misconception that we make things happen on our own. Whether it be an oversight, laziness, poor priorities, or a host of other things, prayerlessness speaks of our lack of faith. For if we understood the omnipotence and omniscience of God, and that He wants to hear from us and fulfill His purposes in and through us, we would not hesitate to bring our prayers to Him.
This is so vital in the work of ministry. Jesus told His disciples that apart from Him, they could do nothing (John 15:5). Here, the author of Hebrews asks for prayer for himself and others who apparently were with him. He believes that they are serving the Lord with a clear conscience in regards their work, life and teaching. He asks for prayer in being “honest” in all things. The word translated “honest,” kalos, refers to being beautiful, excellent, well, commendable, etc. the author wanted his Jewish Christian audience to pray for him and the others that they would be commendable in everything they do.
He further goes on to request more fervent prayer from his readers so that he may be restored to them sooner. This request tells us little about the situation which has in some way restrained the author from being restored to his Jewish Christian community. Yet, it tells us much about the heart of the author. He was a community leader that loved his people and desired to return to them personally. Writing to them was great, but seeing them in person was better.
It happens in ministry that sometimes pastors are separated from their people. It can be due to travel, illness or a variety of other things. Every pastor should miss seeing his flock during the week and look forward to seeing them again at the weekly worship time. The desire of the faithful and loving pastor is to be with his people. His love for the people in his care should prompt the congregation’s return of loving prayer for him. He needs this prayer and desires it.
Pray for your pastors. They need it. Pray that they can do all things in an honorable and praiseworthy fashion. They are not supermen. They are people just like you who have been given a high calling. They struggle with weaknesses and temptations just like you. They care about you and need your prayers.