Brethren, pray for us. (1 Thessalonians 5:25)
There is no greater assistance towards the godliness of a pastor than the prayers of his congregation. Where there is no prayer, the discouragements are of higher degree and the work of God in the souls of men diminishes. There are times within the ministry that I hear of complaint concerning a church’s pastor. The overwhelming number of these complaints have always centered around personality issues. My answer to that has always been consistent. If you want a new pastor pray for him to become new. The Great Shepherd of the souls of men, in whose hand are the messengers of the churches, oversees His men with greater accountability. It is His joy to transfigure them into His image. Jesus’ glory is to brighten their mirror of reflection so as to only see Christ. The blemishes within every pastor come under the scrutiny of His Word; reproving, rebuking, and admonishing him unto perfection and blamelessness. A church that will not earnestly and fervently pray (both privately and corporately) for their pastor(s) is in danger of tearing down its’ own house. It should be never said of God’s people that they talk more about their pastor with other men than their talking for him at the Throne of His Grace.
As a power for promoting his piety this cannot be overestimated. These prayers are offered public and in private. Often when he little dreams of it they are ascending to the throne. They are very constant from one and another or many of his congregation, and the pastor should seek for them most anxiously. Such supplications cannot be offered up so frequently and so earnestly and yet be in vain. Undoubtedly they are among the effectual fervent prayers of the righteous which avail so much. Though he may not recognize them at the time, they do bring down the power of the Spirit upon him when he is studying, when he is preaching, when he is visiting the sick and in other of the solemn duties of his office. These prayers are deeply important for the piety of the minister and for the prosecution of a work the most solemn that can be committed to the hands of men. (Thomas Murphy, Pastoral Theology, 90)