An Unlikely Subject of Prayer- Shades of Grace | Natalie Nichols

An Unlikely Subject of Prayer

An Unlikely Subject of Prayer

Each Thursday we are praying in concert for spiritual awakening in America. (Click here to join the Concert of Prayer) The person the Holy Spirit led me to pray for today may seem quite unlikely. In the Concert of Prayer, we have prayed for different people in leadership positions, from government leaders to pastors. But the person who is the topic of today’s call to prayer is rarely singly remembered in prayer.

Last weekend my mother and I spoke at a women’s retreat in the San Antonio, Texas area. Before mom began sharing her testimony, she first took a moment to exhort the women to pray.

“I urge you to pray for your pastor’s wife,” she said. “Being a pastor’s wife is one of the most difficult and lonely positions in life. I know. I’ve been there.  If you spend more time with one woman in the church than another, then jealousy is a risk. In addition, a pastor’s wife has no friends – not like you and I have. She can’t speak to someone candidly about what goes on in her home. You and I might have at least one friend to whom we confide about our husbands, but a pastor’s wife can talk to no one. Not even about the little things that might be frustrations, like a husband leaving dirty clothes on the floor. You and I can vent to someone about the little and big things in our family, but a pastor’s wife has no one. Being a pastor’s wife is one of the loneliest jobs on earth.”

In the ten years mom and I have been ministering together, I don’t recall ever hearing her ask the women to pray for their pastor’s wife. This was rare…and stimulated me to much prayer and thought on the subject.

As I have been praying about today’s topic of prayer, the Holy Spirit clearly led me to call you to prayer for your pastor’s wife. I don’t think I’ve ever heard prayer requested for a pastor’s wife alone. Often she is included in a blanket prayer for the pastor and his family, but rarely is a day like this set aside in prayer for just her.

What does this have to do with spiritual awakening you might ask? Everything. The Church in America is lukewarm, in need of revival. Awakening and repentance must begin here, in the Church. Pastors are the leaders on the front lines. They are spiritual shepherd of the flock in need of awakening. Yet Pastors are charged with leading a body of believers:

  • who often disagree
  • in which only a small percentage are truly hungry to go deeper with God
  • in which some are constantly maneuvering and manipulating for a level of control
  • where some, unwittingly and unintentionally, have let the enemy work through them to discourage the pastor, whether through direct criticism, accusations, an obsessing with church politics rather than the kingdom of God, etc.

In addition to the countless reasons for discouragement, the pastor has constant demands on his time. It is often difficult for a pastor to have the kind of time he’d prefer for prayer and study, especially in smaller churches where there aren’t  multiple pastors on staff. Visiting the sick, counseling, discipling, church activities…his time is scheduled many times over.  On top of that, he and his family are prime targets in spiritual warfare. Being a pastor is not an easy job. Challenges abound. Discouragement comes easy. He needs a listening ear…constantly.  Yes the Spirit ministers to him, but just as God ministers to you and me through members of the body of Christ,  your pastor needs a tangible listening ear too.

To whom does your pastor turn for encouragement? To whom does he turn for advice? When he is discouraged about the slow spiritual progression of the church, who is at his side to hear and offer words of encouragement? When he is frustrated over lack of funding impeding church outreaches, who is first on the scene to share words filled with hope…and frugal outreach ideas?

I’ve lived in a pastor’s home. I know this to be the case. Pastors do receive encouragement from their personal time with God, but just like He speaks to you and me and encourages us through our godly friends and prayer partners, God speaks to pastors, lifts them up, encourages them and gives them ideas through a godly person too – their wives.

There is an inside one-liner shared among most pastors and their families. It is spoken in jest, if only to hide the sad reality of it: “The pastor resigns every Monday.” It isn’t heartless; it’s human. I’m sure the frustrations of your job make you want to resign at least once a week too, but you continue because it’s where God has placed you. Growing weary now and then is part of life. I guess I just want you to realize that your pastor is not immune…and that his wife is his Encourager in Chief!

In addition, she is often over worked by tasks at church. She is stretched thin by being wife, mother, grandmother, church worker and administrator. Many pastor’s wives are also home schooling children in addition, all while keeping church programs on task.

There is a verse in Proverbs 31 that describes this invaluable role of pastor’s wife. As you know, Proverbs 31 is the chapter that speaks about the virtuous woman.

“She looketh well to her household.” (v.27)

The word translated “looketh” is used 20 times in the Bible as “watchman.” The virtuous woman is a watchman for her home and the affairs of her household. Your pastor’s wife is charged with watching over your pastor. Please do not misunderstand me. The pastor’s wife is not the head of her home. She is under her husband’s spiritual authority. Yet God has entrusted her with watching over her husband like every godly wife watches over her home and her family.

The pastor’s wife is privy to her husband’s most private moments, discouragements and challenges.  She is charged not with ruling over him, or leading the home, but with praying for him in specific ways, with speaking Spirit-filled, Scripture-filled words to him in truth and hope.

Today. She needs your prayer. She needs you to be a spiritual watchman over her.

Pray that God will:

  • encourage her
  • give her a respite and refresh her spiritually, mentally and physically
  • multiply her time
  • strengthen her
  • give her wisdom as she prays for your pastor
  • fill her mouth with Scripture and Life as she encourages your pastor
  • send skilled, discerning workers to lighten her load at church
  • enable her to pull aside for prayer and Bible study even when it seems there is no time
  • speak to her and show her new things in His Word
  • give her supernatural grace and forgiveness regarding divisions and hurtful situations at church

Question: In addition to praying for your pastor’s wife, what can you do to make her feel special and appreciated?


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