Book: The Deliberate Church, by Mark Dever – chapter 1 “The Four P’s” (part 2)

The second P is for praying.  The second duty of the pastor, next to preaching is praying.  Dever suggests we pray (1) Scripture prayers (like Paul’s for example), (2) for faithful, accurate, and clear preaching of the gospel, (3) for spiritual maturity and growth for the congregation, (4) for sinners to be converted, and (5) for opportunities for personal evangelism for yourself and your church members (35-36).

Pastors should pray for their congregation’s members by name, working through the list of members by praying 1/30 of them a day (so that at the end of the month you pray for all).  That’s a good idea.  Dever suggests you pray a Scriptural prayer for them and one or two things that you know that they are going through at that moment in their walk with Christ.  That’s a rebuke to me, because often times my prayers get impersonal and general, which can be good, but should be mixed with personal specifications for the person prayed for.  This demands that the pastor get to know the sheep in his flock so that he can pray for them more particularly.  What a challenge!  This brings up a host of potential questions to get to know and serve the church.  Questions like: (1) Is there anything heavy on your shoulders lately? (2) What challenges are you facing this week?  (3) How are your most important relationships doing?  (4) What can I do to help your walk with God?  (5) Who has God been placing on your heart to serve (believer or unbeliever)?  (6) What are the sins that are most alluring and attractive as of late?  (7) What temptations are you facing?  How are you handling them?  How precious has the cross of Christ been in light of your recent trials and temptations?  Questions like these should give the pastor a good idea of what he could be asking God to do to glorify himself in the lives of the members.

Think tank question #2: What 3 Bible passages will you memorize for the purpose of praying for your church?  PJ’s answer: Colossians 1:9-12; 3 John 4 along with John 17:17; and Jude 24.


About pjtibayan

P. J. loves Jesus Christ and lives to share life and share Jesus together with Bethany Baptist Church of Bellflower primarily to Southeast Los Angeles County. P. J. has been pastoring since 2002 and earned a doctorate in biblical theology from Southern Seminary (D.Min.). He blogs regularly at
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