Updated: Feb 15
Just about every minister will tell you that ministry is indeed a fight. The New Testament repeatedly tells us as much - including where Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12 to "Fight the good fight of faith".
What the Bible never tells us to do is fight that fight alone.
Think of it this way... a soldier would never purposely go into battle alone. Why? Because they know that choosing to do so is most likely a death sentence! It is however, a VERY different story when that same soldier approaches the battlefield with a large and powerful army!
Are you fighting without an army?
And since our fight "...is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12), your army needs to be a prayer army.
Unfortunately, many pastors jump into the battlefield isolated and by themselves; later wondering why they have been taking such heavy enemy fire and seeing casualties in their life and ministry. Trust me, a constant lack of prayer will result in pain and loss in this physical world. (We cover more of the "physical world" side of isolation and the troubles that come with it - in this article: How Pastors/Leaders Can Stop Cultivating Problems).
Are you reading this so far and thinking, "I am not alone in this fight. I have my church behind me."?
Pastor, your church is often THE battlefield.
Are you reading this thinking, "I am not alone in this fight. I have my family behind me."? There COULD be truth to that statement.
Just about every military does have small groups of highly trained soldiers that do go to battle together on their own at times. We often call these groups Special Forces. Again, they are HIGHLY trained. Their battle missions are usually very exact and very covert. In fact, the covertness of their missions is one of the few things that allows these small sized forces to be largely effective. These soldiers are not foolish... they know that they would most likely lose horribly in open combat against the full forces of their enemy.
So, if everyone in your family is a highly trained prayer warrior and has voluntarily signed on as a member of your "special forces prayer unit", great! But is that really the case? For most of the pastors that I have met, their family being a "special forces prayer unit" isn't the case. For some pastors, their family members aren't even general foot soldiers. In fact, some of them act and feel more like a POW who is trapped in the back of the pastor's tank and just wants to somehow end up at the mall.
But what your family is that special unit... is that your whole army? Keep in mind that you and your family are not covert to the enemy, and he will bring his full forces against you.
Therefore, you still need more! You need a large prayer army to fight with you and for you. This is why this article is mandatory pre-reading for all of the pastors who patriciate in Grats Transformational Ministry Coaching. Whether that is why you are reading this article or not, I ask you to begin this process of building a prayer army - from people outside of your church and immediate family. Ask them to commit to praying for you, your family, and your ministry every day for 1 year! Focus on the initial goal of building your prayer army to 10 people and then keep growing and growing your prayer army from there!
You can do this! You need to do this! Start with 10!
PS - It is really helpful to your prayer team members (and helpful in maintaining your prayer team) to send them an email each week updating them on your specific prayer needs!