The Rev. Steve Wood in South Carolina has had a series of “guest bloggers’ recently at his blog Treading Grain. Yesterday the guest blogger was ACNA bishop +John Guernsey, with a fantastic post on the importance of prayer warriors and intercessory prayer, especially for clergy.
Here’s an excerpt, but please read it all!
We are engaged in a spiritual battle and our adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Clergy experience attacks:
Attacks on finances
Attacks on health
Attacks on marriage and family.
Attacks of fear and doubt.
Clergy need prayer. Yes, we must be people of prayer ourselves. That is vital. But we also urgently need the prayers of others. As leaders, we need to view prayer cover the way the infantry views air cover. We have to fight the battle on the ground, to be sure, but we’d be foolish to try it without that canopy of covering in the heavenlies.
For too many years, I failed to grasp how important intercessory prayer cover is for my ministry, for my family, for me. But I have repented and I’ve become very intentional about recruiting and encouraging those who faithfully and sacrificially pray and fast for me, for my family and for my ministry.
Such prayer support is not just for clergy. In the parish I served as rector, we would urge everyone who took on a ministry or leadership responsibility to seek out personal intercessors who will commit to pray for them and support them in their ministry as a member of the Vestry or as a Sunday School teacher or as a short-term missionary or youth group leader—whatever their role. It really is OK to ask people to make an intentional commitment to intercede for you.