+John Guernsey: The importance of prayer warriors

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.

The full text is here.


5 Responses to +John Guernsey: The importance of prayer warriors

  1. Member of St. Helena's, Beaufort says:

    Thank you for your post on the Importance of Prayer Warriors and intercessory prayers for clergy. It seems most important to name clergy and our Bishop by name in The Prayers of the People each Sunday rather than skipping the “especially…”. I assume that naming has been omitted in some Sunday worship services to save time – a shame. What a waste of an opportunity the congregation has to join as one body for the support of our own shepherds. Our clergy are asked to pray for so many, what a joy it must be when they hear their name being lifted to God in prayer by their flock. Many years ago, when I was twenty-something year young mother, a Bishop of GA “told” me to pray for him and he would pray for me. I did and continued to name him in my prayers for forty years until I learned of his death, a week or so after he left this world.

    At our Parish Church, we have teams of active Prayer Warriors. If you are shy about asking your own congregation, just email your names and any special request (or none) and be assured that intercessory on your behalf will be offered in the name of Jesus Christ.

  2. Sharon says:


    The Lord has been dealing with me for years about a prayer ministry. It was mentioned to my pastor, but he brushed it off with excuses. The desire is so deep now I have no idea what to do. I have been standing in the gap for my church personally. I have been reluctant about approaching him again. Please pray that the Lord would give me the right words to say and he would be opened to give it a try. The problem is…the church is stuck in tradition. I have been seeking God at a higher level and He has placed in my heart a passion for prayer and healing. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  3. Hi Sharon,
    with your permission, I could put you in touch with several of the intercessors who are involved with Lent & Beyond. They may be able to encourage you and give you some direction.

    My experience is that if the Lord begins to put a burden for prayer on our hearts and call us to prayer, He will guide us in how to be faithful to that call, even if it takes some time for the call to mature and develop.

    I’m so glad you found this post helpful. May the Lord strengthen and encourage your heart.

    Karen B. (Lent & Beyond administrator)

  4. Dear Sharon, The thing that helps me most in my prayer life is listening while I am reading the daily lessons from the lectionary. Often verses will “jump out” at me and I recognize that God is trying to say something to me. My prayer is a response to that and it becomes a conversation with Him in charge. I also find reading the Psalms each day very helpful. They bring an often brutal honesty to their prayers. I find that God values that honesty.

  5. Jill Woodliff says:

    Sharon, tell a friend about this call from God and invite her to pray with you. Then the two of you can lift up whatever God places in your hearts. If you are simply obedient to the call, God will open the doors He wants open and close the doors He wants closed. Some of my most potent times of prayer are in an ecumenical women’s group that has been meeting weekly in a home for decades.

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