Being in leadership is a blessing from the Lord, but with that blessing comes an extra weight of responsibility that at times, asks much of a leader. Not only this, but leaders are charged with leading others towards Christ which means they need prayer to stay on track, to not become discouraged, and to hear the Lord speaking.
Leadership promotes attacks from the enemy and that is why this list has been created so that we can lift our brothers and sisters in leadership up in prayer.
What to Pray for Leaders:
- Pray for Wisdom
- Pray That Leaders do Not Grow Weary in Doing Good
- Pray for humility
- Pray unity and love in the leader’s families
- Pray for trust in God
- Pray for encouragement
- Pray for Godly friendship and connection
- Pray for boldness
- Pray for guidance and direction from the Holy Spirit
- Pray for connection with other leaders and ministries
- Pray for growth
- Pray for the love of God
- Pray for protection from temptation
- Pray for health
- Pray for Unity
- Pray for purity
- Pray for Sincerity
- Pray for abundant blessings
The above list of 18 prayers is not in any specific order and is only a fraction of the things that leaders need prayer for, but let’s dive into each of these and pinpoint specific areas within each of these prayers.
It’s easy fall into a pattern of thinking that leaders are superhumans or super Christians, but in reality, they are human and face the same battles that laypeople do.
People who step into leadership roles set foot into positions of influence, guidance, and more responsibility, and because of this, they can face much opposition from the enemy as well as their own flesh. Not to mention, the load of balancing family, ministry, and everything in between.
Prayer is our most powerful tool as Christians; not only is it our way of speaking with and connecting to our heavenly father, but it is the means by which mountains are moved and lives are changed.
Not only this, but scripture continuously instructs us to pray for one another as well as for those in authority, and this is found in both the old and new testament.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.– 1 Timothy 1:1-4
So this is why we pray. Because the Bible instructs us to and because prayer is powerful and effective, it encourages and uplifts and helps people in impossible circumstances.
So now lets dive into some specific areas that can be prayed for.
1. Pray for Wisdom
In 1 Kings chapter 3, we read of King Solomon asking God for wisdom. He tells God that he is but a child and in need of wisdom to rule the people rightly and to distinguish between right and wrong.
Solomon recognized the need for wisdom to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord and to lead the people in righteousness.
…But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”– 1 Kings 3:7-9
Because of his faithful request for wisdom, God honored him tenfold, giving him more than he asked for, and his kingdom was established and at peace because of this.
Let’s take this principle and apply it to our church leaders, that they would be given much wisdom and a discerning heart to distinguish between right and wrong. Pray that church leaders would be instructed by God on how to carry out their duties in a Godly manner, with wisdom and confidence.
2. Pray That Leaders do Not Grow Weary in Doing Good
As a leader, it can be easy to look at the outside of things and become weary by what seems to be a lack of progress. Building a ministry or working to grow people and the church is a process, and can lead to burnout for many reasons.
Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up.– Galatians 6:9-10
Pray that leaders would remember the original call from God so that they fix their eyes on God and His leading rather than all the things and situations going on around them. Pray that they would be refreshed by the Holy Spirit and that He would give them the strength to press on through the difficulty.
3. Pray for Humility
Since the beginning of time, humility has been an issue for people. Humans often struggle with an internal struggle of staying humble and when given them a platform and a name on top of it, and this increases the difficulty of remaining humble before the Lord.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.– Micah 6:8
Pray for openness to what the Lord and others are saying, pray that leaders would be protected from the schemes of the enemy and that they would offer their hearts to God, daily.
4. Pray for Unity and Love in Leader’s Families
Leadership is demanding and it’s easy to make it your first priority and forget your family. While it seems that it’s for a worthy and Godly cause, thus making it okay to give more time to ministry than family, this is actually not Biblical.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;– Psalm 128:3-4
your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
Pray that first, God and family would come before ministry. Pray that families grow in love and unity as they pursue the Lord together; pray that the leader and their spouse would be of one mind and would pursue God-fearing relationships with submission towards one another.
Pray for the children of leaders that they would see the love of God in their mother and fathers and would seek to know God personally for themselves.
5. Pray for Trust in God
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons I have learned from the Old Testament was through the life of David, who was a God-fearing king that led the people in and to righteousness and humility.
Through the course of David’s life, we see a pattern of Him waiting on the Lord and completely trusting in Him in times of absolute uncertainty and trial. When things seemed as though there was no possible solution or way out, He held true to the word and character of the Lord
Because of his trust in the Lord, David was counted a man after God’s own heart and blessed among the nations forever.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.– Proverbs 3:5-6
With that in mind, pray that leaders would receive a double portion of trust in the Lord. Pray that they would not become discouraged and turn to the right or to the left, but that they would be leaders who pray and wait upon the Lord in the darkest times imaginable.
Pray that they would be able to lead others into this same trust through the example of their own lives and that God would bless them richly in faith in Him.
6. Pray for Encouragement
Pray against discouragement in leaders, everyone experiences discouragement or downheartedness, so it’s important that leaders are lifted up and encouraged by those around them, both in prayer and in words, as well as deeds.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.– Hebrews 10:24-25
Along with that, pray that God would use people within the body of Christ to encourage leaders, but not only what people encourage in passing, but they would seek out ways to encourage local church leaders.
Pray for creative ways of encouragement to be carried out and pray for encouragement that speaks directly to the leader’s heart.
7. Pray for Godly friendship and connection
If you feel as though you’re leading a cause or organization by yourself, it can become very lonely, whether married or not. It’s important that leaders have friends that they can connect with on a deep level.
We were created as relational beings for the purpose of worship and fellowship of and with God, and part of this is a relationship with people. It is crucial for everyone to have a good Godly connection.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.Eccllesiastes 4:9-10
Pray that leaders would form friendships with people who they can connect deeply with and that will sharpen them and help them to grow. Pray also that their friendships would be God-centered and fun.
8. Pray for Boldness
Prayers for boldness is something that can and should always be prayed for as leading others can cause leaders to doubt or in some cases fear what people think and second guess what the Lord is speaking or leading.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”– Joshua 1:9
Pray that Leaders would have the hearts of lions, that they would speak truth and lead as the Lord leads them. Pray that fear would be far removed from them and that every doubt would be washed in the blood of Lamb.
Pray the church leaders would be filled with boldness to seek out opportunities that they would never normally seek.
9. Pray for Guidance and Direction From the Holy Spirit
Leaders are charged with the great responsibility of guiding and leading the people in a direction that leads to deeper walks with God. Along with this, they are the vision casters of the church which means they set forth the goals and things that they aim to achieve. This is a big task that requires the wisdom and guidance of God, not just our human intellect.
For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.– Proverbs 11:14
Pray that leaders would be led by the Holy Spirit that they would know where He is leading and guiding leaders and the body. Pray that leaders would have wisdom to follow the path that God sets forth and that the path itself would be clear to them to follow.
10. Pray for Connection With Other Leaders and Ministries
Throughout the Old and New Testament, you’ll find that God clearly brings people together and creates connections that glorify His name and this is one of my favorite aspects of the church. You can be in America in a small town yet have connections through a local church across the world in Mozambique, Nepal, or Malaysia, God just loves connecting and unifying the body of Christ.
These connections work as a partnership in furthering the Kingdom of God and reaching the lost for the glory of God and this is why we should pray that local leaders form connections with other ministries and leaders, whether they are Christians or not.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.Philippians 1:3-5
Pray that leaders would have divine appointments from God with others, just as God brought the Ethiopian Eunuch and Philip together. Pray that there would be partnership and connection between ministries across the world and also pray that God would provide connections with local government leaders and others in places of influence.
11. Pray for Growth
For anyone, there is a danger of getting comfortable at the place you have reached, but the Christian life is one of constant growth and going deeper with God.
Additionally, leaders can only lead to the depth they have in their own lives, so these are very important things for both leaders and laypeople.
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God…Hebrews 6:1
Pray for leaders to be taken deeper and deeper each day in their walks with the Lord. Pray that God would take them to new depths in Him and that they would be bold in asking difficult questions of the Lord.
Pray for growth in skills, talents, and leadership. That God would give them a supernatural understanding of leading others rightly and boldly.
12. Pray for the Love of God in Leaders Lives
Love is the very purpose the church does what the church does because God loves us so deeply, we are given identity and purpose and are commission to spread that love to the world.
Therefore we need to be diligent in pursuing and showing love for our leaders while also praying on behalf of them that they would understand the love of God on a deep, deep, level in their own lives.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Pray that leaders would be surrounded by the Love of God, that those who struggle with believing in God’s love for them would receive a revelation of God’s everlasting love. Pray that lies of rejection and condemnation would be shattered in the love of God.
Pray that leaders would grow in God’s love and would love their families as well as the church the way Jesus does.
13. Pray for Protection from Temptation
Temptation is something that every soul on the planet faces and since this is the case we need to earnestly pray that our leaders focus on other things apart from combatting temptation.
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.– Luke 22:39-40
Pray that local leadership would recognize temptation and be empowered to combat it in the Holy Spirit. Pray that leaders would have the strength of Joseph to take drastic measures to avoid temptation.
Pray that God would give a supernatural grace for leaders, that they would be protected from the lusts of the flesh and able to easily from it and look to God instead.
Pray that instead of temptation, leaders would be filled with a deep hunger and thirst for righteousness.
14. Pray for Health
Health issues are a pretty straightforward prayer request, nobody should have to face sickness in the body. So pray over local leaders health.
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.3 John 1:2
Pray that leaders would be protected from both minor and major illness, pray instead that there would be lasting health in their bodies. Pray for energy and physical strength to enjoy activities of all kinds as well as to press on in ministry and carry out goals and tasks efficiently.
15. Pray for Unity
Unity seems to be a big topic in leadership and the church as a whole; when you have multiple people in a room with different methods of approaching tasks, issues, and goals, it can get messy fast.
Not only is there the human element but there is also the spiritual side to things. The enemy loves to stir people up against each other and cause dissension and disunity, this is why it is so important to lift leaders up in prayer that they do not fall into this trap.
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.1 Corinthians 1:10
Pray that leaders w0uld submit to one another in humility and that they would love each other well as 1 Corinthians 13 teaches. Pray that leaders would seek the Lord in their own personal time so that they have a heart of respect and humility to walk in unity.
Pray that leadership teams would be strong, tight-knit, and unified. That God would bring leaders together in love and friendship and respect.
16. Pray for Purity
Sexual sin in the church is no small issue, and the number of churchgoers that watch porn on a daily basis is staggering, and pastors and leaders are not exempt from this massive issue.
To put it into perspective, here are some statistics from Barna Group: 68% of church-going men and over 50% of pastors view porn on a regular basis. Of young Christian adults 18-24 years old, 76% actively search for porn.
No one is exempt from facing sexual sin, it has been an issue from almost the beginning of time and it is a serious issue in the eye of God and causes many leaders to stumble, therefore we should fervently seek the Lord for our leaders as well as our church concerning this issue.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God…1 Thessalonians 4:3-6
Pray that leaders would seek out accountability in sexual purity, pray leaders would not shrink from speaking about sexual purity and that they would not be ashamed about it. For those who are stuck in sexual sin, pray for courage to confess and get help and counseling.
Pray that no stumbling blocks or temptations in sexual sin be placed in their paths and also pray that leaders would be vigilant and on guard against this issue.
17. Pray for Sincerity
Being in ministry can easily turn into a job like any good thing we consistently do. We can quickly become dead to the reason and we are doing what we do and work for wrong gain and all-around wrong reasoning.
And it should be noted that the society we live in here in the US is a deeply consumeristic one, and this has leaked into the church. This leads us to praying over those who face the temptation of desensitization and wrongful pursuit in ministry.
For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.1 Corinthians 1:17
Pray that leaders would not sell out or turn their ministry into a means of gaining profit and filling pews. Pray that leaders would work hard to speak truth and nothing else.
Pray that consumerism would not lead those in leadership to close their mouths when they ought to speak or vice versa. Pray for sincerity in motives and actions, that leaders would not preach one thing while doing another. Pray that their steps would be guarded against this and that they would walk with authenticity before God and man.
18. Pray that God Would Bless Leaders
The last prayer on this list is one of blessing. Leaders work so diligently for the church’s benefit and thus deserve to be greatly blessed for their labor.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”2 orinthians 9:8-9
Pray that leaders have an abundance in all that they do, that whatever they ask would be given tenfold. Pray for financial provision and blessings and grace in all that they set their hands to do.
Pray that they would see the fruit of their labor and would be given an increase in wisdom, talents, friends, family and all that God has given them.