I went to the Southern California Pastors’ Prayer Breakfast at Saddleback Church on Monday morning.
Rick Warren has been hosting this prayer breakfast every Easter Week since 1990. Imagine the Saddleback Church auditorium filled with pastors from all over Southern California praying together. Heads bowed for Easter prayer.
Would you like to join us?
Here is a clip from Rick Warren’s intro, then the 10 prayer topics and the verses that framed the morning, and prayer prompts flavored with some tidbits of pastoral wisdom dropped in by Rick and other Southern California pastors.
A Personal Prayer Experience for Pastors to Prepare for Easter
You can make this prayer experience your own. Take a minute to think about the topic, digest the Bible verses, and use the prayer prompts to spark more prayer.
1. Praise God for who He is
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.
Thank you, God, for your compassion, mercy, loyalty, steadfast goodness, patience, and long-suffering love for us.
2. Thank God for the Privilege of Serving the Body of Christ
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I Peter 5:2
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve.
Father, I’m not going to apologize for serving you. It’s a privilege to serve you in my church. Thank you for giving me the key that unlocks eternity for people – the mystery of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Lord, replenish your church members and remind them that the cost is worth it.
3. Pray about your Personal Growth
2 Peter 1:5-8
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God, I recognize that the moment I stop learning is the moment I stop leading. I know that I’m not the one who makes my church grow; it’s the Holy Spirit who brings growth. But I see that my job is to keep learning and growing because if I’m not growing, I can’t expect to lead your people where I’m not going.
Thank you for the pain I’ve faced from critics. Thank you for not leaving me where I was, but bringing growth in my life through that pain. I know that fruit comes from the root and you are working on the root hidden inside me.
God, I know that you expect me to be faithful, but you want me to be fruitful, too. I see that you want fruitfulness because you cursed the fig tree that didn’t produce fruit. Now God, as I make every effort to add to my maturity so that I won’t be ineffective and unproductive, will you carry on to completion the good work you began in me.
4. Pray for your Family
I Timothy 3:5
If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?
1 Timothy 5:8
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Lord, you know the needs we’re facing in my family. I recognize that some of the problems we face, we’re going to have our entire lives. Hear my requests, again, as I lay them before you now. Show me how to care for, and lead, my family.
Even broken trees bear fruit, Lord. Thank you for working in, and through, my family.
5. Pray for Unity in your Church
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
Father, forgive us for the little cracks, and the big divisions, in my church. I know that you do not overlook a lack of unity, but that you withhold blessing until we are of one accord.
I pray that you would give us harmony. Unity. Peace. Reconciliation. Show me what I should do to bring reconciliation. Please help us be one in Christ.
6. Pray over your Sermon Prep for Easter
1 Corinthians 14:3
But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Lord, I know that preaching is a solemn responsibility. There are people hoping that I will bring the Word in a way that reaches their husbands and grown children this Easter. Please show me exactly what you want me to say in my sermon. Please lead and illumine your Word as I prepare this week. Help me to preach to strengthen, encourage, and comfort.
Father, like in Hebrews 13, I want to be a pastor whose message is worth remembering, whose lifestyle is worth imitating, and whose faith worth considering. Please make me into that leader.
7. Seek Revival in your Church
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
2 Thess 3:1
As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.
Lord, our nation is either going to breakdown or break through. These days look like a golden opportunity for revival, and so we ask you to send revival in our churches, and awakening in our nation. I pray that your message will spread rapidly in my city. That the Spirit would convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. And fill the church with power. I know that revival comes from you, but help us to be ready for it.
8. Thank Jesus for the Cross
And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Thank you for the cross, Lord, for reconciling all things to yourself, and making peace through your shed blood.
9. Praise God for the Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:13-14
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
Thank you, God, that Jesus is alive. I know that if Christ had not been raised, our preaching would be useless and so would our faith.
Thank you for your provision for us. Since Christ rose, I can rise to meet the needs of those around us.
10. Ask for Big Faith in a Mighty God
You do not have because you do not ask God.
Jesus, I believe that according to my faith it will be done unto me and I am willing to believe you for more. I affirm that when God moves, and does a miracle, it’s because somebody believes. You are just waiting.
Lord, forgive me for confusing prominence with significance. I know there are no small churches in your view. Help us to take the best care of the precious souls you bring to us on Easter.
Father, I expect great things from you this week for your church and for your glory.
Published April 2017.
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