Kevin Moore suggested I blog about praying for pastors, and this post actually started as a comment in a forum started by Phil Miglioratti (I hope I spelled that right. I did it without looking.), but it was getting so long that I turned it into the blog post that Kevin suggested. I think it is vital for pastors to have a prayer support team - more so than ever before, it seems to me, because of the times we're in and how the intensity of spiritual warfare has escalated.
When we started our pastoral prayer support teams at my church, some ministries tried doing it with the pastor emailing the prayer requests to the team, while other church ministries had a point person, or team leader, that sought them out to get the prayer requests from them. After about 2 years, the way that has worked best is clearly the ones who have a point person. Pastors are just too busy to try and remember to send out prayer requests to their team, and it's not something that they're accustomed to thinking about.
For the team that I lead for our worship pastor, Kevin Moore, I try to meet with him weekly to get prayer requests from him. I then email them to the team. There are some weeks that he just has to email me his requests because his schedule is just too full, and there are weeks that we skip all together. You have to find the schedule that works best for the pastor. The leader of the prayer team for our senior pastor meets once a month with him. Recently we have started having the team members hit "reply" to the email when they have prayed through the requests so that we can remain accountable to each other about our commitment to pray. It's been really cool to see how God has worked in the worship ministry and our worship pastor's life and family as a result of our prayers. Praise God!
One of the things that makes it safe, strong, and effective, is to remember that at no point is it about the intercessor. My mission, besides praying, is doing this intercession ministry in such a way that it actually ministers to the pastor and his family, and doing whatever I can to make his job easier. If it becomes a burden to him in any way, then it's not working. A verse that I think of for this is I Thess. 5:12, 13a - "But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work."
But the other thing to remember is that this is very much about relationship. Only in relationship can there be that safe, confidential sharing of prayer needs.
I have a lot more thoughts on the matter, but don't want to overwhelm you with too much to read all at once. I will share more later.