Brethren, pray for us. 1 Thessalonians 5:25

There were twelve seconds left on the clock. We were down by one with the ball at the other end of the court. We hurried down the court and shot with 5 seconds left. As it rattled in, the clock stopped with 3.7 seconds left. Here we were, up by 1 with merely seconds left, but any basket would cause us to lose. I called a timeout and told my players not to foul, and then I drew up a defensive scheme to try to limit who would be able to shoot. As the horn sounded to end the timeout, the crowd stood and screamed, “Defense, defense.” Encouraged by the crowd, the players excitedly left the huddle and set up the defense. As the other team’s last shot fell short, the stands went wild. Although the crowd doesn’t have a direct impact in the game, it can encourage the players to play their best.

As a coach, I have seen times where my players needed that extra push; however, as a pastor, I have experienced many situations where I have needed that extra push. I am not alone in this; the Apostle Paul repeatedly asked the churches that to pray for him. A pastor is more likely to stand strong on the Word of God when he knows his church cares and prays for him.

The encouragement and prayers we receive can help us in our service and protect the church from the attacks of the devil. All Christians will be attacked by the devil, but a pastor will have to deal with many more attacks because of his position. The devil will try to destroy a church by attacking the pastor from within and without. Whether it be from creating disunity and conflict inside the church or attacks from those all around, a pastor must vigilantly watch and guard the church. On top of this, a pastor who cares for his people will try to protect them from sin.

My father and I are blessed to have many wonderful people in our church. We know they are behind us and will stand with us. What about your pastor? Does he know you have his back? Are you bringing him to the Lord in prayer? Pray for your pastor today.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.