“Preach the Word.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
By: Mitch Maher, Lead Pastor, Redeemer Community Church
April 17, 2018
Some years ago I preached a sermon gleaned from various verses throughout 2 Timothy entitled, Praying for the Preachers. The mandate for pastors is found in 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the Word!” Faithful preachers take the task of proclaiming God’s Word seriously and increasingly feel the need for God’s people to intercede on their behalf. I thought the HCPN: 50 Days of Prayer would be a great place to remind you to fervently pray for your pastor/preacher in very specific ways.
Pray for Passion (1:6). The necessity of preaching for the life and health of the church cannot be overstated. But often, pressures from within and without threaten to dim the “fire” burning in a preacher’s soul. The passion for preaching must be continually kindled in order to blaze with splendor. Pray that your pastor/preacher would remain forever-fervent for God’s glory through preaching!
Pray for Courage (1:8). The call to preach is a call to confront sin as it manifests itself in the culture and the church. Whether its immorality, materialism, divorce, or the like, the preacher is charged with calling sin “sin” and, without blinking, proclaiming God’s truth on these matters. He must herald truth that’s not politically correct, upholding God’s Word about eternal hell, homosexuality, the exclusivity of Christ, abortion, and more. Doing so often courts disdain, opposition, and even attacks. Pray that your pastor/preacher would resist the temptation to hush, and continue to courageously preach the truth.
Pray for Accuracy (1:13; 2:15). The preacher must get it straight before he ever gives it straight (Kent Hughes, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, p. 209). He must be faithful to the Word of God, not mixing into his preaching error or his own speculations about this or that. Literally, that’s what Bible exposition is... it’s taking the position of the Bible and accurately lifting it out for the audience to hear and obey. Pray that your pastor/preacher would remain faithful and true to the teaching of the Bible.
Pray for Diligence (2:6, 15). Accuracy requires diligence. As DTS Prof Howard Hendricks was fond of saying, “This Book will not yield its treasure to the lazy eye!” Accuracy in exegesis, theology, and homiletics demands that the preacher not let his fleshly tendency toward slothfulness get the best of him. He must study hard. Pray that your pastor/preacher would balance well the demands of church planting/leadership with the priority of diligent, methodical, and meditative study of the Word.
Pray for Tact (1:13; 2:24-26; 4:2). Preachers must be tough, but they must also be tender. Strong cries against sin and forceful exhortations to holiness must always be coupled with what Paul called, “love... kindness... gentleness... patience.” Pray that your pastor/preacher, while remaining strong on the truth and fervent in the faith, would live the wisdom which knows, “... sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.” (Proverbs 16:21)
Pray for Endurance (4:5-8). Over time, preachers who remain true to their task have to preach through personal adversity like sickness and loss, disappointment from those they’ve poured their life into, verbal attacks from those they offend, and countless other sorrows along life’s way. It is one thing to live through such adversity, but it is quite another to faithfully preach through it. Pray that your pastor/preacher would “endure hardship... fight the good fight... finish the course... and keep the faith”... all the way until the end!
Like everyone else, your pastor/preacher’s flesh is intense, prone to wander into fear, laziness, harshness, and more. And our Adversary is real, always prowling about to deceive, discourage, distract, and disqualify. Please labor for your pastor/preacher in a ministry of prayer as we carry out our responsibility to preach the Word!