Every church needs praying elders. Elders should pray for their flock constantly. They should pray for healing, for growth, for forgiveness, and for peace. Elders pray together, they pray with their wives, they pray individually. They pray at home and in meetings. They pray with you, for you, and over you. They pray in living rooms, hospital rooms, coffee shops, and church buildings. They pray on their knees, holding your hand, raising their hands, and laying their hands on your shoulder. I have never known an elder who did not think he should pray more. I have never heard of an eldership that thinks they pray too much. So how do we facilitate praying elders in our local churches?
Make it a priority. One reason elders need to be careful about getting bogged down in the business of the church is that it keeps them from being able to focus on prayer and study. That was one of the reasons the apostles commissioned men to handle the feeding of the widows in Acts 6. Elders must make time for prayer a priority.
Be public. Elders should lead congregational prayers. They should pray for new Christians, for ministers, for the sick, and for special events. And elders must be seen praying. One of the things I love about the church where I am an elder is the number of prayer circles I see at church. Elders and members in the foyer, in the aisle, and in our classes huddles together praying. It happens before, during, and after services. This is what Paul and the Ephesian elders did in Acts 20.
Ask your elders to pray for you. James 5 specifically instructs members to have the elders pray over them when they are sick. Ask elders to pray when you are sick. Ask them to pray when you are facing a difficult decision. Ask for an elder to pray with you when struggling with sin. Ask them to pray for your business or over your home.
Praying elders. They want to pray, and we need them to pray.
After all, James said the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective.
Commit to developing a church culture where elders are your prayer warriors. It will change you, it will change them, and it will change your church.
Header image: Sunter, Craig. Saying a little prayer for you. February 22, 2015. Retrieved from flickr.com. Some rights reserved.