We’ve heard many calls to pray for our churches and pastors, but in his second chapter of Prayer, The Mightiest Force in the World, Frank Laubach issues a different challenge to church members. He appeals to church members (and attenders) “to pray while our pastor is preaching. Don’t shut your eyes unless you wish to, but keep asking God to speak through the pastor’s lips and in our hearts” (Prayer, The Mightiest Force in the World, Fleming H. Revell Company, Westwood, New Jersey, 1946, page 45).
What would happen if we took his challenge to heart, and began to pray for every pastor we listen to while he or she is preaching? Too often we focus on what we can “get out of a sermon.” How often do we think about what we can put into the sermon through prayer while our pastor is speaking? Are you willing to pray while you listen?
As Dr. Laubach writes: “It will be an exciting experiment. Remember, you are the church, and the pastor is your servant. Each of you is just as important in making a great service as he is. He can’t do his [or her] best alone. Your prayer sets the spiritual atmosphere without which no sermon can be great. Together we can lift the pastor and the service to new heights . . . Praying together in this church today is one grand way in which we can help Christ to give us vision and power to lift the world.
“So pray inwardly every minute, and see what happens.”