1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13
Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
You are Head of the Church, the High Priest, and Chief Shepherd. I will honor and respect You by valuing the pastors and elders You have appointed to shepherd my soul. I will love these dear men because they regularly lead us to streams of Living Water in our Bibles where we can refresh our thirsty spirits. Tirelessly, they feed us the Word of Life, Truth about You, nourishing both the newborn and mature followers. Patiently, they teach us what is right and help us see the errors of our ways. Gently they correct us and train us so that we will be prepared and properly equipped to do good work for Your Kingdom.
Because they are men of integrity who willingly keep watch over us like doting Dads, day in and day out, year after year, and are accountable to You, I will make every effort to live harmoniously with my church family so that their work will be a joy. Their battles and burdens are many; they don't need to be bogged down with a bunch of bickering and backstabbing.
In view of the fact that You've ordained them, I will readily accept them and the authority You've given them. Instead of criticizing them, I will be quick to compliment them for their works prompted by faith, labor motivated by love, and hope inspired by Your many great and precious promises. Since they are godly examples, it will be a pleasure to pray for them, work with them, and support them so that when the Chief Shepherd appears with all His precious sheep, they will be deemed worthy to receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. Lord, today I ask that You strengthen their hearts and encourage them so that they will be blameless and holy in Your presence on that Day. Amen.
Speak a word of appreciation to your pastors and elders today. Write a note. Send an email. Make a phone call. Leave a voice mail. Make them smile, and you will make your Father in Heaven smile.
Suggested prayer for our church leaders: That our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12