One Sunday after worship, a first-time guest said to me, "I appreciated the pastoral prayer." I forget my response. I was stunned to learn that someone cared about that part of the service. Someone besides God. Since then I've learned how important the pastoral prayer is.
A few years ago, Leadership printed a cartoon with a pastor greeting people after the church service. He spies the man next in line to shake his hand. The cartoonist takes us into the pastor's thoughts: "Oh, no! There's Bob. I told him last week I'd be praying for him and I forgot! Dear Lord, bless Bob. Amen."
Then the pastor says, "Hi, Bob! How are you? Been prayin' for you!"
As I look across the faces in the congregation, I wonder how many Bobs are out there. How many people long to be prayed for, but don't know the comfort of hearing another believer speak their need to the Lord?
I want our people to know they are prayed for. And I want them to experience the peace of resting under the prayers of a pastor who takes seriously ...1