Over the past few months I have been preparing to teach on the life of a remarkable woman in church history - Susannah Spurgeon, wife of the "Prince of Preachers," Charles Spurgeon. (If you'd like to hear this message, entitled "Wisdom for Excellence," click here.) As I prepared to teach about her life, I was reminded yet again of the incredible responsibilities and sacrifice that are often required of the pastor's wife.
I have the privilege of being the Assistant to our Senior Pastor as well as calling his wife, and several other pastors' wives, some of my dearest friends. Because of the unique view I have into these women's lives and marriages, I am keenly aware of the high calling and important role these women play in the life of a church. Many faithfully pray for their pastors, and this is rightly done for a pastor is reliant on the prayers of the saints in his congregation, but I would implore you to be just as diligent to pray for his wife.
No one else can provide your pastor with the comfort, encouragement, and love that his wife can. Just as your pastor was chosen by God to be an earthly shepherd to you, God also specifically chose his wife to be his closest helpmate, cheerleader, and friend as he leads and shepherds the flock God has given him. Reading what Charles Spurgeon said of his wife, Susie, reminded me of how critically important the pastor's wife is to his productivity in ministry:
“None know how grateful I am to God for you. In all I have ever done for him, you have a large share, for in making me so happy you have fitted me for service. Not an ounce of power has ever been lost to the good cause through you. I have served the Lord far more and never less for your sweet companionship.”
- Charles Spurgeon in a letter to his wife, Susie
Wow! I think it's safe to say that any Christian wife would want her husband to say this of her, but how especially important these words are to be spoken of a pastor's wife! If you aren't regularly praying for your pastor's wife, I would encourage you to add her to your weekly prayer lists. Please also be sure to pray for ANY pastor's wife at your church, not just the Senior Pastor's wife (think of and pray for the wives of your associate pastor, student ministry pastor, family pastor, etc.).
Hopefully you are at least acquainted with the wives of the pastors of your church and this should aid you in knowing how to pray for them. But if you aren't sure where to start, here is a list of items to consider praying for:
Pray for her time in the word and prayer to be guarded - John 15:5
Ask God to grant her discernment in all her areas of oversight and how best to use her time - Romans 12:2, Ephesians 5:15-16
Ask God to give her wisdom and diligence as she teaches and trains her children - Deuteronomy 6:5-9
Pray she will be a source of encouragement and comfort to her husband - Ephesians 4:29
Ask God to refresh and sustain her as she sacrifices her husband and her own comforts for the good of the church - 1 Corinthians 1:4-8
God himself declared, "It is not good that man should be alone..." (Genesis 2:18) and thus, he created woman to be man's helper, partner, and companion. As your pastor's wife comes alongside him to uniquely fill these God-given assignments in his life, be diligent to both thank God for her and pray for her regularly.