In C. H. Spurgeon’s book on pastoral ministry, Lectures to My Students, he talks about eight ways pastors need the help of the Holy Spirit. Several of these apply specially to preaching, but there is much application for ministry in general as well. After reading this list, I am reminded that we are utterly helpless if we do not have the help of the Holy Spirit, and any ministry will be powerless if not empowered by Him. I have summarized and adapted these below as an encouragement to believers in Christ to pray these things for your pastor, or if you are a pastor, for yourself and fellow ministers of the Word. Pray for the Holy Spirit to grant:
1. knowledge – that God would illuminate his study of the Word, particularly showing him the things of Christ.
2. wisdom – particularly, how to use knowledge rightly and communicate it appropriately to various types of people.
3. freedom of utterance – a boldness of speech that clearly and appropriately communicates the truth in the choice of words and emotional expression, and is also free from that which would distort, dishonor, or distract from the message.
4. an anointing on the entire delivery during his preaching– so that not only in his speaking, but in his body language, eye contact, demeanor, and consciousness, the Spirit would specially rest upon him and use him.
5. the actual effect of the gospel – that the Holy Spirit would work in the lives of hearers, producing the lasting change that comes from the work of God in hearts, instead of apathy to the message or manufactured or manipulated responses that are not genuine.
6. a spirit of supplications – that the pastor would continually rely on God in prayer, daily, as well as in the midst of his ministering, including while preaching.
7. a spirit of holiness – that the pastor will be set apart from the world, kept clean from that which is impure and defiling, and living a life in public and private that is worthy of the gospel.
8. a spirit of discernment – that God would help the pastor to know how to deal with a variety of people, including those who are difficult, and that he would make the best choices in using his time, being able to see, value, and choose what is best for a given situation.
From volume 2 of Lectures to My Students, “The Holy Spirit in Connection with Our Ministry” (free eBook from Google; this chapter begins on page 15)