Prayer Shaming: A Practical Guide

Embattled SBTS President Albert Mohler

Today the Capstone Report released devastating information about the subversive teaching taking place right inside the Sunday School program of the church that Mark Dever pastors.

On August 27th, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler had announced that Mark Dever would be joining the seminary faculty. Albert Mohler’s famous phrase “look at who I platform” continues to take on new shades of meaning.

Do you know what prayer shaming is?

There are two different versions of it.

The bad version is when somebody says something and you think: “I don’t like that…” Then you say, “Wow! You must be in a bad place right now. I’ll be sure to lift you up in my prayers.” That’s just plain passive-aggressive.

But there is a good kind of prayer shaming. Sometimes you need to draw public attention to the fact that someone in a position of great authority ought to be held accountable to make the right choice. That is when you pray something like the following (and you call others to do the same):

I am concerned about the choices this leader is making. Please join me in praying that God will direct his path and that he will make the right choice.

This kind of prayer is biblical and godly. We ought to pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:2). We ought to pray that they will lead wisely. We also should not shy away from publicly telling people the difference between right and wrong in times of controversy (Philippians 4:2).

Prayer shaming toward leaders is effective for several reasons. First, it is prayer. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). Second, it is a chance to call others to pray. Some demons can only be defeated by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). Third, it is biblical to intentionally shame those who have fallen into rebellious foolishness—and who ought to have known better (1 Corinthians 6:5).

So pray for your leaders. Pray for the bad ones. Pray publicly. Pray for all the hired hands who ought to be acting like faithful shepherds (1 Peter 5:2). They may not listen to you. But if enough common people begin to outcry, they will hear our words. They will no longer be able to ignore the truth without it costing them greatly.

Prayer shaming works on politicians. Suppose a Republican congressman is failing to take a stand against abortion. Gather 10,000 believers and publicly pray that he will do the right thing like he promised he would. That is an effective prayer.

In the next post, I will share how to do this. The prayer will be for Albert Mohler and the rest of the unfaithful shepherds of BigEva to turn around, or to step down.