Nickel Prayer Defense

“If the church wants a better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has.”

The one thing that pastors request from their congregation more than any other is prayer support.

The Nickel Prayer Defense is a simple way to remind men to pray for their pastor by name five times each week. A nickel is used as a tangible reminder to the men to pray. Each Sunday, when a man hands his pastor a nickel, it becomes a reminder of the prayers which have been lifted up on his behalf by the man who presents it.

If you have ever played, or even watched football you may have heard of the Nickel Defense. The concept of the Nickel Defense is a preventative form of defense. You are trying to keep the other team from scoring. You want to protect your end-zone so you take out a defensive lineman and put in an extra defensive back; giving you a defensive set with five, rather than four defensive backs. Hence the name, Nickel Defense.

Now, let’s use this idea of a Nickel Defense as a reminder for us to pray for our pastors. Take a nickel and keep it in your pocket to be reminded to pray for your pastor, by name, five times a week. Here is a sample of ways you can pray for him:

  • To be protected from Satan
  • To hear from God during his sermon preparation time
  • That he would have the wisdom necessary to lead the church
  • To be protected as he confronts challenging situations in the church and community

The bottom line is this…

  1. Lift him up in prayer, by name, five times during the week.
  2. Then, when you see him on Sunday, shake his hand, hand him the nickel, and tell him that you’ve been praying for him.

You are now on the Nickel Prayer Team and are defending your pastor with prayer. Our theme song for the Nickel Prayer Defense is John Fogerty’s song, Centerfield. Whenever you hear this line from the song, ‘Put me in coach, I’m ready to play, today….’ you should be reminded that you are part of the Nickel Prayer Defense and you should to be praying for your pastor.

This is not a one time deal. You can and should do this every week. You can also use this strategy to pray for others. What would it look like if a father gave his children a Nickel each week as a reminder that he was praying for them by name?


9 Ways to Pray for Church Leaders this Week by Chuck Lawless

  • From Chuck Lawless, “Would you pray these prayers for church leaders (including me) today, and then invite others in your congregation to join you?”

Seven Ways Healthy Church Members Pray for Their Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #549

  • We always encourage men to pray for their pastors. Here’s a great podcast on the topic from Thom Rainer. 

Managing Expectations for a Sustainable Ministry by David Murray

  • Here’s a great list of practical ways you can help, support and pray for your pastor. Shepherding a flock is tough because the church is made up of sinners like me and you. Invest some time in praying for and serving your pastor in these ways.

Eight Ways Church Members Can Help Pastors Avoid Burnout – Rainer on Leadership #462

  • Burnout is a real issue for many, and pastors are not exempt. In this podcast Thom Rainer and Jonathan Howe discuss how church members can help their pastor avoid it.

Suicide, Depression, and Pastors: One Way Church Members Can Help by Thom Rainer

  • This post is not about suicide prevention…it’s a frank conversation with congregational members around the world…offering one way you can help.

7 Textual Reasons to Pray for Your Church Leaders Today by Chuck Lawless

  • Chuck Lawless provides seven reasons why you need to be interceding for your church’s leaders, based on the Word of God. 

How to Encourage that Preacher by Tim Challies

  • Tim Challies presents a few examples of the kind of encouragement preachers love to hear.

4 Reasons You Should Pray For Your Pastor Daily by Jason K. Allen

  • Great reminder for us to be faithful in prayer for our pastors.

A Week in the Life of an Ordinary Pastor by Chris Griggs

  • My appreciation and respect for those who are called to the pastorate continues to grow. Read this account of the ups and downs of a pastor’s week and be reminded to pray for your Shepherd. Read 1 Peter 5:2. “All sheep have a way of making the ministry both awesome and awful.” Men how could you bless your pastor this week? Pray for him. Cheer for him. Defend him. Encourage him.


One man who attended a conference with a group of men from his church has recruited seven others as part of their Nickel Prayer Defense Team. They hold each other accountable and now ten men are praying for the pastor by name five times each week and each week that pastor receives 10 nickels.

I don’t even say anything to my pastor about it now, I just shake his hand before the worship service and hand him my nickel. He knows what it represents. There are some mornings when he tells me he’s already received a number of other nickels”

One man challenged the men from his Sunday School class to join him on the Nickel Defense Team. The pastor of that church told a lady in her congregation that he’s keeps the nickels from his men stacked on his dresser so he’s reminded of the prayers of those men each morning and evening. The stack is growing. I hope it continues.

Hi Mike, Just wanted to share with you that the PRC of Metro Richmond received a precious and generous gift from the Men at Elko Union Church. It seems that one of the men had attended a Noble Warriors men’s event and was encouraged to put aside a nickel and pray for his pastor. I visited with the ladies of Elko Union on Saturday, May 15, 2010 and one of the ladies brought a bag full of coins from her husband. If I am not mistaken, each coin represented the number of times the men of Elko Union prayed for their pastor. When I consider this, I can only image what a godly influence that this pastor must have in the lives of the men in his church that they could donate the coins to an organization that serves, “the least of these”. Thank you so much for the continued blessing that you and Noble Warriors ministry are to the men in Richmond and surrounding counties. May God continue to bless you richly. “