After people watched in suspense the smoke from the Vatican finally turned white signaling the emergence of a newly appointed pope to lead the Roman Catholic Church. Over one hundred cardinals (ecclesiastical dignitaries and papal appointees who advise the pope) selected 76-year old Argentine Archbishop, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, to assume the papacy. Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis, recently assumed his new title in uncharacteristic fashion, washing the feet of a woman as a modeling of Christ’s servant spirit. There is much hope and anticipation surrounding Pope Francis’ potential as a humble, transformational leader, and we need to be praying for him. Here are ten reasons why you and I should pray for the pope.
- More than 1.2 billion people claim Catholicism as their embraced expression of faith, and God fiercely loves each individual one.
- The Catholic Church has been a consistent voice advocating the sanctity of life.
- The Catholic Church remains a leader in providing quality health care and education.
- The Catholic Church has been a constant advocate for ministry to the poor and underprivileged.
- The globalization of our modern world has placed the pope’s actions on a world stage.
- The pope’s influence on Protestant Christianity is at one of its greatest points in church history. Brian Stiller, a global ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance, recently blogged about Catholic-Protestant relations stating that: “Not in 500 years have the two sides been so close and friendly.”
- Tragically, the Catholic Church is still awash in both sexual and monetary scandal and controversy.
- The task of cleansing and reforming the Catholic Church is beyond the ability of an individual man.
- The task of leading such a monumental movement is beyond the ability of an individual man—Pope Francis needs the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
- Finally, the Apostle Paul told us to pray. “I urge then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and those in authority…” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
 Taken from Christianity Today, April 2013, 57.