2 Cor. 1:8-11 (ESV)
For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.  He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.  You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
Paul shares his suffering with the Corinthians. Evidently it was great, so great Paul despaired of life. Perhaps he thought it was no longer worth living. In any case they were fairly certain they were going to die. Paul though shows how God used that to strengthen his faith. Yes even an apostles faith can be strengthened. The same goes for your pastor. It was to make him realize he could not rely on himself or those with him, but only on God who raises the dead. God delivers us daily, and He will deliver us again, once and for all on the last day. Not even death can separate us from God. He promises to deliver us. This is our hope. This is our comfort.
Then Paul commands the Corinthians to pray for Him, and those with Him. Sometimes prayer can be maligned. It can almost seem silly at times, as if God is your imaginary friend. It feels awkward as if you are talking to yourself. Sometimes it seems useless, because God doesn’t answer the prayer the way we hoped He would. But prayer is powerful, and God hears. And through those prayers we help people like Paul. We share our blessings through prayer with those around us. We should not get discouraged. But trust wholly in God who raises the dead, and leave the answer to the prayer with Him.