Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Importance of Prayer for Christian Leaders

With today being the National Day of Prayer (read more here), it seemed the perfect time to discuss the importance of prayer in the life of a Christian leader. Most Christians would probably agree with the argument that prayer should be a guiding factor in their daily lives. However, the unfortunate reality is that, for many Christians in America today, there is an inherent sacred-secular divide between their Christian faith and their work lives (Miller, 2007). They find it hard to connect their faith with what may seem like a very secular environment at their job.

But the Bible tells us that everything in our lives should be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 10:31 tells us: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Likewise, Colossians 3:17 states: "...whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Henry and Richard Blackaby (2001) in their book Spiritual Leadership, echo this sentiment when they state that "the single most important thing a leader should do is pray" (p. 148). As they note: "Spiritual leaders must spend time in prayer daily, asking God to guide them in each decision they will make, not just when they are facing a situation but also before the fact" (p. 180). 

So why don't we, as Christian leaders, pray more often about the decisions we make? I would argue that it is a question of our focus. The world barrages us each day with its definition of success--a definition tied to getting ahead, gaining power, and becoming wealthy. In contrast, God's definition of success is much more about quiet faithfulness than it is brash ambition: "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). As Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges (2008) put it in their book Lead Like Jesus: "I have been called not to success but to obedience as a witness to others and as an active agent of God's plan for his kingdom" (p. 24). In essence, as Christian leaders we are called not to success, but to find our significance in God's agenda for our lives. 

So on this National Day of Prayer, I hope you will take a moment to stop and pray. Seek God's face, and ask Him to guide your steps and the steps of our national, state, and local leaders. Seek out His agenda for you and the people you lead. And ask that in your own life and in the lives of those you influence, that His will would be done "on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).  

No comments:

Post a Comment