As leaders (that’s you and I), we are responsible for the guidance and well-being of those we lead, whether at home, in the workplace, or in our social networks. Considering this great responsibility, it is exceptionally important to seek God’s help and guidance. The main way this occurs is through prayer. Prayer is essential to transform our lives and the lives of those around us, yet few of us are satisfied with the quality and consistency of our prayer lives.
This overview is the first of a four part series on prayer. Next month we will learn some great tips about how to talk with God, and then we’ll review how to hear from God.
“Prayer,” says author and theologian Richard Foster, “is nothing more than an ongoing and growing love relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Just as we grow close to the people with whom we spend quality time, we grow closer to God by spending time with Him. Prayer is not meant to be a way to get our list of wants from God. The point of prayer is relationship. Therefore, prayer “works” if it builds the relationship between us and God. This communication with God moves us to align with what He is doing and what He cares about most. Through prayer we learn the will of God and are challenged to act on it. Collossians 4:2 says:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Do we really need to pray? J. Oswald Sanders in his classic book Spiritual Leadership said, “The Christian leader who seeks an example to follow does well to turn to the life of Jesus Himself. Our belief in the necessity of prayer comes from observing His life. Surely if anyone could have sustained life without prayer, it would be the very Son of God Himself. If prayer is silly or unnecessary, Jesus would not have wasted His time at it. But wait! Prayer was the dominant feature of His life and a recurring part of His teaching . . . to Jesus, prayer was not a hasty add-on, but a joyous necessity.” If Jesus lived a prayer-filled live and repeatedly asked us to pray, who are we to think it’s not necessary?
As leaders, we need a tight and a deep connection with God, the source of all wisdom. We owe it to those we lead to make prayer a defining part of our life. Join me as we spend the summer learning about prayer.
Challenges for the next three months:
- Check out these articles and videos on prayer: www.ExploreGod.com/Prayer
- Explore tips to improve our prayer: www.WhatChristiansWantToKnow.com/10-prayer-tips-how-to-talk-to-God
- Read the book “The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond” by Bill Hybels. Here is the short intro video (1:40):
This article was partially adapted from the interdenominational website ExploreGod.com.