There is no magic in small plans. When I consider my ministry, I think of the world. Anything less than that would not be worthy of Christ nor of His will for my life. -Henrietta Mears
So Much Noise
The noise is deafening. The leadership noise that is. The articles, books, blogs, podcasts, interviews that flood our inboxes, news feeds, and daily interactions. The leadership noise is getting louder and louder! It’s cranked on high performance, achievement, commitment, efficiency, and productivity. It’s melody and rhythm draws us into the hustle and grind. However leadership truly has more to do with who you are than what you do.
Who are Leaders Really?
Leaders are those with influence. Pastors, teachers, managers, CEO’s, moms, dads, students, big brothers, big sisters, and the list could continue. If seemingly everybody has influence and everybody is a leader then what sets us apart in becoming a more effective leader – simply, prayer.
Henrietta Mears arguably had the one greatest impact in the Kingdom in the last 75 years and yet very few know her name. We do know the names of men like Billy Graham, Bill Bright, and others that she had a profound impact on their lives. In was in the place of prayer that she discovered the secret of influence. It is the power of prayer.
Prayer is Gods plan to change the world. Praying God’s Word back to him is powerful and is our example.
From Paul’s prayer, we learn how to lead through prayer:
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Eph 1:17
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, Eph 3:16
1. In prayer we gain a new perspective
As leaders we are faced with a tidal waves of decisions, opportunities, and crisis every day. We can pray for a spirit of wisdom. In seeking to know Christ more we will gain new perspective.
Prayer is the difference between driving a car down a highway and looking down on that same highway from the window of an airplane. The further you get, the less impressive things on the ground seem. In prayer we get off the ground and into the presence of God. One of the greatest military leaders of all time, King David, longed for God’s presence.
Take time to be still and ask for new perspective.
2. Through prayer we receive strength
As leaders we feel weak and feeble at times. Honestly, I have felt like that more often than not. I have felt like a mule at the Kentucky derby with thoroughbred elite horses. I have felt like I don’t belong.
In prayer I have sensed an infusion of Holy Spirit strength to press ahead in the power of the Spirit. The truth is leadership will always be hard. Let’s embrace the difficulties and celebrate the rewards. Out if God’s glorious riches we can find strength. It’s like realizing that the ocean is full of water. Jesus Christ is an ocean of strength for every mountain we face. Dive into the ocean in prayer. Take a break to dive into God’s strength through worship and prayer.
3. From Prayer we are transformed
As leaders we feel a constant pressure to produce and achieve. What if we led out of an overflow of what the Spirit is producing in us. How can we consider ourselves effective leaders if the fruit of the Spirit is not evident in our lives?
Prayer is the furnace, the fire, the school, the seminary, and the academy of heart transformation. In prayer we discover the fullness of Christ. Outer impact comes from inner transformation!
I am asking you to allow this to be a not-so-gentle manifesto to call you to a lead through prayer. So pastor, youth pastor, mom, dad, entrepreneur, student, grandparent, and aspiring leader – consider a new life axiom – lead through prayer.
Malachi O’Brien is the Lead Pastor of The Church at Pleasant Ridge, and the Pastor of Prayer & Revitalization at First Baptist Raytown.