The Leader and His Praying

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STUDENT ID #684299


What a challenging first sentence is found in "The Leader and His Praying"! Sanders writes, "In nothing should the leader be ahead of his follower more than in the realm of prayer." If I could choose one area of my Christian life where I feel my personal weakness, it is in the area of prayer. I love to read, to visit, and to preach, but each of them is concrete enough to provide some immediate feedback. I can have a quick sense of accomplishment, whether or not I've accomplished what the Lord desires. While I intellectually agree that I cannot do anything without the power of Christ, and while I acknowledge that His power is released through believing prayer, I pray very inconsistently, especially about the ministry itself. I pray under the pressure of no other option. When all the best advice of leadership books and seminary classes have not worked, then I pour out my heart in prayer, see good results, but soon forget the way they were granted. When conflicts arise in the church and my best counseling skills give no relief, I pray, and God answers. Perhaps there would have been less conflict in the first place if I had given myself to prayer. Ideas for Improvement of My Prayer Life

First of all, I must begin to pray more about the messages I bring to the church. Since I'm accustomed to preaching series, I don't wrestle much about exactly what I will be preaching about this coming Sunday. I do need to begin seeking the heart of God more about how these truths are to be applied to our church in such a brief window of time. I need to appeal to Him for a clarity, conviction, and power of delivery that will make His message impact the lives of His people. I need to pray over every point to be sure I'm wording it in a way that He wants.

I must pray for the coming worship services and for those the Lord would have to be there. Often, I preach a message, then realize that someone who really needed it wasn't even present to hear. I need to pray about those who are our members who need to be there and also for the prospects we have contacted through the week. I must make sure that in every visit that I make (even cold calls) I ask for prayer requests and pray with those visited. I've really improved in this area in the past few weeks. I pray with members that I meet in the grocery store. I pray with some over the phone. It does seem to be making at least some difference.

Whenever I consider this issue of prayer, I'm also confronted with an accompanying weakness that I have in managing my time wisely. If only I would spend more time on the projects and problems I face as a pastor, however, it might make a significant difference in how much time these things consume. Since "there is no way to learn to pray except by praying" I must make it a time priority.

I need to devote an abundance of time for prayer for the needs and mission of the church. Some of these matters would not be of the kind that would be included in public prayer, but some would undoubtedly bring a greater clarity and power in my public prayers. Some might include some of the "people problems" and "problem people" of the church. I also should really seek the Lord's direction concerning particular types of activity and programming needed in the church. He's able to guide me if I just give Him the time to work it out.

I must ensure that I alternately invite each of my deacons to spend time with me in prayer for our church. Of course, we also need to pray together as a group. Too often we just get together and discuss the business of the church with only a superficial nod toward a need for divine guidance. I need to get closer to these men, listen to their hearts, and pray for them every day and night. If Satan wants to strip...
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