Whether you think
of Paul first and foremost …
as a missionary, an apostle, a church planter, an evangelist, a teacher or a writer, the ONE THING you don’t want to miss about the discharge of his calling was his relentless commitment to being a Prayer Warrior . . the kind where intercession for others ranked second to none on a daily, if not moment by moment basis.
Most of the New Testament of course was penned by Paul and as such easily becomes a blueprint for Christian Leaders who want to push past a ministry life that equates to little more than a blur of activity for God . . to a ministry life that settles for nothing less than an authentic move of God.
Perhaps my favorite passage (Is it wrong to have favorite passages???) is the early portion of Paul’s first letter to the Church at Thessalonica,
We continually remember before our God and Father
your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love,
and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
– 1 Thessalonians 1:2–3 –
3 Things Every Christian Leader
Should Be Praying . . Everyday
Prayer #1: For Unbelievers To Become Established in Christ
Like you, it does not take me long to identify family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances in need of a restored relationship with God. I am mindful that the chief obstacle is PRIDE – it is only natural that sinful humanity is deceived into thinking it can achieve what God’s Word tells us can only be received (Ephesians 2:8-9). The solution is to be rooted in faith in Jesus Christ – in Paul’s mind as was the case in his own life, every man, woman, boy and girl needs to come to a “crisis of the soul” moment where working for faith is replaced once and for all by working from faith . . faith that comes only by the gracious hand of God in the form of a gift instead of a wage.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches
he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”
– Ephesians 3:16 –
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
be made for all people . . this is good, and pleases God our Savior,
who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
– 1 Timothy 2:1,3-4 –
Prayer #2: For Believers To Become An Expression of Christ
The laws of the Kingdom of God mirror realities from our everyday life – there can be no fruit without a root. The Thessalonian Christians were identified as having a “labor prompted by love”, a love that was rooted in a faith that personally first said yes to God’s love. Paul understood that saying “yes” to God’s love is never a one-time, once-and-for-all intellectual-only matter – it is a matter of a growing awareness of the depth of God’s love coupled with daily surrender to being a personal channel of that very same love.
I am mindful that the chief obstacle is PREOCCUPATION with “My Life”. Paul understood that it really is not all that difficult to drape the look of a Christian life on a “me taking care of me” existence (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). The solution is to reject worthless “knowledge-only” Christianity (which isn’t Christianity anyway) and daily surrender to being an expression of Christ – one that is more and more overflowing in generous acts of love.
may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge –
– Ephesians 3:17-19 – “And this is my prayer:
in knowledge and depth of insight,
so that you may be able to discern what is best
and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ –
to the glory and praise of God.”
– Philippians 1:9-11 –
Prayer #3: For Mature Believers (Leaders) To Become More Steadfast in Christ
In God’s Kingdom, maturity in one’s faith equates to leadership and being used by God to influence those yet to come faith in Christ and those who are undeveloped in Christ. Sounds so seminary-like and painless on paper, right? Paul knew first hand that this road at times came with plenty of bumps and bruises and equated the life of a Christian leader to being in labor pains (Galatians 4:19).
I am mindful that the chief obstacle for the Christian leader is DISCOURAGEMENT. There are just those days where every leader wonders quietly in their soul “Who is influencing who?”. We easily lose perspective in the trenches of ministry and subtly succumb to seeking to change others in our “not so glorious might” . . and stop trusting in His. The solution is to be like the Thessalonians who were “harnessed” by hope and seek to become more and more steadfast in Christ . . a reality only possible when we settle for nothing less than to be immersed in the wisdom of God. The One who rescued us from death and the grave and secured our eternal inheritance has more than enough power to shine light in the darkest of circumstances.
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,
may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you,
the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
– Ephesians 1:17-19 –
“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will
through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,
so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might
so that you may have great endurance and patience,
and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you
to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”
– Colossians 1:9-12 –
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
– 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 –
“I am mindful that the chief obstacle
for the Christian leader . . is discouragement.”
– David “JB” Miller –
Christian leader …
how are you praying today?
Who is on your list?
For myself, I am hopeful that unbelievers, young believers and mature believers will come to that place like never before where they confess . .
In you, is all I need
You’re my breath, you’re my life, you’re my everything
“Since Your Love” by United Pursuit
Wish to refresh-forward this post?