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Assistant Superintendent

The Priority of Prayer 

What challenges leaders to have a consistent prayer life? It could be the times when leaders find themselves in over their head and have no other choice than to pray. Or it could be the need for courage in the face of difficult situations. I believe one of the key reasons should be to receive a fresh word from God.

In 2 Samuel 5:15 we read, “The Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him.” As a leader, “David inquired of the Lord” (vs. 19) as to what he should do. God gave a plan that led to a great victory.

We don’t know how much time lapsed between the battle and verse 22; but we read, “Once more the Philistines came up.” Now many leaders would have been tempted to say, “This is the same enemy, on the same battlefield; I’m the same leader with the same army. I defeated their giant, and I just beat them to a pulp. I’ve got this all figured out. What worked in the past will work again.” I wonder how often our efforts fail because we have a “been there, done that” attitude? 

Verse 23 identifies what distinguishes David as a great leader: “so David inquired of the Lord.” David again went to the Lord in prayer for fresh direction, and the Lord gave him a new and different battle plan that again brought victory. 

In leadership, there are no routine decisions. No matter how talented or skilled you may be, there is need for fresh direction that only comes from our times of prayer. This passage provides a couple of observations on a leader’s prayer life.

Leaders must spend time in God’s presence before they can lead others. When Charles Spurgeon was asked the secret of his ministry success, he responded, “Knee work! Knee work!” Andrew Murray asked, “What is the reason why so many thousands of Christian workers in the world have not had greater influence? Nothing save this – the prayerlessness of their service.” David never assumed what he should do. Even if the tasks seemed routine, “he inquired of the Lord.”

A leader’s prayer life must be specific. God wants us to pray about our goals and dreams.  The more specific we can be in our prayer life, the more direct God can answer. In Luke 9:11, Jesus said, “Ask…Seek…Knock.” That spells ASK! 

·         James 4:2, “You do not have because you do not ask God.”

·         Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Ephesians 3:20 reminds us that we can’t out-ask or out-dream God. Stretch your imagination and let God take you further than you’ve ever gone in your prayer life.

A leader’s most important resource is a consistent prayer life. The place of prayer is where leaders meet with God. Prayer is the one thing that keeps us humble and gives us direction, courage, and confidence in all we’re asked to do.


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