Leadership is Influence

Leadership is Influence

 

J. Oswald Sanders said, “Since leadership is the ability to move and influence people, the spiritual leader will be alert to discover the most effective way of doings this. Prayer influences men by influencing God to influence them.”

Key term: Leadership is Influence. One of the most powerful ways to influence others spiritually is through prayer. To lead effectively by influencing others for God, Christian Leaders must pray. If leaders want to lead well, they MUST pray well.

Prayer is a timeless and often overlooked, secret to high impact spiritual leadership. Prayer is the ageless act of highly effective Christian leaders. Prayer must be prioritized and practiced to achieve maximum impact.

You will not find a maximally effective spiritual leader in the Bible or in history who was not a person of prayer.

Henry Blackaby states, “More than any other single thing leaders do, it is their prayer life that will determine their effectiveness.”

Charles Swindoll stated, “Prayer is… absolutely essential in the life of a leader.”

Andrew Murray, (1828-1917) stated, “Prayer in the life of the leader should be regarded as the highest part of the work entrusted to us, the root and strength of all other work.. There is nothing we need to study and practice as the art of praying alright.”

J.C Ryle (1816-1900) another nineteenth century Christian leader wrote, “I have read the lives of many eminent Christians who have been on earth since Bible days. Some of them, I see where rich, and some poor. Some were learned, some unlearned… some were Calvinists, and some were Armenians. But one thing, I see, they all had in common. They all had been men of prayer.”

E.M Bounds (1835-1913) wrote, “Great praying is the sign of God’s great leaders.

Dave Earley in his goal for writing Prayer: The Timeless Secret of High Impact Leaders commented, “My goal to writing this book is simple, I hope to motivate Christian leaders to pray more fervently, more frequently, more effectively, and more contagiously than ever before. I want to stretch their prayer life.”

He ended by also stating this, “If you have a greater prayer life, you can have greater Kingdom influence for God.

There is a link between prayer and impact. The more you pray, the more impact on God’s people you will have. Prayer is the dialogue and pathway to lessons for you to learn not only more about God and His Word, but to become more effective on how to communicate and discern the message that He has for His people.

 

Nine Prayer Disciplines of High-Impact Spiritual Leaders.

  1. If you want to maximize your impact, prioritize your prayer life.
  2. Prayer is the most important task of a leader.
  3. Prayer is the most influential activity a leader can undertake.
  4. Prayer saves time.
  5. Prayer is omnipresent.
  6. Prayer is the determining factor.
  7. Prayer provides insight.
  8. God does nothing in ministry apart from prayer.
  9. Prayer is our Greatest Spiritual Weapon.

 

(Taken from Dave Earley’s Prayer: The Timeless Secrets of High-Impact Leaders Book.)

 

To be effective in your prayer life, the most important factor is being disciplined with your time. Making time each day to sit and pray and spend time with the Lord.  Like here on Earth, it is only possible to get to know someone more intimately unless you spend time with that person, getting to know all about him or her. The same concept in drawing closer to God, you must take time to get to know Him better.  Prayer, Praise and Worship, and Studying His Word is the way to draw closer to Him. The Holy Spirit is a vital part of your prayer life, for He is the one who becomes the intercessor between you and God. You must establish a daily prayer time, and pray several times a day. The more you get in the habit of praying, the more you will find yourself taking with the Lord throughout the day. Jesus prayed first thing in the morning, (Mark 1:35), he also prayed late at night, (Mark 6:46, Luke 6:13).

Martin Luther said, “It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business of the morning and the last at night.” In the Bible, “King David mentioned there were at least one season of his life he cried out to God in payer three times during the day, morning, noon and evening. (Psalms 55:17).

Another important aspect of establishing your consistent, daily prayer time with God is finding a regular place for prayer. Some people have prayer closets, the late Jerry Falwell as a college student, “went to the dean of students to obtain the key to the third floor administration building, and prayed their daily often four hours or more a day. “ It can be any place that you are most comfortable, and spend the most time there; some use the car on long commutes as their place of prayer. It doesn’t really matter the place, as long as you can get there consistently and that it is quiet, so you will be able to hear from the Lord.   Dave Earley spoke of a time while he was in college that he would take an hour each day alone with God. During this hour he took a notebook, and for the first hour he stated, “I let God speak to me through His Word. The second half hour I spoke with God, using a plan called the “ACTS” plan of prayer. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) and recorded my requests in a notebook.”  (We will go over ACTS, later on.)

 

Key Points:

  1. Remind yourself how important it is to pray and that praying is essential to a powerful, productive life.
  2. Determine your time and place of when and where you will pray.
  3. Do it! Remember, if you miss a day, do not beat yourself up, just jump right back on your schedule and proceed!

 

Writing With A Purpose

I love writing and blogging! I have had a blog for years, but never really considered doing much other than an occasional article. Today Southern Writing Magazine asked me to do an author’s guest post. I submitted my post today and will see where it goes from here! They have a busy, energetic magazine and blog. Check it out!  http://www.southernwritersmagazine.com/

 

Living life With Joy, It Can Happen- Day 2

Words often take on new meaning when you experience them personally first hand. What I am referring to is the difference between being happy and having joy. I always thought of them as the same, a temporary emotion or feeling that often changes with our circumstances. I guess that is why I never could truly experience either one of them on a consistent basis. Let’s be real here, being happy and having true joy can be very difficult if your preconceived notions of the meaning of either word do not line up with your life experiences. For this article, I am going to talk about joy. In the process of finding joy on a consistent basis, I wanted to get a true understanding of what the word even meant.  Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defined joy as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires (delight)   the expression or exhibition of such emotion :  (gaiety a state of happiness or felicity (bliss)  a source or cause of delight . I don’t know about you, but if I were really sold on the notion of the word joy based on the meanings above, it would still sound temporary, and superficial. I guess I wanted more, and knew with God I could expect to experience Joy on a much deeper, satisfactory level.

I love how Kay Warren defined Joy in her book, Choose Joy: Because Happiness isn’t Enough when she wrote that Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”

I love that, it means so much more to me emotionally. It doesn’t say that everything is always going to be good, or pleasant in my life, it means to me that no matter what, God loves me, and is in total control of all situations. That the Faith I have in God in knowing that He Is, who He says He Is! The words “quiet confidence” to me means peace, safety, hope and strength. The most important part is when she says “the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”  The key word is choice, and I choose God, I choose to love Him, and I choose to trust Him!

Can I be honest and vulnerable with you? It has taken me a long time to get to this point in my life. It has never been this peaceful, and I like many others use to tie my “emotions and experiences” in defining my level of joy. That is a scary notion to have, because experiences are often summed up with unreliable and inconsistent emotions. There was a time in my life after my younger brother passed away, that joy was a thing of the past. I was very angry with God, and turned away from Him. In my infinite wisdom maybe I thought I was trying to get back at God for taking someone so treasured by me, I do not know, It does not make a lot of logical sense, that I know. Thank goodness that God is so patient, and kind, and unconditional in His love for all of us, for I would have really been in a permanent mess! The reason I mention that experience is a few months ago, I attended the funeral of my brother-in-law, and it was during one of the saddest moments, that the most amazing opportunity to glorify and worship God in the midst of pain is almost unexplainable!

So to help others in their journey of obtaining joy, I will leave the wisest words, Scripture

Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

1 Thessalonians 2:17-20  But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.

1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

2 John 1:12 Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

Romans 15:13  Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This was taken from a great article that I will attach so that you can read more on joy.

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-joy-20-uplifting-scripture-quotes/#ixzz378Piuu60

In conclusion, my favorite verse on Joy is found in  James 1:2-4

New International Version (NIV)

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

May you find the peace and joy that you are looking for!

Transformation to living a Life of Joy~ Day 1

Change is not easy! Making the verbal commitment to change your actions and behavior is the easy part, walking it out is the hardest part. Reading the Word yesterday gave me a sense of peace, but it seems as soon as I put the Good Book down, life hit me square in the face. I know that initially Satan makes it really difficult for a person to walk out their intentions. One of my biggest obstacles is not only dealing with myself, but dealing with other people and their emotions and hang ups. I realize that just because I want to change, doesn’t mean that those around me will do the same. I know that I cannot let other people and their influence choose my joy level, but still, somehow that is what seems to happy.

It’s not just the big things in life that throw a person, I believe it can also be the little daily trials that occur, day after day. Comparing it to a block of ice and a chisel, Satan just continuously taps on the ice, until there is a crack, which gets bigger and bigger eventually causing  brokenness.. It is the same thing in my life. I must learn to rely on God and not my emotions, seeking him for comfort and fulfillment. We are all full of sin, expecting another person to bring fulfillment and happiness in my life is absurd. They just are not able to fulfill all the needs that I have, and expecting them to, not only sets them up for failure, but brings more destruction into our lives.

So for today, I am going to dive further into the Word, looking up Scripture on Joy, fulfillment, contentment, peace, love and happiness. That should keep me busy for a while.

 

 

Living a Life of Joy!

I started my day with my normal thought patterns on my life, my loved ones, the way I view the world, it was the same “stinkin thinkin” that keeps me “in a box.” I thought about how the people around me are getting older, and how time is always moving, things that I simply cannot control, but always managed to make me sad. I thought about an author Kay Warren, and the book that she wrote a few years ago, “Choose Joy.” In this book, she emphasized that although we cannot control our surroundings and the things in it, we can control how much joy we have in our lives. I thought about that, choosing joy! It came to me, that my relationship with God, and actually putting my trust in Him, is the surest and quickest way to obtaining joy in my life. I can’t control circumstances, or people in my life. We all must make a conscious decision, and effort to maintain relationships, love, and live life.

We are all given a certain time frame to live on Earth, and that this world is truly temporary. We have a whole other life full of joy and love awaiting us on day, trying to hold on to something in this world, and the things in it, including people is crazy! We were never suppose to be permanent residents here, and truly, if you think about it, in a world this ugly, who would want to be? I can spend my time, trying to slow down the process of life, and the people in it, or embrace the time, days, and moments we are giving, and maximize the joy that it can bring. I choose life! I choose to love those around me, while they are around me, and to enjoy the adventures and opportunities that God gives me with each passing day!

I took a picture of myself this morning, to put a date and time stamp on the changes that will occur in my life. In the process of the journey of seeking a positive transformation of Joy and love, that comes from God, I plan to share my experiences with others! What do I truly expect to happen? First, I will seek God and His will for my life! The surest and most practical way to do that, will begin with His Word, His Promises, daily!!! I love that! I love that word Promise! I love the fact that God is there, and loves me unconditionally, no matter what! I love the fact that He says in His Word, that If I seek Him, I will find Him!

I love that He is there open arms, and that there is nothing that will ever change that! I love that He tells us in the Bible, If we desire knowledge, that all we have to do is ask for it! (James 1:5). The Bible is so full of answers, every question that you will ever have in life, is answered in that book! Reading James has helped me understand that true wisdom only comes from God. Wisdom is the “ability to see the world through the eyes of God.” I love this verse, “If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13). What does all this mean? It means that if I seek wisdom from God, He will give it to me. Having wisdom that comes from Him is pure, it brings peace, love, gentleness, and the ability to give to others. It means that the inner peace and love that I have inside will radiate out to others, sharing His love and gift of life with others.
What is the first step to this transformation? James tells me right there in the Bible, James 4:7-10, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash you hands you sinners, purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. (repent).Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.”   What does this passage mean?   Give your heart, life, and soul back to God. Truly repent, and ask for forgiveness in a way that is not fake, or shallow in thought. Give him your life, to live through him, for Him, and In Him!

What I love about God is this, I can give him all my “negative’s” and trade them in for His goodness! In Faith, and that is the key, Faith meaning, no matter what, trusting Him, knowing that He is in control, and will do in love for me, what He wills!

In retrospect, I choose Joy! I choose God’s love~ I will take every trial and trouble, and look for the good in it. I will use them as they come, as an opportunity to help others, to bring joy, and compassion and love to others!

Are you with me? Are you ready for this journey? I would love to hear from you, share your thoughts via the comment section, and or contact me!

Peace!