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 contagious 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.
- If you want to maximize your impact, prioritize your prayer life.
- Prayer is the most important task of a leader.
- Prayer is the most influential activity a leader can undertake.
- Prayer saves time.
- Prayer is omnipresent.
- Prayer is the determining factor.
- Prayer provides insight.
- God does nothing in ministry apart from prayer.
- 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.)
- Remind yourself how important it is to pray and that praying is essential to a powerful, productive life.
- Determine your time and place of when and where you will pray.
- Do it! Remember, if you miss a day, do not beat yourself up, just jump right back on your schedule and proceed!