Leadership Principle #7 Say Your Prayers…

February 18, 2010

Leaders take their followers to prayer before God.  Prayer Changes things, even the mind-set of God.

Well after Moses was up on the mountain God tells him what the people are doing and tells him to go down the mountain to deal with them.  God told Moses that he would wipeout all the people and make a great nation out of the descendants of Moses.  Moses does what every good leader would do next.  Moses prayed to God to save his people.  He took them before the Lord in a way as to stand in the gap for them and to intercede for them when they were not able or ready to go to the Lord.

Leaders pray for their followers, there Bible study groups, their parents and families and intercede for them to the Lord.  The reason Moses prayed for them was that he cared for them.  They were under his care and his control.  This came first nature to Moses because of the things we have seen from him and his past.  Moses had just spent the last 40 years in the desert tending sheep, he was a shepherd to the people too.  Just as we know a shepherd keeps his sheep out of danger from wild animals and other hazards, so does a shepherd of the flock on God look after his people who God has given care over.

 As leaders, teachers, and ministers of the gospel of Jesus we know that there are many dangers in the world that can take hold of God’s sheep and entrap them into places where there is little hope of escape.  It is our job to look after them in ways to keep them safe from harm.

 One of the biggest ways to do that is to pray for them.  The older I get the more I learn to be a silent prayer warrior for those under my shepherd staff of leadership.  As I have grown in my knowledge of prayer and become more consistent in the practice of it, the more I am confident that it should be a first response rather than a last resort.

 The book of James shows us some basic principles of a godly and effective prayer life.  I would encourage you to read it and notice the following principles.

  • Pray with expectation that God will answer your prayers in His way.
  • Is there any sin in your life that would keep your prayers from being heard?
  • How earnestly do you pray?  How often do you pray to God?
  • Don’t just pray by yourself, involve the many to join you in prayer.
  • Pray for those when God puts them on your heart.  Don’t wait.

 There are so many great examples of others that went before the Lord and prayed for the people of God to wake up, to move, to stop sinning, to work together, to stand firm, and more for the Lord.

 Moses prayed for God’s mercy to be on the people and for him to “relent” his decision to destroy them all.  (v.11-13)  In verse 14 it tells us that God did relent in his decision to destroy them all.  This can not be over looked here.  Do you understand that the prayer of one man brought earnestly before the Lord caused God to relent of his decision for the people.  Know that when you go before the Lord that God listens to your plea for the people you are praying for and he will respond to you as well.

 I am learning currently in a situation that I am going through right now that those prayers will often take a great deal of patience and waiting on the Lord and His timing.  Often I want to jump ahead and try to do things in my own power and way, but I know God has called me into a season of prayer for the students I am over and I am asking God to move in their life and for them to get serious about their faith.   I must trust God’s plan for each of them and His timing is perfect.

I Once Went Streaking (as a Christian)…

February 17, 2010

Well actually, it was more than once, unfortunately I have done it more than once.  Let me tell you about the first time I remember streaking (as a Christian)  It was about 10 to 11 years ago.  I was sitting in my office at work.  I was the youth pastor at Fairview Baptist Church in Columbus, GA.  I was having a busy day and my attitude was on edge because of all the “things” I “had to” get done.   I guy off the street came in looking for the Mormon church down the street.  I quickly told the man to go about 1 more mile down the road and he would find it.  I went back to my desk and that’s when it hit me.  I had just streaked as a Christian.  I was so pre-occupied by my “to do list” that  I didn’t take the time to try to talk to this man who was looking for a church that was leading people away from the truth and into hopelessness.  I didn’t have very much patience or love for this man.  That’s when I went streaking.

Colossians 3:12-14 says…

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

As a Christian I had forgotten to “clothe” myself with the virtues that Paul had mentioned to the church at Colossae.  In a way, I went streaking as a Christian.  There have been other times I have gone streaking too, sometimes I do it with my kids, sometimes with my wife.  I’ve even been streaking with groups of people from the church.  It is a bad habit and I try not to let it happen, but there are times when I don’t spent the right time in prayer and reading my Bible that I tend to start the bad habit of streaking as a Christian.   When I don’t spend that time with God I don’t “put on” those godly virtues that make a difference in my life, the life of others, and not to mention my witness for Christ.

The virtues that Paul listed were; compassion, gentleness, kindness, humility, patience, and love.   Paul says that love should be the virtue that is placed over all the other virtues because it is the one that holds the others together.  Love is the very nature of God.  The book of 1 John says that God is Love.  When we show love, we shine the very nature of God and put our best foot forward.

For a breakdown of these 6 virtues you can see my Bible study on them by clicking the link here.  So, the next time you are around someone and they fail to respond in a way that is like the type of virtues Paul listed, just call out “STREAK!” and call it what it is.  But be careful because someone might just call you out too for your words, attiude, or actions.  Let’s agree to keep the streaking down to as little we can shall we.