Thursday, March 21, 2013

Role of Prayer in Spiritual Leaders

How important do you think the role of prayer plays in the life of a spiritual leader? Read Col. 4:2 and comment on how this verse applies to a spiritual leader. Dr. Earley states that prayer saves time. “Prayer allows God to do more in days, hours, minutes, or even seconds than we could accomplish without Him in months, or even years, of work…..Once we understand this principle, we will learn to say, ‘I’m too busy not to pray.’” Can you affirm this statement? Give a specific example from your life or ministry.

From the five chapters you read (Earley chs. 1–5), what are 3 applications you can put into your own prayer life? Be specific regarding where this is coming from, (i.e. the textbook material or the Bible, etc.).

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2, ESV)

Outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ there is no more important aspect to that man/woman’s life than prayer. Prayer can be defined simply as speaking with God. If you are going to be a leader especially a spiritual one you have to stay connected to God. When you evaluate Colossians 4:2, we are told to stay in prayer; and not just to ask for things but to be thankful for what we have. As leaders we can easily fall into the pit of only asking God to give/do things for us; all the while forgetting to recognize what He already has done and thanking Him for it.
My whole school career has been an example of the Lord using less time than the average person would imagine getting things accomplished. I have been blessed to be able to accomplish a lot of work very quickly only by His grace. He has given me the ability to write large essays/papers in a matter of hours because of His response to prayers where other people it may take days or whole semesters to organize them. I really like the reference Pastor Earley makes to Martin Luther in his work, when I was a new Christian I valued my prayer time and would spend hours at a time, and like Luther felt/fell the more I pray about it the better it will be dealt with.[1]
There is so much that we can take away from this book by Dave Earley. While this assignment only ask for us to give three takeaways on how to impact our own prayer life, each of the five chapters lays excellent ground work for us to build upon.  One of the things I must make time for is making the time to pray. We will make so many other things in life a priority and mark it on our schedules, but will not do the same for time with God! This thought comes directly from chapter two of his book, where he goes deeper and tells us to determine a set amount of time to pray.[2]
I tend to be a very private man about a lot of things and then there are areas you will find plastered all over social media. Dave points out the importance of asking people to pray for us. As many of you know I suffer constantly with pain from my fibromyalgia, and while I still long for relief, I no longer ask for those prayers which I probably should. Earley reminds us that the Apostle Paul constantly in his letters asked those he was keeping in touch with to pray for him and the struggles he faced.[3] Once you examine this area it reveals that there is a source of either pride or fear that keeps us from asking for help. Will you pray for me; that the pain will not be so unbearable I cannot focus on my task at hand, and I all I do will bring glory to the Lord? Thank you in advance for your prayers.
While I practice intercessory prayer often I need to be more specific about the things I am seeking the Lord for on behalf of others. It is very easy to get caught up in just praying very generic prayers for those on your list; it requires great love to pray intentionally for someone else. This is an area I will seek to grow in more, because Earley says, “Intercessory prayer is a primary tool used by effective spiritual leaders.”[4]

[1]Dave Earley, Prayer: The Timeless Secret of High-Impact Leaders. (Chattanooga: Living Ink Books, 2008)5.

[2] Ibid, 26.
[3] Ibid, 54.
[4] Ibid, 34.

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