Christian Leaders Pray

Leadership is about leading others. Good leaders enhance productivity while helping others reach beyond their old boundaries and enter new territory.

Maybe you planned on something other than leading. Life has a way of making everyone a leader at some point—sometimes, family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, or observers from a distance force you to lead.

Every believer has someone who is watching and following. Maybe you can’t see them. Your eyes do not connect, but they are there looking at you, observing from afar or even at close range.

You are a potential leader to them. Did you ask them to watch you? No, is your reply. However, your answer doesn’t change their mind. The number one reason for your self-appointed follower to quit watching is for you to fail in their eyes.

Even Christians fail. But someone’s failure is a wake-up moment. Our eyes are on the wrong individual. No earthly human is perfect. We all stumble at some point. Misfortune may come tomorrow or next year, but it will happen.

If our eyes are on Jesus and we read the gospels, we find Jesus spent nights praying. He asked for strength and wisdom to do the right thing at the right time for those watching. His method of helping observers was different in each circumstance. Nevertheless, the outcome for the actual recipient was always an improvement.

When we watch and pray with the right motive, things work out for the better because we have our eyes on our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gleam of Hope

Is disappointment after disappointment the story of your life? Hoping to find your rainbow with a pot of gold is your dream.

Seeing the end of a rainbow is only make-believe.” No! It’s not.” Last summer, at the end of our driveway, was a rainbow. It ended about twenty feet in front of me. Wow! I thought I saw it and drove on. I didn’t stop. I didn’t take a picture with my phone. Now, I need help to prove what I just wrote.

For the record, alcohol was not in my blood, nor was any other mind-altering drug. What I witnessed was real. But there’s no documentation.

Trying to tell others about your dream might be like my rainbow tragedy. Your rainbow was right there before you, but you kept driving. You didn’t stop for the details of the opportunity of a lifetime. The pot of gold was there for you, but you didn’t stop.

If you are fortunate, there will be another opportunity. This time, stop. Realize what is before you, and take your time with the situation. Consider what the future may be for a while. Take a step forward and see a glimpse of what the Lord is doing, but keep on going and watching what’s happening. Are you crashing into closed doors? Is God opening something special for you?

Seeing the gleam of hope is your reward for your patience and stickability. So, by faith, put your hand on the door handle and open your door for the next adventure of your life. 

If We Listen

Somedays, it seems you have no idea where you’re going. All you know is you’re moving in a different direction with no destination in mind. Then, by the end of the day, you realize you were where you were supposed to be. You did what you did without knowing the significance of it.

Later, once you reflect on the events, you realize something special is happening. Because you are obedient, God controls your speech, senses, and steps. He has a way of doing that for us without us recognizing his intervention. We were doing what we thought was right for the moment. Our incredible Savior has you by the hand in those moments, directing your life.

When Jesus guides unplanned steps, miracles take place. Maybe the phenomenon doesn’t seem like a miracle to us, but to those watching, hearing, or being encouraged, it’s the hand of God for their moment. Just what they needed for comfort, reassurance, encouragement, or the necessity of life was given to you to give to someone else.

Our wonderful Lord knows the need of every heart. He also knows when to step in and supply the demand of our hearts. Our Savior already knows who his messenger can be.

If we listen and comply with God’s leading, we can be his messenger of hope and happiness for someone. What it takes on our part is a willing heart and a yearning to be used by God. It is then that we find out why and where we are going.

Your Prayer Life

Hearing the word no may be discouraging—no echoes off the walls at home, school, and work. The authority figure may choose tactful words to give you an unwanted answer. The result is still no. How do you respond when God tells you no? Most of us accept His answer as the final answer. Then, some wonder why God said no.

Hannah, in I Samuel chapter one, thought, prayed and continued to pray about God’s answer. To make things worse, another lady made fun of her. You see, Hannah wanted to have a child. But, God had other plans. The Lord’s no was, “It’s not the right time.” Peninnah, Hannah’s husband’s second wife, had a growing family. In Old Testament times, men had multiple wives. Peninnah made fun of Hannah’s barrenness, especially on their annual pilgrimage to Shiloh to worship.

During one pilgrimage, Hannah got serious with God regarding her prayer for a male child. She prayed fervently with tears for a son. The prayer continued with a more profound commitment. I’ll return him to you if you honor my request. God answered her prayer.

After weaning the new child, Samuel, Hannah gave her son to the high priest, Eli, to raise him in the House of the Lord. So, Samuel grew up to serve God. All of Israel knew our Lord used the prophet Samuel to turn Israel back to God.

Israel’s revival started with a woman’s burden. Barren, but not prayerless. The prayer of one woman changed the nation. Unlike Eli and his sons, her son was the man God used to bring respect to God’s work. You are the Lord’s servant.

You can change the destiny of your family, community, or church. So, forget about your present status. Stay faithful and pray. Eternity will reveal how God answers your commitment.

The Help

Looking backward doesn’t help, and dwelling on the past hinders forward progress. Sure, you don’t want to repeat the same mistakes. What’s your dream? Do you have a plan? Can you visualize the steps to make it happen? Hopefully, the following will help.

Grab hold of your dream with both hands. Grip it with all your might, and don’t let go. The grip is your reinforcement of keeping your eyes on the destination. The road may seem blurry at times. The location may seem too far to reach. You may even wonder about the path. However, a few adjustments will bring you back to the main road.

When you get off course, you will discover the dependable ones in your life. True friends will talk straight with you about your actions while encouraging you. They will challenge you to a course correction. An indispensable friend is not selfish and is willing to help. They even go out of their way to assist you. The Bible reminds us, “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 KJV).

When you can’t count on anybody else, hopefully, you know Jesus is always there. Jesus has never led me wrong. He’s always ready to help me in the right way.

Something else became clear to me. Jesus wants me to do my part. I know He can do it all for me, but if He does, I’ll miss some important life lessons, the kind you only learn by doing.

Thank goodness for the initiative to start and all the help along the way to complete the tasks.

Refueling Required

The four-lane road was busy. My car died. I slowly guided the vehicle to the side of the road and started walking. After a while, I reached the gas station. The garage was open, and I told the mechanic what had happened. The first thing the mechanic asked was, did you run out of gas? 

The moment of truth, I remembered that the gauge was near empty, but I forgot about gas.

We can do that spiritually. Everything is fine for a while but quite unexpectedly, nothing. Not going anywhere, at a complete standstill, and we can’t figure out why. We have no idea what’s wrong or why things are happening the way they are. Why did we run out of gas spiritually?

The question we need to ask ourselves is, how is our prayer life? What about our Bible reading or attendance in the House of God? We can’t run on the past fuel very long. The fumes will eventually evaporate because our spiritual tank needs replenishing.

When we run out of gas, everything stops. Have you noticed that it’s only after refueling that things start moving again? The principal works for your vehicle and your spiritual walk with the Lord. You can’t run on fumes because you will come to a complete stop. God hasn’t moved, and he has plenty of fuel.

Take a moment and refuel, then you can resume your journey. If you refuse to refuel, you will come to a complete stop because you didn’t refuel. You will find that God has plenty of fuel if only you stop and replenish your tank.

Age Doesn’t Matter

The law in many places says you must be twenty-one or older to do certain things. Whether it’s securing a loan, voting, or serving in Congress. The Bible doesn’t have age restrictions.

Moses was 80 years old when God spoke to him out of the burning bush. That event was the beginning of a 40-year ministry. Moses announced plagues, raised his arms, and the Red Sea divided. Then, he struck a rock, and water gushed to quench millions of people’s thirst.

Sarah was 65, and Abraham was 75 (Genesis 12:4) when God announced He would be the beginning of a great nation through them (Genesis 12;2). Years later, Sarah, at the age of 90, and Abraham, at 100, gave birth to their son, Isaac.

Joseph was seventeen when he dreamed that his brothers and parents would be under his leadership. Samuel was a mere lad when God spoke to him in his dreams (I Samuel 3). Josiah was eight years old when he became Israel’s king (II Kings 22:1).

Age is not hindering God from tapping you on the shoulder and saying he wants to use you. The only hindrance to serving God is your heart. Are you willing to serve the Lord and do his will? The Lord’s compassionate guidance will lead you into uncharted territory. An adventure, to say the least. There may be difficulties where he steers you. However, there is this promise. He will never leave you and will equip you for the next opportunity.

One thought to ponder. Age doesn’t matter if you are willing to follow God wherever he leads.

Expectations and Eternity

Great expectations versus reality are at odds. You hope to win the lottery and be rich forever. The statistics say you have one chance out of millions. So, in essence, you are donating your money to the state. But in the meantime, the state has made a truckload of money.

Some people pray like they have one chance for God to answer their prayer. They expect God to give them the jackpot and jump to answer their prayer. Meanwhile, their daily lives lack evidence of any godly meaning.

Please note that I am not saying you must walk on water to get your prayers answered. Unanswered prayers happen. They happen to everybody. God promised Abraham that his descendants would occupy the land we now call Israel. Abraham was 75 years old when God made this commitment (Genesis 12:4). After twenty-five years of prayer, Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5). It took a “lifetime” for God to fulfill His promise. God answered Abraham, but on God’s timetable.

Moses, the most significant leader of Israel, had unanswered requests. The prophet, who spent 40 days with the Lord, wanted to see God. God replied, “I’ll show you mercy and kindness,” and I’ll do that for anyone I choose. But to see my face, the answer is no. (Genesis 33:18-20).

The apostle Paul asked the Lord to remove his suffering or, as the King James Bible says, “his thorn in the flesh.” God answered, “My kindness is all you need” (II Corinthians 12:8,9). We need to remind ourselves God used Paul to write more of the New Testament than any other individual. 

The fact is, God doesn’t need our strength or resources. Almighty God desires our hearts and our fellowship. Like any parent, God wants a tender heart willing to comply. Riches and personal charisma are spiritual hindrances at times. Tenderness and obedience will enrich your earthly time and reward you for all eternity.

Fluff Not Required

Writing, like some thoughts, can be all fluff. Words put together to sound good. The same goes for speeches—a string of words that fills the air but says nothing. Politicians are masters of this art; however, have they ever considered what an insightful audience hears?

What’s the real intent of our words? Truth or camouflage? The Bible, if appropriately applied, has a way of revealing the truth to the discerning heart. A person of integrity senses the difference between truth and fibs. They may not be able to explain it, but they can smell a foul odor.

Dishonesty sends out a faulty vibe. Its vibration is weird even unnerving. On the other hand, simplicity radiates and reveals the heart. No explanation is needed, and truth needs no expanse of words. Just say it.

True prayer works like that, admitting to ourselves what God already knows. The Almighty knows the truth, all the truth. No amount of words can change it. Explanations are useless. Confession is good for the soul because it releases the load of guilt. Frees the hurt and gives a sense of relief then unburdens the soul. A scar may remain, obvious to see but lacks the old pain. Forgiveness is our healing salve for our spiritual wounds.

The nerve of asking for forgiveness is difficult at times because of our ego. Amazing things happen when we swallow our pride and do what’s right. The gulp goes down and disappears.

Forget about the fluff and looking good. Instead, bring sincerity to your heart, writing, and speaking. Then you can enjoy the sweetness of the dessert.

Never Give Up

Can’t do what you used to do? Don’t worry. A new day is coming. Maybe your eyesight isn’t clear. Your memory has blank spots. The knees that used to bend are stiff and straight. Then, there is your back; it’s just there to remind you not to try that again.

Your bodily functions are ever-changing. It’s all part of life; we can either accept it or scream. Living is changing, adjusting and moving forward as best we can.

Adjustments can be challenging at times, but necessary to go forward. Progress is a mindset. So, do you want to continue as best as possible or stop and enjoy the pain while making excuses?

I had a fresh reminder recently. I’m not as strong as I was years ago. Lifting certain things, knowing that pain will follow, is a wrong choice. The result was a pain for several days. The decision was all mine, and so were the consequences. Was it a good decision? Probably not! Nevertheless, it was on me and no one else.

The apostle Paul said, “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Philippians 3:13 NKJV). Paul kept his mission in sight even though he wrote the above scripture while in a Roman prison.

What’s your mission? Are you still on course and making progress? Be like Paul. Never give up, regroup, if necessary, adjust to whatever may slow you down. But, never, ever quit.

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