115 - This course focuses on how to teach and practicethe principles of spiritual leadership. Topics includethe leader’s challenge, role, preparation, vision, character,goal, inﬂuence, decisions, schedules, pitfalls, and rewards.
Section 6 - The Leader’s GoalGroup Activity: Create a one-pagevisual summary of movingpeople on to God’s agenda.Study chapter 6 in BlackabyStudy chapters 11-12 in SandersPrint an article on leadership at:http://www.biblicist.org/systematic/TableOfContents.htm
Section 6The Leaders Goal J. Oswald Sanders, Chapter 11, Prayer and Leadership
“The spiritualleader shouldoutpace thechurch, above all,in prayer”Yet no leader fails to beconscious of how muchmore he could grow anddevelop in this area.
CJ Vaughan, “If I wanted to humblesomeone I should ask themquestions about their prayers. Iknow nothing to compare withthis topic for its sorrowful selfconfessions”Prayer is the Christians vital air andnative breath.Yet we often fail to pray!We talk of prayer as drawing near toGod, as a place of power, it isindispensable, a place of delight, acommand.Yet often we fail to pray.
We need to look at the example of great men ofGod, Samuel Chadwick,He was essentially a man of prayer. Everymorning he would be astir shortly after sixo’clock, and he kept a little room which washis private sanctum for his quiet hour beforebreakfast. He was mighty in public prayerbecause he was constant in private devotion.When he prayed he expected God to dosomething. “I wish I had prayed more,” hewrote toward the end of his life, “even if I hadworked less; and from the bottom of myheart I wish I had prayed better.”
One famous leader confessed he found his heart loathto go to God in prayer and when he did he was loath tostay - yet he confessed the need for self discipline here,encouraging those who knew him to greater depth anddiscipline in prayer even when they thought they couldnot.The time and effort given to prayer is a measure of howimportant it it to us.
Martin Luther declared extra work wasnot a reason to pray less, “Work, workfrom early till late. In fact I have somuch to do that I shall spend thefirst three hours in prayer.”We cannot learn about praying exceptby doing it! Intellectually it mightseem hard to understand but bylooking at Jesus we see the necessityof it - and if anyone could managewithout it, surely it would be Jesus. Yetprayer was dominant and prominentin his life and a regular part of histeaching.
D. M. McIntyre wrote:In Luke 5:16 we have a generalstatement which throws a vivid lighton the daily practice of the Lord. “AndHe withdrew Himself in the desertsand prayed.” It is not of one occasionbut of many that the evangelistspeaks in this place. It was our Lord’shabit to seek retirement for prayer.When He withdrew Himself from men,He was accustomed to press far intothe uninhabited country – He was inthe deserts.
The surprise of the onlookers lay inthis, that One so mighty, so richlyendowed (gifted; enabled) withspiritual power, should find itnecessary for Himself to repair (togo) to the source of strength, thatthere He might refresh His wearyspirit. To us, the wonder is stillgreater, that He, the Prince of Life,the Eternal Word, the Only-begottenof the Father, should prostrateHimself in meekness before thethrone of God, making entreaty forgrace to help in time of need.
Jesus at prayer:Lk 6:12 - full nightsMk 1:35 - rising earlyLk 5:16 - oftenMk 6:46 - after feeding 5000Lk 9:28 - before transfigurationLk 6:12 - before choosing theapostlesHeb 5:7 - with loud cries“All vital praying makes a drainon a man’s vitality. Trueintercession is a sacrifice, ableeding sacrifice” J. H. Jowett.
Col 4:12 - Epahphras is wrestling foryou in prayerCol 2:1 - Paul is struggling (a wordusually used for agonising or beingin agony) - the same word is used ofone who is weary (Col 1:29),competing (1 Cor 9:25), a soldierbatting for his life (1 Tim 6;12), aman struggling to deliver his friendsform danger (Jn 18:36)“True prayer is a strenuousspiritual exercise which demandsthe utmost mental discipline andconcentration”
Rom 8:26-28 In the same way, theSpirit helps us in our weakness. Wedo not know what we ought to prayfor, but the Spirit himself intercedesfor us through wordless groans. Andhe who searches our hearts knowsthe mind of the Spirit, because theSpirit intercedes for God’s people inaccordance with the will of God.And we know that in all things Godworks for the good of those wholove him, who have been calledaccording to his purpose.
Pray in the SpiritHoly Spirit is the masterteacher in prayer - more ismentioned of this aspect ofhis ministry than of any other.All true prayer comes fromhis activity in our souls.Paul and Jude both speak of“praying in the Spirit” - thesame things, lines, name, ashe does
Pray in the Spirit “True prayerHoly Spirit is the masterteacher in prayer - more is rises in thementioned of this aspect ofhis ministry than of any other. spirit of theAll true prayer comes from Christian fromhis activity in our souls.Paul and Jude both speak of the Spirit who“praying in the Spirit” - thesame things, lines, name, as indwells us”he does
Pray in the Spirit for 2 reasons:1. The HSp is the atmosphere andsphere of the life of a Christian - yetmuch of our praying is merelyphysical, in the area of the mind alone,produced by our thinking not theSpirit’s teaching.“Real prayer is deeper. It uses thebody, requires the cooperation ofthe mind, and moves in thesupernatural realm of the Spirit...ittransacts business in the heavenlyrealm”
2. Pray in the power and energyof the Spirit.Eph 6:18 And pray in the Spiriton all occasions with all kinds ofprayers and requests. With this inmind, be alert and always keepon praying for all the Lord’speople.Human power and energy are notenough!
The HSp helps us to pray even in ourfailings;- in our sin HSp leads us to graceand forgiveness in the blood of Jesus- ignorance of mind can stop uspraying but HSp knows the mind ofGod and reveals it to us as we waitand listen, so we know our prayer isin accordance with God’s will- sickness and weakness stops uspraying, HSp brings life and healing,enabling us to rise above such thingsAnd, of course, satan tries all sortsof tricks to stop us praying
Do you pray in the Spirit? Do you walk in theSpirit - all of the time, sometimes, occasionally, rarely, never? Are your prayers powerless and frequently (always) unanswered?
Biblically prayer is often seen asspiritual warfare;- Eph 6:12 - the Christian at prayerstands in between God and the devil -wielding no personal power but havinga strategic role - the victory won byChrist works through our prayers tothose in captivity and darkness.Jesus seemed at times to be lessconcerned over the sinful person asthe power behind their sin (orsickness) - the grip of satan in suchlives is released through the power ofthe cross taken hold of in prayer
Such understanding is vital inspiritual leadership - know wherethe battle is meant to be won andpray there in spiritual warfare.Matt 12:29 - “Or again, how cananyone enter a strong man’s houseand carry off his possessions unlesshe first ties up the strong man? Thenhe can plunder his house.”Sanders suggests that this refers toneutralising the power of the enemy- a task fulfilled by taking hold ofthe power of the cross - the powerof which is taken hold of in prayer.
Luke 10:19whereSuch understanding is vital inspiritual leadership - know I have given youthe battle is meant to be won andpray there in spiritual warfare. authority again, how canMatt 12:29 - “Or to trample on snakes andanyone enter a strong man’s houseand carry off his possessions unless scorpions and tohe first ties up the strong man? Thenhe can plunder his house.” the overcome allSanders suggests that this refers to power of the enemy;neutralising the power of the enemy nothingcross - the power will harm- a task fulfilled by taking hold ofthe power of the you.of which is taken hold of in prayer.
Hudson Taylor“It is possibleto move men,through God, by prayer alone.”
PracticeWe might all say we believe in thepower of prayer - but practicing it isvery different. Do you believe youcan take hold of God’s power tomove the cold, unyielding hearts ofmen?We might think this is inconsistent -how can we speak of freewill and yetalso of this power of prayer to affecthearts?Sanders notes:
1. God is always consistentwith himself - nocontradictions - therefore ifanswer to prayer is promised itwill come in a way consistentwith who God is - 2 Tim 2:132. Prayer is commanded byGod - meet the conditionssuggested by God and he willanswer - he commands prayerfor kings and those inauthority, so surely such prayerhas power consistent withGod’s created order.
3. We can know God’s will regarding what we arepraying - Ro 8:26-27In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.We do not know what we ought to pray for, but theSpirit himself intercedes for us through wordlessgroans. And he who searches our hearts knows themind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes forGod’s people in accordance with the will of God.As we seek the will of God and the HSp impressesupon our hearts and minds God’s desire - this leadsus into the prayer of faith - even if it takes time to beanswered
“One day George Mueller began prayingfor five of his friends. After manymonths, one of them came to the Lord.Ten years later, two others wereconverted. It took 25 years before thefourth man was saved. Muellerpersevered in prayer until his death forthe fifth friend, and throughout those 52years he never gave up hoping that hewould accept Christ! His faith wasrewarded, for soon after Mueller’sfuneral the last one was saved.”"God does nothing except in responseto believing prayer." John Wesley
“One day George Mueller began prayingfor five of his friends. After manymonths, one of them came to the Lord.Muller was asked if he believedTen years later, two others werethese men took 25 years before theconverted. It would really beconverted, hesaved. Muellerfourth man was replied,persevered in prayer until hiswould“Do you think God death forthe fifth friend, and throughout those 52have keptgave up hoping that heyears he never me praying allthese years if he did notwould accept Christ! His faith wasrewarded, for soon after Mueller’sintend to save them?”funeral the last one was saved.”"God does nothing except in responseto believing prayer." John Wesley
It is important to remember we dealfirst with the ear of God in prayer -not the ear of men.Remember it is not our prayer thatmoves people - but the influence ofGod upon them.If you want to move someone youmust be sure you can move God first!Prevailing prayer that movespeople is the result of a rightrelationship with God - mostunanswered prayers are centredon the believers relationship withGod.
Are your prayers full of...- self interest- impure motives- sin - if you cling to sin youmove away from God- unbelief (Heb 11:6)Great leaders in the Biblewere great at prayer, EMBounds says,
“They were not leadersbecause of brilliancy ofthought, because theyAre your prayers full of...- self interestwere exhaustless in- impure motivesresources, because of- sin - if you cling to sin youtheir magnificentmove away from Godculture or native- unbelief (Heb 11:6)Great leaders in butBibleendowment, thebecause, by the powerwere great at prayer, EMof prayer, they couldBounds says,command the power ofGod.”
The school of prayer beginswith the kindergartenunderstanding ofcommunion with God andproceeds beyond graduatestudies - where is yourprayer life now, is itprogressing?Who are your prayermodels, who has helped youmost in prayer?