Prayer & Leaders

How can Leaders in the Marketplace and in Church Ministry benefit from a Strong Prayer Life?

I understand prayer as the fuel that allows leaders to outpace the rest, but without it leaders quickly wither.

Most leaders are conscious of the possibility of endless development in his/her strong prayer life, but a strange paradox exists, the average person finds it hard to develop a strong prayer life. We identify prayer as indispensable and although Scripture has plenty to say about its transformational impact across all aspects and functions in life, many do not cross the divide between prayer as a spiritual accessory and the limitless dimension of a Strong Prayer Life.

Think about it, the Christian Leader (a person called to exercise transformational influence, i.e. Spiritual Leadership) who seeks an example to follow does well to turn to the life of Jesus Himself. The necessity of a strong prayer life ought to come from observing His life. Surely, if there was ever anyone who could have sustained a life without prayer, it would be the very Son of God Himself. If prayer is needless or a trivial monologue, Jesus would not have wasted His time at it. But wait! the Gospels tell a different narrative. Prayer in the life of Jesus was the dominant feature of His life and a central point of His teachings. Prayer kept his moral vision clear and sharp, and it gave Him transcendental courage to endure the perfect yet painful will of His Father. Prayer paved the way for transfiguration (Lk. 9:28-29):

28About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.” (The Bible, NIV, 1984).

“To Jesus, prayer was not a quick add-on, but a joyous and intimate necessity.” (Sanders 2007, 83).  Luke 5:16 gives us an important statement that throws a bright light on what was an important daily practice of Jesus.

16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (The Bible, NIV, 1984).

The Gospel of Luke speaks of this place in multiple chapters. It was our Savior’s habit to seek solitude for intimate and extended prayer (Lk. 6:12, 28; 9:18, 28-29; 11:1; 22:40). When Jesus withdrew from the crowd, He was accustomed to press deep into the uninhabited country, eliminating any possibility for distraction. The surprise of the average person lays in this, that the one so mighty, so deeply and richly endowed with spiritual power, should find it necessary to repair the source of strength, that He might refresh His weary spirit. To the believer, the wonder of this is even greater, that He, The Prince of Life and Peace, The Eternal Word (λόγος /Logos: speech, message, argument, defense, and book) (Thayer 2003, #3056), the Only-begotten of the Father, should prostrate Himself in humbleness before the throne of God to seek replenishment and steadfast direction. This is the most important lesson that people in leadership need to recognize – that a deeper life of intimate and strong prayer will lead to continuous transformation of the self and others.

Christ spent full nights in prayer (Luke 6:12). He often rose before sunrise to have unbroken and intimate communion with His Father (Mark 1:35). The great crises of His life and ministry began with periods of special prayer (Luke 5:16). He instructed his disciples the importance of solitude in prayer (Mark 6:46). To the person on whom entrusts the responsibility for selecting personnel and/or decision-making in the corporate world, the example of the Lord’s spending the night in prayer before making His choice of apostles (Luke 6:12) is luminous.

One thing is very clear, a strong prayer life in the life of a leader will: invoke divine assistance or intervention; provide a sense of divine presence or connection; foster a sense of calmness, confidence, clarity and purpose; will propel the person to transcend across and the beyond just human efforts, methodologies, productivity and processes; will transform the inner-self and lead to the transformational impact of others.

A person with a Strong Prayer Life is focused on timely showing up to each prayer appointment for qualitative, uninterrupted and intimate time with our heavenly Father, and an unwavering resolve to follow what Jesus modeled for us – that a leader must first possess a Strong Prayerful Life, everything else is will be added onto you.

Prayer is the portal to a one-on-one mentoring session with Jesus – the Most Proven Mentor.

Under His Grace,

By Oscar O. Mendoza, Executive Pastor