Episode 82 - 10 Feb 2021
A Leader's Prayer Life
On this episode of the Church Leadership Podcast, John is joined in the studio by returning guests Nathan Wagnon and Blake Holmes to discuss prayer. Together, they talk about some misconceptions leaders have about prayer and provide some practical steps for improving your prayer life. For show notes and more, visit www.watermarkresources.com/clp/8027-a-leaders-prayer-life
For many of us, when prayer comes to mind, we first think about a particular activity. However, more than any activity or action, prayer is ultimately our communion with God. We must begin with an recognition that God is with us always. Prayer then becomes a reorientation of being with a person. Prayer, then, isn't a transaction. Prayer is being in a relationship.
If you struggle to regularly prayer, confess that to God. Ask that He would help you, remind you, and that you would feel His presence. We cannot pray in a deep and abiding way until we acknowledge our weakness and dependence on Him.
Practically, we need to treat growing in prayer as cultivating our relationship with the Lord. While it is not a formula, it does require intentionality. It helps to have a plan. Here are some practical suggestions for healthy prayer habits:
* Have a time and a place. Don't only make prayer a reaction to the events of your life. Find a particular time and location where you commit to regularly communing with God.
* Have a pen in hand. When you pray, have some way to take note of what the Lord is saying to you. Keeping a journal can be a great way to do that. This also gives you a way to keep track of potential distractions.
* Pray through Scripture. One of the best ways to focus your prayer life is to use Scripture as a guide. For example, work your way through a Psalm, using it to show you what to pray for.
* Know who you are praying for. Having a list of who to pray for helps you to remain focused and intentional. What could be more loving than bringing others before the Lord during your time in prayer.
* Pray until you pray. If you are struggling to pray authentically, avoid the temptation to wait for "the right time." Instead, just begin, however messy or poorly worded.
* Pay attention to what you pay attention to. When we pay attention to what we are paying attention to, we can more frequently recognize that Jesus is with us, and then intentionally invite Him into that.
* Set reminders. Consider using your phone to remind you to prayer or shock you into a rhythm of prayer.
* Pray with other people. Praying with other people will always be a blessing. Others can be a huge source of encouragement, both because of their actual prayers, and the added accountability.
If you are looking for a simple, practical way to start improving your prayer life, simply get 3-5 note cards. On each of those write a topic of prayer or someone you what to be praying for. Also add some Scripture you want to call to mind. Now, put those cards somewhere you will engage with them frequently: in your bible, car, desk, etc. Thumb through those cards daily and every time you do, commit to praying for those things/people. As you continue to communion with God, consider adding more cards.
* Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
* The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down by Albert Mohler.
* Prayer by Tim Keller
* The Valley of Vision
* A Praying Life by Paul Miller
Sr. Director of Watermark Resources
Cohost of Church Leadership Podcast