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Prayer and Leadership

Recently my schedule has been filled and overflowing more than usual. During these busy times it is easy to become physically and mentally exhausted. My first thought is to try to grab a few minutes of rest whenever I find a free moment. It’s also easier during these times to allow myself to cut a few minutes here and there from my devotions and prayer time. I’m sure that you find yourself in those same circumstances from time to time. However, prayer should always be the first and foremost event of your day. It’s the foundation of your relationship with your Precious Savior and Almighty God. It is also your main resource for being refueled and refreshed. Carefully consider the following quote.

Bishop McKendree
‘During this affliction I was brought to examine my life in relation to eternity closer than I had done when in the enjoyment of health. In this examination relative to the discharge of my duties toward my fellow creatures as a man, a Christian minister, and an officer of the Church, I stood approved by my own conscience; but in relation to my Redeemer and Savior the result was different. My returns of gratitude and loving obedience bear no proportion to my obligations for redeeming, preserving, and supporting me through the vicissitudes of life from infancy to old age. The coldness of my love to Him who first loved me and has done so much for me overwhelmed and confused me; and to complete my unworthy character, I had not only neglected to improve the grace given to the extent of my duty and privilege; but for want of improvement had, while abounding in perplexing care and labor, declined from first zeal and love. I was confounded, humbled myself, implored mercy, and renewed by covenant to strive and devote myself unreservedly to the Lord.’

As you read this, begin to take a self-examination. Set time aside TODAY to thoroughly examine your relationship with God. While reading through Power Through Prayer by E. M. Bounds, I was challenged by this passage.

‘Prayer is not a little habit pinned on to us while we were tied to our mother’s apron strings; neither is it a little decent quarter of a minute’s grace said over an hour’s dinner, but it is a most serious work of our most serious years. It engages more of time and appetite than our longest dinings or richest feasts. The prayer that makes much of our preaching must be made much of. The character of our praying will determine the character of our preaching. Light praying will make light preaching. Prayer makes preaching strong, gives it unction, and makes it stick. In every ministry weighty for good, prayer has always been a serious business.

The preacher must be preeminently a man of prayer. His heart must graduate in the school of prayer. In the school of prayer only can the heart learn to preach. No learning can make up for the failure to pray. No earnestness, no diligence, no study, no gifts will supply its lack.

Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still. He will never talk well and with real success to men for God who has not learned well how to talk to God for men. More than this, prayerless words in the pulpit and out of it are deadening words.’

garypneuma100.jpgby Gary R. Linn, Children’s Ministry Today

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