Would we be surprised to learn that the majority of people who claim Christianity do not understand prayer? Too often, prayer is used like a spare tire; we pull it out of the trunk when something goes wrong and we need a little help until everything is patched up.
Prayer is also used as a “hail Mary pass.” The idea represents a last ditch effort when everything else we try fails.
Biblically, however, prayer is a key part of a relationship with God. We pray not because tragedy strikes, although we can pray in those times. Prayer is not a last ditch effort to see if God will do something since we could not do it on our own.
Prayer is a beautiful expression of a heart that beats in rhythm with God. Leaders understand the need to walk in relationship with God. Thus, leaders find themselves in constant communication with the One who wants to lead us all.
Consider men from the Bible like Enoch (Gen. 5), Noah (Gen. 6), Abraham (Gen. 12), the prophets, and apostles, who all led as examples of a life in harmony with God.
Today is one of my favorite days of the year, my wife’s birthday. For all of you who know her, you know the incredible woman she is and all she means to so many. As I think back over the years God has blessed us with, I fail miserably at expressing what she means to me and the image of her true character. Somehow, words are inadequate to describe my true love and friend.
Beyond her physical beauty, she possesses an inner beauty that exceeds all. Her selfless character continues to teach me every day what love means. Her love for me, her children and grandchildren, is unmatched. The servant’s heart that beats within her demonstrates the most Christlike spirit I see in the world today. If there are angels on this earth, I am pretty sure I live with one, and I am thankful she claims me.
I pray God helps me to emulate the example I see in her.
Happy birthday to the greatest woman I know!
I love you TTBOTM.
A day set aside for expressing gratitude is a special day indeed.
Enough space does not exist in any blog post to express every area where we are thankful. One thought is sure; we are thankful for our God and you.
Our prayer is that this holiday is a special time spent with friends and family, one day among many to reflect on the blessings of life and give thanks.
From all of us to all of you…
Seek responsibility and take responsibility for actions.
Leadership involves responsibility. The higher one goes in leadership, the greater the responsibility. As many have said, the greater the responsibility, the fewer the rights.
We could say we live in a culture where taking responsibility is not an acceptable practice. We could also say we live in a culture where the common practice is one of blaming others.
The problem is not cultural. This practice has been in place since creation. When questioned by God about eating the forbidden tree, Adam blamed Eve (and God for the woman given to Adam). Eve blamed the serpent. We have not changed much as people in the twenty-first century.
Leadership seeks responsibility and takes responsibility for their actions.
It is an interesting and powerful thought to consider: leaders give credit to the team when there is victory, but take full responsibility when there is defeat.
Rarely do we find such integrity and leadership. Yet, when leaders seek responsibility and take responsibility for their actions their influence grows. The result? People will follow!
To improve is to work at making someone or something better.
Athletes practice daily to improve their skills. They work hard to get better.
Professionally, people enroll in continuing education classes in an attempt to improve their abilities at whatever level needed. We should desire to be a learner, improving our minds and abilities.
Spiritually, we follow the teaching of Paul in being renewed daily. Doing so improves our abilities to fulfill God’s will for our lives.
From a leadership perspective, our role is to lead in ways we can improve others. Our leadership must not be about us. It is about others. It is about leading them down paths of improvement.
When we improve life spiritually, the physical side of the equation cannot help but improve. We improve the lives of others when we:
…share the hope found in Christ,
…point to the reward of heaven,
…and teach application in word and deed.
We all need to improve. The challenge is learning to understand how we improve ourselves in the greatest way by improving the life of others. Think Souls!
Before we dive into today’s post, we must realize that the depths of this subject cannot be covered in a few articles.
Hopefully, we can examine a few prayers from scripture by leaders of God’s people and learn from the relationship they exemplify with God.
Prayer is an avenue by which communication with God occurs. We often consider our approach to God as significant to understanding prayer. We base this on the instruction to the apostles who desired to learn how to pray (Lk. 11:1). We lift up the prayer of Solomon (1 Kgs. 8:22-53) or David’s expressions throughout the Psalms.
We can certainly learn a needed reverence in approaching God’s throne to speak. Without doubt, He is to be revered and lifted up by our hearts through the words from our lips.
We should remember that these examples are not the only prayers found in scripture, and they were not intended to provide a formula to be used in every prayer.
Prayer signifies a relationship and leaders need to understand more fully the relationship represented through prayer. More next week…
“Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing.” Mandy Hale
Why does the idea of “change” create such fear on the part of so many people? One possible answer is the idea that change brings something negative or bad. The idea is also associated with the tendency of introducing liberalism.
We do not condone or promote unbiblical or inappropriate change. The idea of change, however, can be a positive, powerful, and necessary approach to growth. As expressed, it is possible that our fear of change hinders growth and progress.
Change is biblical. The idea is expressed in the term – repentance. There must be a change of mind that implements a change in action and direction. God intended this change to be a part of the Christian life.
If we consider change from a methodological or philosophical point of view, without wading into areas that are unbiblical or inappropriate, we might be looking at the greatest way to produce growth and progress.
Our fear of change must not stifle us from achieving all that God can do through us.