I have been really challenged and encouraged recently both personally and in ministry. My Lead Pastor is really challenging the staff and congregation of our Church to be praying to make disciples of those around us. Out of that can a refocus of my attention to be committed to prayer.
Prayer is something we talk about all the time in ministry. It is what we are suppose to do. However one thing I have noticed in my life is that the more experience you get in ministry the more you rely on your skills and experiences and less on God’s guidance and wisdom. It can be true in our personal lives as well. It’s never intended but it seems like it just happens.
How do you lead out of prayer and boldness?
Pray Specifically. Pray Expecting God to act. As followers of Christ and ministers our first action step needs to be praying. I pray daily, but if I am honest, I don’t pray specific enough. I pray for very general stuff like for wisdom and discernment. While that is good because I’m asking God for His wisdom and help, I am not praying for anything specific. So I started praying for specific things. I still need to improve in this area and get more strategic but I do have 1 story about this recently.
As I was meeting with my Executive Team, we all agreed how prayer must be our first priority as we looked to transform our Student Ministry. So, we committed to praying and prayed as we concluded our meeting…specifically for leaders. Around 10 pm that night I received a text message from a former leader of mine about something random and we agreed to meet up the next day for coffee to catch up.
Heading into the catch up coffee the next day I wasn’t even thinking about our prayers for leaders until right before. It was as I was parking my car that I remember the prayer and thought how conquincidental it was that I was meeting with her considering our prayers. So it was at that moment that I decided to share my prayer story with her and ask her to be a leader again for our student ministry. She was a little surprised by my story but was open to leading again. After a few more discussions she decided to commit to the team.
Prayer does work and when we pray specifically we get to see specific action that God takes.
But with prayer comes boldness. I’ve blogged about taking advantage of opportunities before so I won’t rehash that here. However, what I will say is that when you are praying for opportunities and specific action for God to take, you better seize those opportunities when God opens them. You have to be bold like Peter. He was given opportunities all throughout the book of Acts (Acts 2:14-41; 3:1-10; 4:1-11 are some of my favorites.) and with boldness he took those opportunities God provided and ran with them.
As a follower of Christ and minister you have to be bold. If I just prayed for leaders but never asked anyone to be a leader, do you think that I would have any? If I just asked for opportunities to share about my faith but never seize an opportunity to share it with anyone, do you think I would share? No! We have to be bold and take action.
What specific things can you be praying for…both personally and in your ministry? Make a list, wrote things down and see how God opens up opportunities. If you are a leader of a ministry or home group or small group, encourage those you are leading to make a list as well and see what God does in their lives as they pray.
I believe that the more we pray the more our eyes will be opened to God working. Be bold when you see God working. It’s not a coincident. It very well can be God working. Act on it and see where God leads you. He will help you expand your reach and impact in the lives of so many. May God be with you all as you lead.
What do you think? How do you lead out of prayer and boldness? What stories do you have to share? Share below or on social media using #ymsidekick when you share.