How do leaders pray? Or more specifically, what do leaders pray?
If our ultimate leader in this Kingdom movement is Jesus, how and what Jesus prayed seems like a critical thing for leaders to look at…and especially when conditions go south. In the worst of all circumstances, leaders have to delve deeply into what seems at surface level to be backwards: submission—a, or perhaps the, key character element in Kingdom leaders. In prayer, the depth of my submission is exposed. Christian philosopher C. S. Lewis wrote:
“We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.”
It is the honest admission of what we are and what we don’t want to do, and then relinquishing that to Him. Prayer always probes the depth of my submission; it allows God to dip his bucket into the pool of my heart and bring up things that were too deep for me to find, both good & bad. The Bible records three fascinating prayers of Jesus within a twenty-four hour period. At the last Supper, Jesus took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. That was a prayer of thanks to His Father for the cup that clearly represents the supreme act of sacrifice—his own innocent blood for those who would reject him. He is saying thanks for that sacrificial opportunity. But within a matter of hours in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prays, “Father, if it’s possible, take this cup away.” What was accepted with thanks just hours earlier is now received with such agony that He sweats drops of blood. The prayer was answered with a “no” from His Father; there was only one course of action to take—submission to the Father’s will, not His own. And then, after being beaten, whipped, spit upon, stripped, and nailed to a cross for six gut-wrenching hours, Jesus cried out in prayer, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” At this point, Jesus is not hearing anything from the Father. There is no response to His cry. Submission means just that: our personal agendas, our personal missions, what we want out of life, have to be beneath, or under, God’s mission. The prefix sub simply means under. For example, submarine means under water. Our desires, our mission, have to be under His. Sometimes prayer is communicating to God what you want, but accepting what He wants. His will, not yours. In those situations, the consequences are not considered. Only my response is.
Dave Workman | ELEMENTAL CHURCHES