Recently, I read a powerful book (Essentialism by Greg McKeown) that taught me the need for better delegation. When we properly delegate, it allows us to focus our attention on those issues and tasks that require our skills and ability while offloading those tasks that do not (Acts 6:1-7). It also helps in the development of our team members so that their skills can increase. While there are many benefits to delegating, there is one responsibility that a Christian leader cannot delegate…that is prayer!
As Christian leaders of our organization, department, or team, we have several responsibilities. Among these responsibilities are casting the vision, setting priorities and goals, and holding the team accountable. In many cases, we can delegate parts of each of these areas to qualified team members. As I said above, there are many benefits to doing this.
But there is one responsibility that you simply cannot delegate to your team – not even to your inner circle. This responsibility is prayer. Before I get started, let me clarify something…others can be committed to prayer. Your leadership team or inner circle can engage in prayer regularly. I am not excluding them at all!
Leader Accountable For Prayer
When I say the leader cannot delegate prayer, I mean that she cannot hand this task over to others and no longer be held responsible for it. She can enlist others to pray, but the leader is still accountable for prayer as well. Does that make sense?
The reasons for this are numerous. Let’s go through a few of them and see if you understand the weight of this responsibility. However, before we do, I need to begin with full disclosure!
Until recently, I was not consistently committed to prayer like I should have been. The change came as the result of seeing the movie War Room and learning what commitment to prayer really looks like. I am not yet closely following the advice I will be giving you below, but I am getting much better at it as a result of my changes after seeing this movie. I look forward to a time when I can share more results from this renewed effort!
I say this because I want you to know that this commitment is not easy. It will most likely not come naturally. You will likely forget or neglect it at times for various reasons. The fact remains that we have no choice but to persevere if we truly desire to be the Christian leaders God has called us to be.
Reasons For Prayer Responsibility
Before I begin confessing things I should not confess, let’s dive into the reasons for our responsibility to prayer!
1. Jesus modeled it.
If I wanted to, I could stop the post right here and you should be all in. If God-as-man (Jesus) saw such a tremendous need for prayer that He made it a top priority, then we should do the same. Take a look at the following Scripture and see what you think about the commitment Jesus had to prayer.
Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed. – Luke 5:16
During those days He went out to the mountain to pray and spent all night in prayer to God. – Luke 6:12
He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged. – Luke 18:1
2. God is the Creator and Designer of All
Seriously, if you had a question about why your computer won’t work a certain way, would you rather sit on hold with phone support or have a direct line to the one individual that wrote the software?!? You may laugh, but this is the same idea!
We have a direct line to the One who created everything we can see. He created business before Jack Welch was a glimmer. He created education, technology, and healthcare. He knows everything there is to know about everything! Where else can you go to get better advice or stronger wisdom?
Knowing He is the ultimate source for anything we could desire to know, shouldn’t we be more eager to sit at His feet and ask for help? Take a look at this Scripture to verify what I am saying.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. – Genesis 1:1
Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind. He said: Who is this who obscures My counsel with ignorant words? Get ready to answer Me like a man; when I question you, you will inform Me. Where were you when I established the earth?…. – Job 38:1 – 41:34
3. We are commanded to pray.
I know some of you scholars are trying to decide whether I have come up with an eleventh commandment or some obscure verse because you cannot think of an instance where we are commanded to pray. Well, I hear you, but I see it differently!
Read Matthew 6:5-8 and count the times Jesus says, “When you pray,…” He did not say “if” you pray, but “when” you pray. This is clear enough to me, but I can take it a step further.
Read Matthew 22:37-40. You are most likely familiar with these verses as I refer to them often. In these verses, we are told to love God with everything we have, but there is no mention of prayer, right?
Please describe to me a relationship built on total love that is without communication. You can’t.
You can’t because it is impossible. If we truly love God with our whole heart, then we will simply be unable to resist talking with Him. It will be impossible for us to go through a day without sharing with Him or seeking His wisdom. Our desire would be too strong. Prayer would then be our lifeline rather than a responsibility!
Folks, if you will notice, none of the above Scriptures mention handing off the responsibility of prayer. That is because it is not possible. We are each in a position of needing this privilege. Let’s start recognizing this and creating the necessary changes in our lives to make it happen!
I will talk more later about HOW we can pray as Christian business owners and leaders. For now, I suggest you spend some time injecting life back into your prayer life. That is exactly what I am going to do!