If solitude is the most difficult servant leader habit to acquire, habitual prayer falls right behind as number two. Prayer is an essential act of the will that demonstrates whether we are really serious about living and leading as servant leaders. The servant leader’s prayer life is the most instructive indicator about how and where they might take their followers. Without prayer, we’ll never be able to connect our plans and efforts with God’s plan for our lives. Seeking God’s will through prayer, waiting in faith for an answer, acting in accordance with that answer and being at peace with the outcome, all call for spiritual maturity in your leadership.
Philippians 4:6–7 (KJV) says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The term “be careful for nothing” means not to worry about anything. The cure for worry is prayer. All too often prayer becomes an act of desperation, the option of last resort, the foxhole promise to God, when it should really be the first step for anything we do. What is it that causes you to worry? Do you ever pray about it? How often is prayer your first response to temptation or a challenge rather than your last resort? What is it that leads you to prayer? What do you most often pray for? Which of these phrases accurately reflects your attitude toward prayer: “Well, all we can do now is pray” or “The first thing we should do is pray?”
James 5:16 (KJV) says, “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” and James 4:2 (KJV) says, “…ye have not, because ye ask not.”
Prayer should be our natural first response instead of our last resort. In prayer, God has given us the most powerful, most immediately available resource for responding to the moment-by-moment challenges of both good and bad events. Finally, prayer honors God. Servant Leaders are called to honor God in all that they do.
The challenge for Servant Leaders is to begin keeping a prayer journal so you can be reminded of the daily prayers God is answering in your life. Pray for everyone you know, your work, your passions and God’s guidance for your life and leadership.