Prayer

Leadership Lessons from Luke 4.38-41

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Leadership begins in the home.

As leaders we must understand the gravity of this one statement. If we can’t lead our homes what makes us believe we can lead others?

Peter’s mother-in-law is sick with fever. Let’s be honest. You must be a pretty good leader if you’re being asked to pray for someone’s mother-in-law! Leadership is all about restoring others, serving others and loving others.

Isn’t this the model Jesus left for us? He loved others. He served others and he brought restoration to lives.

Note what happens next. The crowd comes to Jesus. Jesus simply helps one woman. She then responds by utilizing her gifts. She served. Leadership is all about helping others discover their gifts and then seeing them act upon them. This builds the Kingdom!

Following this, the crowd comes to Jesus. Leadership is not about attempting to draw a crowd to yourself. It’s about serving the one and then watching what God does in the midst of your service.

How are you utilizing your leadership for the one?

Photo: Unsplash.com

 

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Leadership Lessons from Luke 2.22-38

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There are people praying for the vision God is giving to you.

Luke takes time to dwell on two individuals at the time of Jesus’ presentation. This fact compels us to grasp the significance of what is taking place. The vision of a Savior is being released, but not without the reader understanding the vision behind the vision.

Two individuals are mentioned, Simeon and Anna. Both are righteous people. They have devoted their lives to praying, fasting and worshipping God. Why? For the vision to be released to the world.

We must understand that there are people behind the curtains of our lives praying for the God vision you hold to be released. They are not seeking fame, they are seeking God in hopes that the vision will soon be birthed. They are relentless in their seeking.

Contemplate for a moment all that has taken place prior to Jesus speaking His first word. All the conversations the Holy Spirit has had with individuals even before Jesus takes His first steps. While still an infant vision, God has been hard at work.

Never take for granted the vision God has given you. You are not alone in its delivery. There are many people who play a vital role in it.

How does knowing that God is working through others encourage you in the vision God has given?

Why not take a moment to thank God for all those who are carrying the vision with you, many of whom you may never encounter in this lifetime.

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

Don’t Hide This…

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Hear about the elderly couple who received a cell phone as a gift from their kids?

A few days after receiving their new gift, one of their kids called them to check on them. No answer. This was followed an hour later by another call. No answer. 15 minutes later. No answer.

Worried now, the daughter jumped in her car, driving across town to her parent’s house. Upon arrival she found them sitting in the living room watching TV.

“Why didn’t you answer your phone?” The daughter asked with panic in her voice. “I called several times.”

“Oh, we put your gift in a safe place. It’s in the box, under our bed. We didn’t want to lose it.” Her mother remarked.

“Mother! You’re supposed to have the phone with you at all times,” the daughter yelled back. “The cell phone allows you to do things you were previously unable to do. You don’t hide it, you use it,” she went on to say.

What about you? What are you doing with the gifts God has given you? Sometimes it’s easy to neglect the gifts you’ve received.

1 Timothy 4.14 – “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.”

Don’t neglect your gifts. They were given for a purpose.

Don’t keep your gift in a box…in a safe place. Use it. Take it out of the box.

My prayer for you this day is that doors open for you to use these gifts, to make a difference in the lives of others!

How are you using your gifts?

 

Photo courtesy of http://www.gratisography.com

Why I Don’t Like My Prayer Life

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A few years ago I was able to go to Israel. One of our stops included the Garden of Gethsemane. The place where Jesus prayed, prior to His death on the cross. Looking back on this…

I discovered something about myself through my own prayer life.

I don’t like the way I pray. Why? Because it reveals so much about who I am, who I’ve yet to become and what’s in my heart. I found, through my prayers, that I’m pretty selfish.

I guess I’ve known this for some time, as I’ve often prayed, “help me not to be so selfish.” However, even in that prayer it reveals my selfishness. I hate to admit this but my prayer life has become about me.

I don’t know how long this has been going on and I guess it doesn’t matter. What does matter is turning the corner on this, and soon. So beginning today my prayers will be less about me and more about others.

This morning several prayers were offered up for extended family members and friends. My speaking with God included other nations and my own community. Prayers for another pastor and his wife were uttered as well as a couple facing a major surgery.

My pastor and his wife were included as well. God heard me offer up prayers for my wife, kids (who aren’t kids anymore) and grandkids. My final words came in the form of gratitude for all God has done in and through me and for others.

Perhaps moving from ‘I’ centered prayers to ‘other’ centered prayers is an answer to my selfishness, greed, lusts, pride,…well the list continues.

So here goes…how can I pray for you?