Leadership Qualities of a Strong Leader?
The leadership qualities of a leader toward those he or she leads will determine their success or failure.
The prayer life of a leader can play a very significant role.
The Prayers of World Leaders
History has shown us that there have been many past leaders in the United States who have felt that a prayer life creates success. Here is a couple of examples of recent leaders and their prayers and leadership qualities.
- “Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give me repentance from dead works; pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments; make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life bless my family, friends, and kindred.” – George Washington
“Let us, young and old, join together, as did the First Continental Congress, in the first step, in humble heartfelt prayer. Let us do so for the love of God and His great goodness, in search of His guidance and the grace of repentance, in seeking His blessings, His peace, and the resting of His kind and holy hands on ourselves, our nation, our friends in the defense of freedom, and all mankind, now and always.” – Ronald Reagan.
“My first act as President is a prayer. I ask you to bow your heads.
Heavenly Father, we bow our heads and thank You for Your love. Accept our thanks for the peace that yields this day and the shared faith that makes its continuance likely. Make us strong to do Your work, willing to heed and hear Your will, and write on our hearts these words: “Use power to help people.” – George H. W. Bush
Those with healthy, strong leadership qualities, understand the power and influence of a healthy prayer life. However, some leaders do not see the importance of praying.
The Prayers of Christian Leaders
Many Christian leaders do not readily admit a need for help. They might say that they believe in the power of prayer while not making it a daily practice.
Dr. Chuck Lawless points out several reasons why many leaders fail to develop the qualities of a productive prayer life.
- Many leaders never learned how to pray.
- Many have allowed prayer to become a ritual more than a relationship with God.
- Many leaders have a sporadic prayer life.
- Some leaders just do not believe in the power of prayer.
- Leaders fight against weakness, failing to understand that vulnerability increases a healthy prayer life.
- Some leaders have lost hope and do not believe prayer can help.
- Many leaders do not pay attention to the prayer life that Jesus set as a leader for his followers.
According to the late Chuck Colson, our culture is suffering from weakness in political and Christian leadership qualities. Check out this article and video. Strong leaders could benefit significantly from the development of a prayer life. Here are six more reasons why a healthy leader quality of prayer is needed.
The Prayers of Jesus Christ as a Leader
One day Jesus was praying, and a disciple came to Jesus and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11)
In both the gospel of Luke and Matthew Jesus is recorded as teaching his disciples how to pray. Many scholars believe that the “Lord’s Prayer” is an outline to pray that Jesus gave his disciple to follow.
The prayer of Jesus has five primary points.
- Acknowledge and honor God with a respectful phrase like -“Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thou name.”
- Ask for the power of God and his influence to take control of the world – “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
- After acknowledging God in a holy way and asking for his Kingdom to take control then let personal requests take place. “Give us today our daily bread.” It is interesting to notice that this is a request for the moment, not for future wealth or prosperity.
- Jesus then told his disciples to make a qualifying request. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” In other words, we should not expect forgiveness and grace if we are not willing to share forgiveness and grace. Jesus went further in explaining this action of prayer by saying, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
- Lastly, Jesus instructed his disciples to pray for spiritual strength and power that can only come from allowing God to lead the way. He told them to make this request, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Real leaders will allow themselves to grow as a leader.
As Jesus shared this prayer outline with his disciples, he was preparing them for a future of personal challenges, disappointments, successes, failures, and a ministry that none of them knew was coming their way.
The Prayer Disciplines of Jesus
Prayer was a discipline for Jesus as a leader. Here are a few passages of scripture that show the prayer practices of Jesus for himself.
Matthew 14:23 – “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”
Mark 1:35 – “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Luke 6:12 – “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray and spent the night praying to God.”
What do you think about prayer and strong leadership qualities?
Do you think prayer is necessary to be a healthy team leader?
Do you think that the practice of prayer should be a top priority for leadership development within your organization, business or congregation?
It is evident that the most exceptional leader known to the world, Jesus Christ, felt that prayer was essential to lead the way!