We just finished a remarkable time in which our Leadership Roundtable (LRT) Group that is in it’s 3rd and 4th year of being together participated in a 35 Days of Prayer Exercise. I could write an entire book on the impact this had on participants and the work that God did through this time. The stories are incredible!
I’ll write my book later, but I would offer a few key observations around how this relates to servant leadership.
- Prayer builds relationship with God – Having consistent discussions with God will enhance your relationship with Him. Having a deeper relationship with God will better enable you to connect with His presence in your life, which will naturally emulate into an enhancement of your skills as a servant leader. After all Jesus was the ultimate model of a servant leader so we might as well tap into his guidance, wisdom, and discernment to improve our effectiveness in that area.
- Prayer builds relationships with others – Each LRT participate had a prayer partner in this exercise. They stayed in touch in a variety of ways throughout these 35 days praying together, and for each other. In every case, participants shared what an immense benefit it was to be on this journey with someone else, and that their relationship went to significant deeper levels. Servant leadership is hard. Getting someone to partner with along the way will enhance your ability to stay the course.
- Prayer is not a “Zero Sum Game” – It was extremely evident that God is a gracious and abundant God. He provides more than enough power and grace to go around. All people were blessed in this process! As servant leaders we should try to be a blessing and in service to as many people as possible.
- God wants us to pray for our businesses – When God taught us to pray “On earth as it is in heaven” he is declaring that he wants perfection and the very best in all aspects of our life, which includes our profession and businesses. Significant positive change happened in participant’s businesses when they asked for specifics in those areas. Servant leaders pray for their businesses and the people they are serving.
- Prayer builds our trust – When people saw clearly the evidence of God’s power and grace working through this process it also built their trust that God’s timing is perfect. All specific prayers were not answered how we might have liked, but due to the daily conversation with God and others, everyone trusted and had peace that God would deliver on His timing. Servant leaders understand there will be challenges along the way and things might not always work out according to our plan. Trusting in God for his plan will provide daily peace.
- Prayer requires listening – Prayer is not a one-way conversation. It requires us to listen to what God has to say as well. It was amazing what participants heard when they took time to listen during their conversations with God. A key aspect of servant leadership is listening skills. It’s amazing what can be learned when you are intentional about being quiet and listening to what is being said.
Servant leadership is about clarifying purpose, vision and values and then engaging in the process with people to make that vision a reality. It is about raising the bar everyday, and building relationships that will drive results. And it is about embracing those values that you hold to make the picture come alive. A prayer life, constantly being in discussion with God, will enable this process.
I am witnessing God working through leaders, and am seeing transformation happening one person at a time, one organization at a time, and one community at a time. This is how a movement of servant leadership gets rolling. God is igniting the fire and people are making a significant positive impact within their spheres of influence.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18