Leadership Intercession

 

Abstract Silhouette PrayingI’m thankful for leaders over the years that I could learn from as they walked out their faith. I can bring up pictures of leaders who have influenced me tremendously and some of them may not even be aware of it. Other leaders that I’ve followed, I’ve had the opportunity to tell them personally about how they influenced me. Some leaders who have influenced me have been family; some have been ministers and some have been hardworking business owners. One of the things that all the influential leaders in my life have in common is that they are prayer warriors. They prayed for others and me as I grew up. I’m so thankful for their “leadership intercession” on my behalf.

Nehemiah comes on the scene some 100 years later than the first exiles return to Jerusalem. The first wave of exiles was rebuilding the temple as well as the walls of Jerusalem. They were meeting some resistance and word got back to Jeremiah, who was still in captivity, but serving in the king’s presence. When news of this hardship reached Nehemiah, he began to grieve and intercede. Check this out…

4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:

‘Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.

10 ‘They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.’

I was cupbearer to the king. (Nehemiah 1:4-6; 10-11 NIV)

There are times the most important leadership activity that I can do involves intercessory prayer. I can talk things out until I’m blue in the face. When I talk to the Lord I’m bringing Heaven’s Resources into play. I’m still learning the value and the power of prayer in any given situation.

I think leaders should pray more intensely than others because of the weight of the responsibility of the leadership position. I also think that prayer really changes the heart of the one praying. Prayer opens the way for humility to enter and pride to exit. I believe a humble leader is way more effective than a prideful leader. It’s hard to be full of pride when you’re praying for the people you’re tasked with leading. Nehemiah is such a strong example of servant leader in his position as cupbearer. He also was a strong intercessory leader before the Lord through his humility and intense prayer on behalf of his people. I want to lead like that. I want to intercede for the people I’m blessed to lead.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Example

Lead By Example“What you are doing speaks so loud, I can’t hear what you’re saying.” This is another way of saying “Actions speaks louder than words”. I think this is an axiom that is chocked full of truth.

Joash was 7 years old when he was made king of Judah. His son, Amaziah was only 25 years old when he became king. He did have a great example. Check this out….

1 In the second year of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel, Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan; she was from Jerusalem. 3 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not as his father David had done. In everything he followed the example of his father Joash. (2 Kings 13:1-3 NIV

A bit later on in this passage, we see the arrogance and pride of Amaziah as he decides to take on Israel. He gets defeated and captured. The proverb that says:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 NIV)

I believe that pride and arrogance (aka “haughty spirit”) are the most destructive characteristics of our human existence. These are two of the most selfish & self-centered character traits and they are completely disruptive and destructive. They’ve destroyed many relationships along the way as one person starts thinking more highly of himself or herself than they ought. They then become “too good” for their family and friends and the destruction begins.

I believe that these two character traits have infiltrated Christ followers everywhere. When I first got to know the Lord, His saving me humbled me. I can begin to think that He shouldn’t save these other idiots. I’ve met people who are “so heavenly bound that they are no good for nothing here on earth”. That is not what the Lord had in mind when He brought salvation to our world. He taught by example to be compassionate to the poor and hurting. He taught me patience. He taught me to love profoundly. I would be very wise to follow Him example and realized when I see someone defeated, down and out, that “there but for the grace of God go I”.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

 

Parenthood

 

Mother and sonMy heart profoundly hurts for young families who want children but for some reason can’t conceive. I believe one of the things that changed my life most profoundly is becoming a parent. I know that my selfish meter really read differently. I am convinced that I discovered more about God through becoming a parent than any other way. I understood some things about His love for me. I can’t possibly describe the depth of my love for my children.

The Israelites once again turned from the Lord and the Lord put a plan in motion that would deliver them from the Philistines. He begins with the announcement of a birth. Check this out…

2 A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. 3 The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, ‘You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. 4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. 5 You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.’ (Judges 13:2-5 NIV)

The young man was named Samson. I still remember first hearing the stories of his great strength. If Samson became a judge at age 18, then the Lord was preparing nearly 20 years earlier for him to serve the Israelites as their leader. The Lord used a barren woman to deliver a great leader. I love the fact that the Lord did this with other great leaders. He starts with a birth and builds the leader from the start.

As I reflect on the arrival of my kids into my family, I’m blown away with feelings of blessing. It is a powerful and deep feeling of love that I have for my children. I also feel the incredible challenge and weight of the responsibility to teach them not only with my words, but also with my life. Of all the leadership responsibilities I’ve had over the years, I can’t think of any that compare to my role as a parent. I’m thankful for the grace of God as I made mistakes many times over. I’m thankful that the Lord shaped my heart to be teachable as I did my best to teach the children He blessed me with. Parenting should be unselfish, as we love, give and serve these beautiful gifts from the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Example

Helping OthersI remember seeing the example of others for years. In my childhood years I watched my parents. I saw how they handled adversity or struggle. I saw their faith in the Lord. As I grew older I saw the example of my grandmother – “Mammie”. She was a strong woman but very humble. He had deep faith in the Lord and I learned a lot from her example. I also watched people over the years who set a bad example of faith lived out. The Lord is asking Ezekiel to be an example to the people. He’s hopeful that they will ask questions and learn. Check this out…

1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 ‘Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.

3 ‘Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings for exile and in the daytime, as they watch, set out and go from where you are to another place. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious people. (Ezekiel 12:1-3 NIV)

 

I remember when I first believed in the Lord apart from anyone else’s faith or example. I remember that evening like it was yesterday. I was deeply moved in my heart and at that moment my faith became my own. I am supposed to now be an example to others. The Lord has called me to Himself. He wants me to be a light to expel the darkness in others. He wants my life to be an example of my faith to others. I’m so thankful for His Patience as I figured all of that out. I believe the Lord wants all of His kids to live out their faith and be an example of how to live in the midst of struggle, adversity or times of plenty.

Pressing On!

Dwayne