Becoming a leader: Model praying with faith

Scripture – Luke 18:1, 27, 42-43

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”  Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.


Prayer works. What have I got to lose? Praying without giving up is what Jesus calls me to. Nothing is impossible for God or for those who have the faith to trust him at his word. Praying for the big hairy audacious things increases our faith and decreases our trust in ourselves and the things we like to think we can control.

When people pray and ask God in faith, incredible things can happen. When they do, and God gets the glory, other people (witnesses) praise God. That’s what it’s all about – as many people as possible praising and trusting and knowing and following Jesus.


As a leader in my our life, my family’s life and the local church, Jesus is asking me to pray the bold prayers with others and encourage them to do the same. The result will be people praising God.


Father, give me the words and the faith to pray and encourage others to believe that NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE for YOU. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Becoming a disciple: The prayer weapon


Scripture – 2 Corinthians 10:4

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.


Prayer works. Prayer is a weapon. Prayer is equipped with divine power.

We have access to a power source that is far beyond our imagination. It’s like we determine the flow of lava from the mountain of God in the direction of demonic and worldly strongholds in our own lives, in the lives of others and in our world.

Like lava, it sometimes seems like it’s a slow process, but there’s nothing that can withstand molten lava once it gets there. Sometimes there’s immediate fireworks and sometimes it’s a slow ooze. But rest assured, prayer releases divine power to demolish strongholds.


Am I purposefully praying to demolish strongholds? Have I given up praying for things because it seems to be taking so long?

Like a military operation, I need to decide upon my next “target”, and schedule specific time to pray for divine power to be released to demolish that stronghold.


Father, you are good. Thank you for this reminder. Bring to my mind the stronghold you want to me demolish next through the power of prayer. Help me never neglect this gift if being hidden in Jesus with access to all the power of heaven. Deepen my faith and my dependence on you today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Becoming a disciple: Never become a dude

Scripture – Amos 5:12 & Amos 6:4-6

For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins—you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate.

Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall, who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp and like David invent for themselves instruments of music, who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!


God knows us. He is there every time we sin, choose not to do good, and put ourselves before others.

God hates complacency, laziness, pomp and circumstance, gluttony and greed. God is talking about dudes. Sitting on the couch, ordering in pizza and chicken wings every night, drinking a six-pack of beer every night straight from the can, sing along to MTV, spend 4 hours a day playing Farmville, and still putting on Gucci jeans and Hugo Boss cologne…totally unaware of and totally unconcerned by the poverty and destruction around them.


We need to kill the temptation to slip into dudeness. We need to fix eyes on Jesus and get a handle on what’s really happening around us. We need to understand the times we are in, the ‘ruin of Joseph’, and get off our lazy behinds and do something about it.

Long gone are the days of pleasant, conservative, well-dressed church goers. The Church needs to take hold of the power and authority available to fuel the prayers and good works we are called to.


Father, help me stay far away from slipping into dudeness. I know I am as vulnerable as anyone to fall into sloth, apathy and spiritual blindness. Be my light and my leader today and always. Let the men of God arise in my generation. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Becoming a disciple: After God’s own heart

Scripture – 1 Samuel 14:52

There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he attached him to himself.


Saul was a scared leader. He was scared because he knew his time as king could come to an end at any moment – because the Lord had found someone after his own heart and would make them king.

Saul assumed it would be a strong and courageous man, so whenever he met on, he invited them to work for him. The saying goes, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

It’s easy to see how Saul’s fear and worry became the center of his life over time. He was trying to hold onto the kingdom for himself, which was already destined for David, a poetry-writing, harp-playing, sheep-herding teenager.


Jesus teaches us to pray – “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. Sometimes its easy to say those words but what we’re hoping for is – “I hope the stuff you want to do is exactly the stuff I want to do”.

There is freedom in focusing on God’s heart and allowing him to bend our hearts around his, and there is fear and anxiety when we try to squeeze God into our own thoughts and dreams of what could be.

In my life, I want to be known as a man who lives in the freedom of trusting in the will of God – never trying to gather around me people or systems or things that I could naïvely believe could help keep God’s will from being done.


Dad, I ask that your will to be done today. Soften my heart to more clearly hear your voice and trust you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Becoming a disciple: Leaving room for God to confirm our message

Scripture – Acts 14:3

So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.


Being part of the advancing of the Kingdom of God does not come without power nor does it come without persecution.

The Lord confirmed the message of his grace, which was being preached by Barnabas and Paul, by enabling them to perform signs and wonders. So many of us in the ‘modern western Church’ have become cold to the idea that God is actually with us when we speak with boldness about Jesus. We have decided that after a couple of thousand years, God has lost a little of his zeal and doesn’t want to be as involved with the whole process anymore.

Let us remember whose Kingdom this is.

Let us remember that God will always care about this mission infinitely more than we could ever care.

He wants to confirm the message of his grace by enabling his people to perform signs and wonders, so that the lame may walk, the blind may see and the dead may be raised to life. We need to be preaching the right message, however. If we never tell people that God has the power to raise the dead, to heal bodies and relationships, to replace despair with incomprehensible joy, then he has nothing to confirm.


What does this mean for us?

1. Spend time with Jesus so that we know the heart of the Father.

2. Be bold in the Holy Spirit as you share with those in your life the awesomeness of God.

3. Make sure you are proclaiming things that God could actually confirm.

4. Pray. Ask. Believe. Step out in faith and pray for things that only God could do. Pray. Ask. Believe.

5. Know that God wants to advance his Kingdom much more that we ever could, so trust Him with how he responds to our prayers, requests and faith. It is our job to believe and to preach and to be bold. Let Jesus do the rest.


Father in heaven, you are so alive here on the earth. Give every believer a measure of faith to be like Paul and Barnabas, to preach a message that leaves room for you to confirm it through signs and wonders. I pray you would be glorified by our faith and that you would not say to a single believer “o you of little faith”. Let this faith begin with me. Open my eyes to your greatness and your passion to see your house filled with worshipers. Put a fire in my eyes to pray the scary prayers. I have been bought with a price and my life is yours. You are my King and I am your son. Thank you. In the mighty name of your Son, Jesus, amen.

Becoming a disciple: persistence in prayer


Scripture – Luke 18:1-8

1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”


In the natural, a widow was the poorest and most powerless of all society; a judge was one of the most powerful and wealthy. Jesus uses this story of the widow persistently pleading with the judge to help us understand that even in the natural, those who continually and persistently ask do end up up receiving, and yet through our faith in Christ we have become children of God – a father who delights in giving good things to his children.


Jesus calls us to persistent prayer without giving up. No matter how unlikely it seems in the natural that our requests would be answered, Jesus reminds us that the one to whom we pray, our father in heaven, lacks neither the power nor the desire to answer our prayers, but that he truly wants to see our hearts totally dependent on him. Becoming a disciple is learning and practicing what Jesus taught which through the power of the Holy Spirit enables us to become more like Jesus.


Father, let your call to pray always and never give up resonate deep within me. Rekindle a passion for prayer in the core of my being – not measuring myself on how many prayers get answered the way I think they should be, but rather on persistence and my faith and hope in the One who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Be glorified in all that I think, say and do today. In your name, Jesus, amen.