By God’s grace, we seek to draw leaders of the church into a biblical understanding of their role and the character qualities that are essential for effective leadership. Part of this training is learning to follow Paul’s model. Since I mentioned prayer yesterday, I want to point out one of the ways Paul modeled prayer.
He spent time with the Ephesian elders; living with them, “serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials” (Acts 20:19). There were many other critical teaching points in this chapter, but I want to draw your attention to the way he left them. “And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all” (20:36). I can assure you that this was not just a farewell prayer, but Paul was setting an example for them to follow – becoming praying men! He would have expressed deep concern for their spiritual progress and protection.
There is a severe misunderstanding today of the importance and centrality of prayer in the life of a leader. As Leonard Ravenhill points out, we often select leaders based on their “standing” in the community or among members in the church. “In the New Testament church, they were “men of kneeling” – praying men.”
What are you promoting among leaders by your example?
Leonard Ravenhill, Revival God’s Way, A Message for the Church, Bethany House, 2006, page 24.
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