Sunday School: 5 Prayers Every Leader Should Pray
Written by Jenn Arman | March 17, 2013
Ladies, we at Project Inspired believe that many of you are called to be leaders of your generation. Being a leader can be difficult and even a little lonely sometimes. With that in mind, I’ve developed a list of five prayers every leader should pray.
These prayers are straight out of the Bible from some of the most famous leaders of our faith. For the longer prayers, I’ll only quote a small section, but I hope you will take the time to read the full prayer on your own.
- Abraham’s prayer for Sodom and Gomorrah: The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the Lord remained with Abraham. Abraham approached Him and said, ‘Will You sweep away both the righteous and the wicked?’ (Find the entire prayer in Genesis 18:22-33.)
As leaders, we may come across things that seem entirely evil, but sometimes, in the midst of great evil, a small portion of righteousness is found. That’s what Abraham realized about Sodom and Gomorrah. Even though the cities were almost entirely evil, he asked God to spare them if a small amount of righteous people could be found. Leaders have to consider the minority as well as the majority.
- Daniel’s prayer for his people: But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against You and scorned Your commands and regulations. We have refused to listen to Your servants the prophets, who spoke on Your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land. (Find the entire prayer in Daniel 9:4-19.)
Leaders can’t consider themselves better than the people they lead. Daniel never separates himself from Israel in this prayer. All of Israel is guilty of turning from God, Daniel included, so Daniel’s prayer is for himself as well as every other Israelite. Leaders aren’t better than those they lead, but sometimes pride can convince us otherwise. If the people are guilty of sinning against the Lord, then the leader is probably guilty as well.
- David’s prayer for guidance: Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to You and wait expectantly. (You can find this amazing prayer in Psalm 5.)
Leaders are busy! As leaders, we can get so busy that regular time with the Lord stops being regular. David’s example of bringing his requests to the Lord each morning is one for every leader to follow.
The last two prayers are my personal favorites–one from Solomon and one from Jesus.
- King Solomon’s prayer for wisdom: ‘Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?’ (The full prayer is found in 1 Kings 3:5-9.)
It is impossible to lead well without wisdom and understanding. Godly wisdom can really mess with our lives because it causes us to see things in ways that make us uncomfortable, but it’s the only way to lead people in an upright and holy way. This should always be the first prayer of anyone who feels like God is calling them into a position of leadership.
- Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane: ‘My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.”’ (This prayer is found in Matthew 26:39 and 42.)
It can be easy for leaders to confuse their will with God’s will, especially if God’s will is for something difficult to endure. As leaders, we need to recognize that it’s okay to ask God to take difficult tasks away from us, but we always need to pray for God’s will to be done over our own.
Girls, I hope this article has given you greater insight on the important traits and habits of a godly leader. Do you consider yourself a leader? What are your favorite prayers or verses for leaders?
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
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