Much of my ministry is focused on prayer. Every Thursday morning, I and a number of students at Southeastern Seminary gather to start the day in prayer—and God is beginning to spread that fire on our campus. Over the years, though, I’ve learned that church leaders vary considerably in their approach to, and passion for, prayer.
Use these descriptions to evaluate what kind of “praying leader” you are, recognizing that more than one category can describe you.
- Reactive. You pray primarily in response to problems. When something bad happens, you pray.
- Perfunctory. You pray because your job demands it, and the prayers are usually brief and mechanical.
- Intercessory. You’re especially burdened to pray for others, and you do that systematically and regularly.
- Theatrical. That is, you pray most when you’re on the stage. You know the role you are to play.
- Proactive. You pray because you want to talk to God; you don’t wait for a problem to happen before you crank up the praying.
- Teenage. You want to grow in prayer, but you continually bounce between dependence on God and dependence on self.
- Repetitive. Ask others how you pray, and they can usually recite the words you use. Your prayers seldom change.
- Modeling. Not only do you pray regularly, but you’re also intentionally teaching somebody else to pray.
- Formal. You pray using language you never use in any other setting. Typically, it’s King James English.
- Burdened. The call to prayer weighs so heavily on you that you regularly agonize in prayer, perhaps on behalf of others or in a cry for revival.
- On-the-go. Your prayers are on-the-go, often with little depth and focus. You seldom, if ever, take time just to get away and pray.
- Listening. You quietly listen as much as you speak during prayer.
- Battle-driven. Many of your prayers are focused on spiritual warfare; in fact, sometimes you rebuke the devil as much as you talk to God.
- DNA. Prayer is simply a part of who you are. Others rightly recognize you as a humble, but powerful person of prayer.
- Isolated. You pray a lot, but you spend little time getting out of your prayer closet to tell non-believers about Jesus.
- Sacrificial. You intentionally schedule time to be with God, and you let few things get in the way of your time with Him.
Where do you most see yourself on the list? What other descriptions would you add?