Earley researched and focused on the lives and work of a lot of Christian leaders both in the bible and leaders of today. Some of the leaders that he studied were Abraham, Daniel, John, Moses and Jesus. Early stated that his “information came from the lives of spiritual giants,” and he also stated that he “used some accounts of lesser- known leaders. “2 The text is a synopsis of his interpretations of the effect of prayer on these leader’s lives and Christian walk. Also, it is an organized system for creating and getting the greatest effect out of prayer in the life of the reader.
Summary Leadership is influence. “3 Earleys point in the entire text is that an outstanding leader uses every resource that he or she may have to be a success in convincing people around them. Earley stated “One of the most powerful ways to influence others spiritually is through prayer. “4 His research of leaders has found that prayer is a common feature in all leaders and that there is a process of creating prayer that has the largest effect. Earley discovered nine prayer disciplines of leaders that he studied. The nine demonstrate his “prayer disciplines of high-impact spiritual leaders. 5 Earley sserted that practicing these nine prayer disciplines “will focus, stretch, rekindle, and renew prayer life,” and it will make a person a “more effective leader. “6 In the tenth chapter, it provides a worksheet process of utilizing the nine disciplines given. The nine steps connect together and seem to flow on a course to achieve prayer success. The first step is to identify and treasure the power of prayer. Prayer cannot be minimize to something that believers do, but it has to be recognized as one of the most powerful tools that great leaders have in their possession.
A disciplined prayer life is key to uccessful leaders, but Earley also states that the lack of prayer by many spiritual leaders is why a lot of leaders get disheartened and are not successful. Because “Christian leadership is spiritual work”, it has to be based on “spiritual tools. “7 Prayer is considered a tool and an important and needed task. Earley stated “prayer is the most important task” Of Christian leaders. 8 Second step is to lay aside time to pray consistently every day. After a leader discovers the power of prayer, they can use Jesus as an example to show the importance of this step. Jesus had a consistent prayer life.
Jesus had to two times to pray early in the morning and evening, and he did it daily. Jesus began his day with prayer, and he finished each day with prayer which demonstrated that his process was constant and was a part of his life. Third step requires the leader to pray for the people that they serve. Once a leader has established a prayer life and realizes how important pray is, their first priority should be to pray for the people that they lead. The Old and New Testament provides support for this discipline. In the books of Numbers and Exodus, Moses constantly went to God on behalf of Israelites.
He continually cried outto God for them. In the text, Early stated that “too many Christian leaders pray too little for others. “9 Early stated that “Jesus was the Great Intercessor. ” 10 In order to be a good leader, a Christian leader has to intercede on behalf of their followers. The fourth and fifth steps overlap. The fourth step is to choose and teach other people to pray for you continually. A leader can create a group of dedicated and faithful believers to intercede for them constantly, especially when issues come up. The group of prayer warriors can lift the leader, and his or her issues up in prayer.
Paul was thought of “one of the most influential leaders in history’ demonstrated this several times in the bible. ll He realized that he needed others to pray for him and used the largest group of people to keep him lifted up in prayer. Charles Spurgeon, who was considered be one of the most prolific leaders Of the time credited his SUCCeSS to the fact that “my people pray for me. “12 The fifth step is to work to change your challenges In life into prayers. Well, this is the reason step four and five coincide because a leader has to pray for their challenges, and they also have to have a group praying or their life challenges.
The group is praying for the same thing that the leader is praying for. In Deuteronomy 32:30, it says “one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. ” Leaders have to realize that they there is power in having a group to help petition God on issues that concern them. Step six involves fasting and praying. In the text, Earley has a detailed and complete list of fasting examples which include examples from different patriarchs from the Bible and today. Fasting can been utilized to help shape the spiritual life of a Christian leader.
The text includes twenty biblical llustrations in which fasting was used to stop judgment from God, to obtain an answer to prayer, to request for God’s protection or ask for “powerful aid” of God in a difficult challenge. 13 In the text Early cited Wesley Deuwel, he stated “When you face an overwhelming need, a human impossibility, and your soul hungers to see God intervene by supernatural power, add fasting. 14 The seventh step is “possessing a bold faith. ” 15 There are two important facets to this step which are praying precisely and confidently to possess the promises of God.
The Bible is full of 7,487 promises Of God uite a few of these promises demonstrate God enthusiasm to answer prayers. 16 Once you develop a prayer life, then the next step is with boldness make your request known unto God for your needs and wants. When Jesus prayed, he was not timid, but he was exact and accurate when he prayed. 17 We should follow the example Jesus and come boldly towards the throne of grace expecting to receive what we ask of the Lord. Building on the basics is the eighth step. Jesus gave a perfect example on how to pray in Matthew 6 by providing the Lord’s Prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer was a basic and asting illustration that Jesus gave us to follow. In the text, Earley suggests utilizing the ACTS acrostic (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication) which can aid in helping a person remember how to pray. One thing Earley suggest that one does first when praying is to give thanksgiving. 1 8 The final step is to adopt the best practices. Of course, every leader does not use the same practices to pray, but there are some basic practices that a leader should use. Many of the practices are from the Bible, and a few are derived from the writings and lives of great leaders that have been studied.
A couple of the best practices recommended is praying without ceasing, taking personal prayer retreats and praying the The nine steps in Earley’s text are examples derived from scriptures. 19 both the Bible and modern day illustrations of success, gleaning points from a plethora of extraordinary Christian leaders. All of the steps are biblically based and supported by modern works of literature. Combining the steps in a list is the conclusion of his text, and it can be viewed as a basic process of applying the Steps to personal growth. Critiq ue Earley used a very simple and direct form of writing.
He presents the topic rationally demonstrating a design that flows from start to finish. It is not necessary for the steps to be followed in sequence, but the order that they are shown in is interesting for the reader to begin and slowly transcend to the more challenging parts of the topic. Earleys technique of involving examples from the Bible and leaders of today was tremendously effective. The reader cannot deny the effect that biblical and modern day Christian leaders, such as, Moses, David, John, Charles Spurgeon or Billy Graham had on proving the importance of prayer to the Christian leader.
The examples gave the reader a living and breathing example to follow. It is the readers thought that it made the information presented easier to apply to your own life. Whole heartedly, the read would suggest this to any one intent on developing their spiritual leadership, at the same time developing their personal spiritual development. Earleys work is not complex, but it is a reinforced and complete guide to the growth of the topic of prayer. His book is one of the greatest resources for Christian leaders to understand the importance of having a prayer life. Personal Application
In order for one to apply this book to their life, just start with step one. was easily drawn into the subject matter and examples given, as well as, the personal assessment. When I developed my first spiritual growth plan, stated that prayer and studying the word of God as the two most important areas that I wanted to work on. These two disciplines have always been a struggle for me, and it is my desire to perfect them that may become a great leader. My purpose for attending Liberty University is to enhance my spiritual walk with God. After reading the book, I was inspired to spend more time in prayer.
All my life, I have been in church, and have seen how the power of prayer can make the difference in people’s life, and how it can transform a person. Once I read Earleys book, I was truly convinced that I had to have a consistent prayer life. In the book, he convinced me that if I don’t consistently participate in prayer that it is like saying to God that I don’t believe in the power of prayer. Of course, I do believe in the power of prayer, but actions speak louder than words. I made a promise to improve and work hard to go beyond the first two steps and intercede for the church, my family, and community.
Now that I have been given this resource or guide on the importance of prayer and how to pray, know that I can have a powerful, consistent and effective prayer life. Reading this book has open up my eyes to how handle situations in my own life. In order to achieve greatness, prayer has to be a mainstay in my life. I have come to the realization that prayer is not something that I do when I need something from God, but it has to be a daily part of my life. It has to be like the air that I breathe or the food that eat. I cannot survive without air or food, and I cannot survive spiritually without prayer.
People are depending on me to pray for them and their situations. I have learned that prayer is the key to changing a lot of situations and issues that we go through in a daily basis. I am really ashamed to admit that I do not have a consistent prayer life, but after reading this book, I have been convinced that prayer is an essential tool that we all have to have in our spiritual walk with God. Conclusion Prayer has been one of the most important tools of the most popular spiritual leaders in our society. These leaders can be found in the Bible, such as, Moses and modern times, such as, Billy Graham.
These spiritual leaders have used prayer as one of the principal tools in their spiritual growth. Earleys book is informative, and it is very persuasive to the reader. Christians should endeavor to read this text in the beginning of their spiritual growth. All nine steps given for creating an effective prayer life are reinforced and simple to understand. The points presented for each step will be utilized throughout a life time. If one takes this book and utilizes it, it can be a great resource.