by Joel Comiskey
Paul said in 1 Corintians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” If we want our people to pray more, we as leaders must e exemplify the life of prayer, both on a personal level as well as a corporate one.
On a personal level, the leader should be known for his or her life of prayer. Prayer needs to be at the very heart of what the leader does. On one hand, I’m referring to praying throughout the day as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, but I’m also talking about the leader’s quiet time. If the pastor, for example, doesn’t have a regular quiet time, how can he expect the church members to have one? How can he preach from the pulpit about the need for daily devotions, when he himself doesn’t exemplify that truth? (this same truth truth appies to all leadership positions, including the cell leader and cell coach). I strongly believe that the most important discipline in the Christian life is the quiet time. Each believer needs to have a daily appointment with the King. I wrote a book called, An Appointment with the King, which I believe is the most important book I’ve written.
Pastors and leaders also need to model corporate prayer. I remember when we as a pastoral staff from the Republica Church in Ecuador ate lunch with CÃ©sar Fajardo, the ex-youth pastor at the International Charismatic Mission (now Fajardo leads his own chruch called “Church without Walls.”). Fajardo looked right at us as a pastoral team and said, “Your church will not pray beyond your example.” His words cut deeply into our souls because we weren’t exemplifying the life of prayer to the rest of the church. When we returned to Ecuador, we realized that each of us had to take part in the weekly church-wide prayer meeting, and even lead parts of it. We had to demonstrate to others the importance of prayer by our feet, not just our lips.
When it comes to prayer, can we say with Paul the Apostle, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ”?