#927. Prayer raises leaders (25/10/23)
This week, as we continue in our series, Luke - Exploring who Jesus is, we will be exploring the account in 6:12-16 and the appointing of The Twelve Apostles. Today, we will see how prayer is key to raising future leaders.
‘One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.’ (Luke 6:12-16)
Lesson: If we pray, God will lead us to the leaders who will sustain the church into the future.
You can listen to this devotional at:
Yesterday, we began to see some of the things that Jesus’ devotion to prayer teaches us. Today, I want to major on the vital theme of how prayer is the key to raising leaders. Without young and new leaders, the church has no future. Jesus knew that He had to delegate authority and train these twelve apostles in order to found the church and I’m sure that this was a major focus as He prayed all night. In the Lord’s Prayer, we are taught to pray ‘Your Kingdom come, your will be done…’ and I’m sure that Jesus asked for God’s will to be done as He considered whom He would choose for these vital leadership appointments.
Like Christ, all of us, according to the roles that we have in the church, are involved in raising future leaders. We may run a children’s ministry, youth ministry, maintenance team, be an elder, be a trustee, run Alpha … all of us are to play a role, and raising future leaders is a vital, often overlooked, aspect of any role. Even if you are, at present, just attending a church without any real responsibility, God wants you to be praying for future leaders and to be prepared to step up and take responsibility.
Another example of how we are to pray for workers is in regard to evangelism:
‘He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’ (Luke 10:2)
We are to pray for God to raise workers for outreach and we can apply the same principle in all areas of ministry.
From Jesus, we learn that prayer is the key to developing future leaders. It is God who creates and gifts each of us to serve His people. As we pray, we can expect the Spirit to guide us in whom to approach; and through prayer, He will give people - who are often already busy - the love and conviction that is required to take the weight of leadership.
If we pray, God will guide us to the leaders who will sustain the church into the future. Without new leaders, a church will wither and die. As Jesus prayed, He was led to whom to appoint, and as He prayed, those who were appointed became willing. If your church has specific gaps in leadership, let's learn from Jesus and persevere in praying for God to provide the right people.
Perhaps you’d like to Pray this:
“Lord Jesus, you are the head of your church which is your body. You know what we need and will supply what we need to be healthy. Please lead me to do all that I can to encourage and be involved in raising new leaders. Please give me a heart that’s willing to pay the price to serve and lead as you guide me. Amen.”
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
2. Icebreaker How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Study and pray together
This week we continue in our Luke series looking at Luke 6:12-16. In this section we see Jesus, after a night of prayer, appoint 12 apostles, who, like the 12 patriarchs of Israel, are chosen and commissioned to re-form and found the people of God on Christ.
Please read Luke 6:12-16
This is the third time that Luke specifically mentions Jesus’ devotion to prayer (See also 4:32, 5:15-16). Why do you think Luke does this and what does it mean for us?
Do you have a special place or time when you pray and read the bible? Share and pool ideas to encourage one another.
Why is it sometimes so hard to spend time alone with God? What might we do to combat the urge not to? (I use the word combat to evoke the idea of a spiritual battle)
Why did Jesus specifically choose 12 to be apostles and why were they, humanly speaking, not the greatest choice?
Ephesians 1:4-5 says that God chose us to be adopted as sons and daughters before the creation of the world. How do you feel knowing you, like the apostles, have been chosen?
SIV - 'Apostle' means ‘sent one’. Although we are not apostles, what are we all appointed and sent by Jesus to do?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?
SIV - How could you step up in praying for your community who don’t know Jesus?
SIV - Let's now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.