The Skill of Prayer
Posted on February 5, 2019 8:00 AM by Ken Slaughter
We are familiar with the discipline of prayer. But I encourage you think of prayer also as a skill to be developed.
Most people (and all sheep) generally lack both discipline and skill. They respond instinctively or arbitrarily to whatever happens to them. Leaders (and shepherds) are just the opposite. They see more and they make new things, good things, happen for others. Christ has called His people to be leaders and shepherds.
We are the salt and light of the world… agents of Gospel conversion on a mission of world transformation. We don’t have the natural ability to accomplish this mission. It will not be accomplished by human might or power, but only by the Spirit of God. He is the Great Shepherd. He is the vine. Without Him, we can do nothing. But with Him all things are possible. And God is with us. It takes discipline and skill to be an effective leader. With skill, we take actions that lead to outcomes. And with discipline, we routinely learn (often from failures) to sharpen our skills. A disciplined hunter goes to the shooting range regularly. And while each shot is important, the shot taken on a hunt is most important. It is good to be disciplined to pray routinely and often.
But it is better to learn from that… and to go on to be a spiritual leader praying with developed skill. I don’t mean skill that sounds impressive to people. I mean skillful praying that brings results. It’s time to take our prayer lives off the practice range and into the field of spiritual battle.
Spiritual leaders develop skill to pray well, resulting in great effect. Purposeful, directed, passionate prayer focused on Kingdom victories…
praying for specific change…
outcomes beyond human ability…
that only the Lord can accomplish… these are skillful prayers.
God delights in connecting our prayers to His mighty actions. God delights in the one who chooses to pray skillfully for Kingdom advances. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
--Ken Slaughter is CABA's Prayer Encourager and pastors First Baptist Church, Mt. Repose, Oh.