Summary: If you really want to have a powerful influence in the life of your leaders, learn how to fervently pray for them.

How Prayer Moves Leaders

(Acts 18:12-17)

Illustration:Eleven leaders of conservative renewal movements, representing eight groups from within six Protestant denominations, pooled common concerns at a third annual meeting.

Conference convener Matthew J. Welde, of Presbyterians United for Biblical Concerns, noted an increase in renewalist groups, and Gordon-Conwell Seminary professor Richard Lovelace told the group that greater unity among evangelicals, across denominational lines, is possible. One concern of the group: prayerlessness. They cited recent studies showing that "the average pastor surveyed prays only three minutes each day."

Christianity Today, April 6, 1979.

1. Why do some Christians pray with less fervor for non-christian leaders? Dr. Luke reminds us in this passage that God can use unbelievers for His purposes – especially if Christians pray.

We read about how the unbelieving Governor Gallio diffused a potentially explosive situation. The Jews angrily accused Paul saying, “This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.” Instead of intervening on behalf of the angry Jews in ruling against Paul, he showed discretion. Gallio said, “If this were a civil matter or criminal act, I would make a ruling. However, since this is a question of talk and words and a law observed by you Jews, see to it yourself.” (Acts 18:14,15)

God used the impartial decision of the Governor to give Paul the freedom to preach the gospel for another ten years without legal restrictions. Later in A.D. 60 the Roman policy changed due to another Governor who fell into an evil alliance with the Jewish religious authorities.

Ask God to appoint and direct leaders to make decisions that will not hinder Christ’s ministry or His kingdom and righteousness.

2. Ask God to move in the hearts of authorities to make fair, wise and Biblically sound decisions. We are told, “If my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14) God is ever attentive to the prayers of His people.

He wants to advance the cause of righteousness, justice and goodness in all hearts. Take full advantage of His promise to respond to the changes and prayers of His people.

3. God can even use the indifference of some leaders for His purposes. Gallio was a Roman ruler who followed the prevailing indifferent attitude toward religion. The Romans did not want a religious rebellion on their hands.

Ask the Lord to even use the passive benevolence of some secular leaders to advance the freedom of Christians who are doing the will of God.

Illustration:Dear God: I need a raise in my allowance. Could you have one of your angels tell my father. Thank you. David, 7

4. It is possible that more prayer could have led to Gallio’s conversion or an executive order to grant Paul total liberty to present the gospel throughout the Roman empire.

Let us never think that we have no more need to pray until His kingdom has come and His total will has been done on earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus said, "Your kingdom come (In quantity and quality), your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matt 6:6-9)

5. Prayer should be made to reduce any displays of fanaticism or extremism. Truth best prospers when there is a calm and peaceable atmosphere. Few people are won to Christ through fanatics or extremists. When there are passions inflamed against one another communication is hindered.

Because the Greeks beat Sosthenes, the leader of the Jews, anger must have increased. Greater resentment surely grew toward Paul and the apostles as a result. More prayer might have caused Gallio to prohibit the beating and the inciting of passions. Instead Gallio chose to remain passively indifferent.

Never assume that there are inadequate reasons to pray for those in authority.

Ask God to move in the hearts of leaders to bring peace, calm and harmonious negotiations between all people for the benefit of the gospel.

Conclusion:Dear God, before I go to sleep

And end another day,

I’m happy that you’re always here

To listen while I pray.

Please bless my special family, Lord,

Whom I love as much as you.

Please help me to be good for them

The way you’d want me to.

So God, please watch me as I sleep,

But Lord, before I do,

It’s good to know you’re loving me

As much as I love you.

Good night God.

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