QUARTERLY JOURNAL
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Leadership

“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day”
Psalm 25:5 KJV

LEADERSHIP is defined as a person who guides by going in advance and directing people on a specific course or particular way. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ declares that He is the way (John 14:6). True Christian believers know the Lord’s way; “…men or women there belonging to the Way [believers, followers of Jesus the Messiah]” (Acts 9:2 AMP). Jesus told us that while he was going back to Paradise to be with the Father in Heaven, God the Father would leave a person here on earth to comfort us and guide us along the Lord’s way (John 14:6). Although God gave us examples of leadership when Moses’ father-in-law Jethro explained to him how to choose good men to be leaders over God’s people (Exodus 18:17-27) and the Apostles gave the Lord’s followers the criterion for choosing leaders in the church (Acts 6:3), a leader is still truly defined by his or her character. Many people hold titles of leadership but very few people are genuine leaders. There is only one perfect example of a good leader and that is God, Himself. The Lord tells us Himself that He is perfect (Matthew 5:48). God gave us an example of how to be a good leader through the life of Jesus Christ. God is the Creator, so the obvious question is being like Jesus, the perfect leader, attainable for us? God the Father is a person, God the Son is a person and God the Holy Spirit is a person. We were made in God’s image; “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27 KJV). The author of the book ‘The Holy Spirit’ by Charles C. Ryrie says that we define “human personality by what we know but all human personality is imperfect so it is impossible for us to know a perfect personality in and of ourselves. True personality must start with a study of God’s character because God alone has perfect personality.” Jesus Christ demonstrated God’s character when he walked on earth to give us an example of a perfect person. Like Father, like Son. Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30). We must try to be like Jesus and as a result, we will be exhibiting godly character. Can we achieve it? The Holy Spirit is our guide, but the Lord left us a performance metric to evaluate ourselves to see how we are doing. It is our mouth; “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body” (James 3:2). It is not what goes in our mouth that causes problems, but it is what comes out of our mouth that hurts our effort to be more like Jesus. We make many mistakes and stumble in many ways but to be good leaders we need to demonstrate good leadership by controlling our tongues. As leaders and examples to God’s people, let us make sure that what comes out of our mouth brings life to the Body of Christ.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Ephesians 4:29 KJV.

 

Submitted By Trustee Stan Ridley



Church Prayer

We approach Your Presence, Almighty God, with great reverence because You are Lord, Creator, Owner, and Master of all.

We behold Your majesty because You have made it possible for us to come, and we have access, because You have made it so.

Ah God, how grateful we are!

There was no way, but You made away, through the propitiation of Your Son, Jesus, that we could come boldly to Your throne of grace and find the help that we need.

You made a way through the inhabitation of Your Holy Spirit, who abides with us, still, but O God, as we enter in, we are enveloped by Your glory, and just being there causes us to forget the myriad of things, the long lists, the cares of this world, that has us so bogged down.

And so, we lift our hands in praise, honor, and glory to You- even right now.

Thank You for fixing our eyes on You, and for causing us not to look upon those things that would distract us.

So, we cry out with the angels, Holy! Holy! Holy! Worthy! Worthy! Worthy!

And we bow for the privilege to look upon a Holy God, and live.

God, this is the confidence that we have: that if we ask anything according to Your will, we know that You hear us.

And we know that whatever we ask, we have it.

So, we bring to our sick among us to You.

We bring those who are absent from the body due to sickness, to You.

We pray for our brothers and our sisters, that You will hide them behind the Cross-where Sin has been defeated forever, and we ask for forgiveness for our offenses, and indiscretions against You for it is against You, and You only, that we have sinned.

Lord, hear the supplications of Your servant and of Your people.

And allow us to hear from Heaven, Your dwelling place, and when You hear- O Lord, forgive.

We pray for everyone who is suffering; for everyone who is feeling hopelessness; for everyone who is experiencing loneliness, and we pray for songs of praise from their lips- as we watch You do what only You can help us, Lord God.

We pray for those in authority over us, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in godliness and holiness.

Continue to bless our Pastor, and his family, and every person praying this prayer right now.

Our heart’s desire is to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.

May this prayer be set before You like incense.

May the lifting of our hands be like the evening sacrifice as we bless Your Name,

and cry out to you, O God.

In the Name of Jesus, Amen!



What is Prayer?

Prayer, in general, is a conversation with God about our needs, our wants, our concerns, and our desires. A secular dictionary defines prayer as “an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication”. I find it interesting and surprising that a secular dictionary defines prayer as distinctly and completely as it does or rather is it a complete definition by biblical standards? Let us see what the Bible has to say. The secular dictionary begins its definition by defining prayer as an invocation. An invocation is the action of summoning someone for assistance or as an authority or the calling of a deity or the supernatural. We as children of God call upon the Lord for, He is our help. We are told to call upon Him when in trouble (Psalm 50:15) as well as when giving honor and thanks to our Father (1 Chronicles 16:8). We should call upon the Lord for everything that takes place in our lives. The next point the secular dictionary mentions in its definition is that prayer seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship. Well, without going any further, we all know that the object of our prayer is God, our Father. But what is interesting in this statement is that prayer is used to “activate a rapport”. To build a rapport would be to build “a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups included understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well”. The Lord calls us into relationship with him. However, like any relationship, it must be developed and strengthened. One way to develop and strengthen your relationship with God is through prayer. The Bible says, “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them” (Psalm 145:18- 19). Prayer demonstrates your level of faith and your desire to follow God’s will for your life (1 John 5:14- 15). Finally, the secular definition states that prayers are delivered through “deliberate communication”. God wants us to be dependent upon him for everything “for in Him we live and move and have our being…” (Acts 17:28). The Bible says to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”. It appears the secular definition is pretty much supported by the Word of God. Based on our bible references, a more biblical definition would read as prayer being the deliberate act of summoning or the calling upon of God, our Father for all our needs, demonstrating our faith in God with the intention of building and strengthening our relationship with Him.

Why pray? The Word says that we should “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Praying should be like breathing; easier to do than not to do. It should not be seen as a means of getting God to do our will on earth, but rather as a means of doing God’s will on earth. For situations which we do not know God’s specific will, prayer is a means of discerning or understanding and recognizing His will.

Personal Prayer

The Bible teaches us that prayer should not be showy, and it shouldn’t include vain repetitions. We should go into our room and shut the door (Matthew 6:5-7). But He did give us a framework of the types of things to pray about. Jesus provided a model prayer for us in Matthew 6:5-13 and Luke 11:1-4. In general, the model prayer includes the following content:

  • Praising and thanking God
  • Praying for God’s Kingdom to come, and for His will and work to be done today.
  • Requesting that our needs and the needs of others be met, whether healing, food, wisdom, or protection.
  • Seeking forgiveness and the help to forgive others
  • Asking for protection from temptation and the evil tempter. We should be humble when praying not as the Pharisee in Luke 18:10 but humble in heart and mind as the tax collector (Luke 18:10-14).

Corporate Prayer

However, there are times we need to pray in groups or pray corporately. Corporate prayer brings about certain benefits to the praying group, as a whole, such as the following:  

  • Encouragement – praying with others can encourage the members of the group about their situation. There may be someone in the group who is struggling with a certain situation. As they are upheld in prayer, the Holy Spirit will bring them encouragement and reassurance.
  • Unity of purpose – Corporate prayer has the ability to knit a group together in a bond of fellowship and praise. People are edified and unified in common faith. As people pray together, they build love and concern for others and display their dependence on God for their healing and/or deliverance.
  • Worship – Corporate prayer brings intimate communion with the Savior.
  • Repentance – As people pray, the Holy Spirit brings conviction and draws His children to repentance.

People mistakenly think that by getting other people to pray with you about what you want from God that you are more likely to get what you want. This usually comes from the gross misinterpretation of the scripture that says, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Corporate prayer is not about getting enough people together to pray until God bends His will to our will. Instead, prayer (corporate and private) is about cooperating with God and abandoning our desires and submitting to God’s will. We should always remember that God loves us so much and understands what we are going through. That is why we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). However, we must be careful not to treat God as if He is some kind of “Cosmic Santa Claus”!

Remember, we must follow God’s will – not our own. In prayer, there is a time to speak and a time to listen. This is the balance of prayer. We talk and God responds. God talks and we have a discussion. Prayer is a great benefit and enjoyment…. if we, do it right. Let us all make a conscious effort to pray more – not for the benefit of receiving but for God’s glory, to worship Him and to discern His will – His plan for our lives.

Submitted By Sis. Shonna Washington