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"The Disuse, Misuse, Abuse, and Proper Use of Prayer"

Leaders face unique temptations in the area of prayer, and the first is to let it fall into disuse. When spiritual leadership becomes anemic or arrogant through lessened prayer, then prayer gets pushed farther and farther down the organizational agenda. Inevitably comes a leanness of soul even in times of outward success. A current writer says it well: "If I am so successful, why do I feel so phony?"

The problem is, success often lessens our urgency for prayer. As a work gains momentum, the needs in prayer change but not the need for prayer. An organization on a roll needs prayer for direction; a struggling work needs prayer for support to keep it alive. But both organizations need prayer just as much.


Busy leaders can sometimes misuse prayer. For example, using prayer for persuasion is a misuse. I served on a corporate board whose president always started the morning meeting with a devotional. Late one night, giving his "good-night prayer," he thanked God for the devotional I was ...

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