Trying to do life and lead in Jesus’ name without prayer is like marching ahead without receiving the Captain’s orders. It’s like King Saul taking matters into his own hands without hearing from the Lord (through the prophet Samuel).
Leading without praying is arrogance and ministry suicide…
In 1 Samuel 13, Saul and his army were waiting for Samuel to come offer a sacrifice before going to war. Samuel had not arrived, and the soldiers were about to run away rather than fight the Philistines. Losing his patience, Saul offered a sacrifice on his own.
Just as Saul finished the sacrifice, Samuel arrived and said, “You have done a stupid thing. . . . You have not obeyed the LORD your God” (1 Samuel 13:13).
Why was offering a sacrifice foolish? Saul had disobeyed a direct command from the prophet Samuel given in 1 Samuel 10:8: “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”
Saul lacked patience and dependence upon God. When he did not wait the full seven days, he showed weaknesses that made him unfit as king, including impatience and self-reliance. His offering showed that he did not thirst to hear God’s voice (through the prophet Samuel) or obey God, but rather take control of the situation himself. The king was to follow the Lord’s commands, but felt he could do as he chose and made a foolish mistake.
Are you thirsty for God’s voice… or for Him to do your bidding?
Trust Him to know better than you!
What situations can you bring to the Lord in prayer right now?
Pray: Dear Father, I admit that I fail to fully depend on you and your timing. I surrender to you and your Divine plan and timing. Bind my heart and mind and body to your will and to your truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Here are a few goodies from my childhood church bulletin…(I save everything!)
Some stories and books and sermons that have inspired me…
Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens When God’s Spirit Invades the Hearts of His People – Jim Cymbala
Rees Howells: Intercessor – Norman Grubb
How to Listen to God – Charles Stanley
Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home – Richard J Foster
The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears – Mark Batterson
What Happens When Women Pray – Evelyn Christenson