We know there is an inseparable connection between the natural and supernatural in Christian leadership, yet sometimes we miss the fullness of that connection.
But how intentionally do we connect prayer and leadership together?
How do we remain aware of this process?
The foundational concept is that we should not think of the natural and supernatural as completely separate or independent realms, but instead, as spiritual leaders we operate in both realms simultaneously.
Intuitively, we understand the process, and we know prayer matters. But what if there are things that contribute to disconnecting prayer and leadership, and conversely things that make the connection more powerful?
Circumstances that can lead to a degree of disconnection:
- Lack of margin and overt busyness that result in no time to hear from God.
- Spiritual disappointments where you feel God let you down or left you alone.
- Your natural bent toward one side or the other, (spiritual or natural) when both are needed together.
- Refusing to forgive, bitterness, a hardened heart, or any area of sin.
- The temptation to take things into your own hands and lead in your own power if it doesn’t seem like God is moving as fast as you want Him to.
Characteristics that strengthen the connection:
- Faith is the great connector between the natural and supernatural. Faith joined by grace brings new life through Christ, and power from the Holy Spirit.
- Prayer is the practice that intimately joins us in our humanity to God in His divinity.
- Humility recognizes that without God, His unending love, and the kindness of His favor, our leadership effort amounts to little.
- Obedience opens the door for greater alignment with the will of God and His continued and deepened blessings.
- Unity in the body of Christ takes us from the potential dangers of independent thought and action that can result in division, to a much greater position of spiritual strength.
7 Leadership Blessings When You Connect the Supernatural to the Natural
Prayer is not to be misunderstood as a “works” oriented way of obtaining spiritual power or supernatural blessing. Further, it is not the only element in connecting with God as already mentioned. (Examples: faith, humility, obedience etc.) It is, however, the most direct and intimate form of our communion with God, and thereby joining the spiritual and natural realms.
1) The transforming power of the Holy Spirit
After forty years of church leadership, I still marvel at the kindness of God to allow us to be stewards of His divine power.
When we pray according to God’s will, we open heaven’s doors to His power.
I love to pray Matthew 6:9-10.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
It’s a great reminder that it’s not about our will or agenda, but God’s purpose and plan that invites the power of the Holy Spirit into our leadership.
2) The ability to experience the miraculous
I believe God blesses us with miracles. In fact, probably more often than we know and often simply because He loves us.
However, God often uses prayer as the prompt for a miracle so that we know He is with us, it was His power at work, and He can receive our praise and gratitude.
God doesn’t need us but chooses to work through us. What an incredible divine partnership!
Miracles can be large or small, but they involve something possible only with God.
The more specific and boldly you pray the more you know God answered your prayers.
Are you asking God for something miraculous in your ministry that only He can do?
3) Wisdom from heaven
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
Wisdom is an essential need of every leader, and it’s available if you ask. (James 1:5)
Think about how many times a week, maybe even in a day that you are not certain about what to say or do. Ask God for wisdom in the moment!
The rightness of the direction you take and the quality of the decisions you make are all based on the nature of the wisdom you possess.
4) Inner peace that comforts your soul
Leadership carries with it a certain amount of stress and pressure. Not often enough to destabilize you, but enough to create a low-grade angst. Sometimes it’s barely noticeable, but you can sense it in your gut when you slow down for a minute. This is a very common experience.
Worries, fears, insecurities added to stress and pressure can rob you of your inner peace. The good news is that God can restore your peace through prayer.
I have personally found that there is also a connection between peace and joy. If peace is depleted long enough or great enough, joy may illude you as well.
In contrast, consider the supernatural element in play when human suffering is great, such as the loss of a loved one, yet there is often an almost unexplainable peace.
That is humanly unexplainable, but we understand what happens when we invite God to come along side us in our pain and suffering through prayer. The pain and suffering doesn’t magically disappear but there is a peace that covers us to an extent that we can actually continue to walk in His joy.
5) Spiritually birthed purpose and vision
Tremendous confidence and spiritual authority come with knowing God has His divine signature on your purpose and vision.
Most leaders can come up with something that is worthy and maybe even pretty smart, but that never carries the same gravitas as when it’s clearly from God.
The primary way we receive vision is through diligently seeking God’s heart and direction through prayer.
The prayer is both individual on your part and group oriented with your team.
A great question to ask of yourself and your team, is how you know you’ve heard from God and discerned His voice?
When God makes your ministry vision clear, there is a sense of the supernatural invading the natural, and your ministry is positioned to go another level.
6) An awakened sense of spiritual creativity
One of the things you work on nearly every day is solving problems.
But how often do you face a problem for which you have no idea what the solution is?
We all know what that’s like.
When the spiritual invades the natural there is often a downpour of fresh ideas that result in great solutions to the problems you face.
That might be anything from a one-to-one meeting where you need to say just the right thing in the right way, to a multi-million-dollar problem that requires a nuanced and complex decision.
Sometimes the blessing of spiritual creativity comes when you are writing a Sunday message or developing a leadership talk. It’s as if you’re not even the one writing, the ideas just flow.
(You know the contrasting feeling when you’re stuck and stare at a blank page.)
The One who created the heavens and the earth invites you to benefit from His creative nature in order to advance your ministry and His Kingdom.
7) Strength that overcomes weakness
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”2 Corinthians 12:9-10
This is one of the greatest promises that applies to every leader!
No leader intentionally seeks weakness of any kind, but every leader experiences weakness. In Christ we are made strong.
- When you feel most least capable?
- When are you prone to self-doubt?
- How do you best engage this truth in Scripture?
What a great gift to know that of anything life can throw your way, it’s not too big for God to handle, and He gives you the strength to sustain!
All seven of the above represent the favor of God on your ministry!