Psalm 101: A Prayer for Leaders
May 7, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
1 Samuel 15-16, Psalm 101, Mark 11:27-33, 2 Corinthians 6
A model prayer for any leader follows. David begins with praising God for his covenant love. All godly leadership is rooted in a personal relationship with God. Many leaders get into trouble when their leadership demands outstrip their spirituality roots. Make sure that you have a deep relationship with God, cultivate that relationship, nurture it; that relationship with God is the foundation for everything.
But while it is foundational, a personal time of quiet with God is not enough. That relationship must produce real integrity of heart. And integrity of heart at home, “within my house.” No Christian leader will long remain effectual if his public persona is divorced from his private life.
One key way to maintain such private faithfulness is to be careful what we look at and where we look. “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless” (101:3). This commitment is especially relevant in the day of the Internet. It is all too easy for a Christian leader to look good on the outside, but then to be looking at things that he or she should not be looking at when they are alone and on their own. Such hypocrisy does not please the Almighty who sees all and knows all. Repent of such deceit and determine to set no “worthless” evil before your eyes.
Foundational relationship with God, personal and private integrity—these are essential building blocks for a godly leader. But there is another step. And that is a public and brave pursuit of what is right (even if that pursuit comes at personal cost). David will not put up with those who “slander” nor with those who are “arrogant” (101:5). And instead he will look with favor on “the faithful in the land” (101:6).
It is not sufficient to be pious as a Christian leader. One must also be brave, to stand up and be counted, to argue for righteousness, to speak out against wickedness, to protect the godly. If you are a Christian leader, ask yourself whether you are doing enough to defeat evil and safeguard good.
Finally, on top of a foundational relationship with God, personal and private integrity, and public bravery for what is right, there comes the sheer dogged, daily ongoing battle: “Morning by morning” (101:8). Note it is early. Which effective leader has ever not begun his working day early? Each day, the fight goes on.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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