I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a hard time spending extended periods of time in prayer. Our lectionary author this week, Cody Sandahl shares his own struggles with a deep prayer life. And yet, he argues, this doesn’t mean because it’s not a strength, that he is off the hook.

God calls all of us to pray, even those who wouldn’t consider themselves “prayer warriors.”

My guess is, if we were honest, many of us pastors would rank ourselves low when it comes to our prayer lives. We might give ourselves high ranks in preaching, interpersonal relationships, vision, etc., but we struggle with prayer.

Stu Headshot



Well I’m sure there are lots of reasons, but at least one of them is probably our tendencies to perform, to “do stuff” for God. We have so many plates spinning that when we try to slow down and listen to God’s voice, we’re overcome by all the tasks and worries that we still need to attend to, that we often just give up on spending long periods of time in prayer (I’m not speaking from experience or anything!)

And yet…

If we don’t take the time to listen to God’s voice, how can we be sure we are going in the right direction? There is a story I will share below that has stuck with me for a long time, of a pastor who walked away from a silent retreat asking the question, “am I even fighting the right battles?”

This is a question for each of us if we don’t take time to listen to God’s voice. To allow him to heal the wounds that so often prompt us to go places that are unhealthy and unethical in our leadership.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers about prayer, but I do believe, as Timothy is encouraged in our lectionary text, that is essential to healthy, vibrant Christian leadership.

I pray you get some time this week to be alone with God,


This reflection first appeared in our weekly newsletter. To get content like this, along with our weekly selections from our library, click here.

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