Before any leader can make an appeal, there are at least three things to keep in mind:
1. KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Early in my walk with the Lord, I heard through various ministries that there are two kinds of people in this world: children of God and children of Satan. (John 8:44, John 1:12) When we appeal, we have the potential to either encourage the children of God or be a witness of Christ to children of darkness.
In truth, we don’t always know where a person is coming from, so it behooves us to be careful what we say: This is where attitude check comes in, for out of mouth pours what’s really in the heart. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit at work through your conversations/relationships
2. KNOW YOUR RESOURCES
Your role of calling others to pray in public for our nation has already defined you as a pioneer: “one who goes ahead to prepare the way for others”. One who marches along side an army encouraging the soldiers and clearing the path. One who clears brush, not afraid of unseen, brave against nettles and vines; trench-digger, while digging trench from which missiles can be fired, piles dirt up along side the trench, allowing the others to walk upright, to get in place for battle, or to travel back and forth between troops on battlefield. (from Websters1828 Dictionary)
As a leader, you are a builder, a Nehemiah with a vision of building prayer for your community.
Nehemiah had a burden for the city of Jerusalem, to rebuild the outer walls. The story of the rebuilding of the wall is the story of a man who prayed to God for everything.
Neh 1:4 prayed about the problem, prayed for and received the authority’s favor (1:11-2:8), surveyed and planned the work (2:9-16), shared testimony of God’s favor with God’s people (2:18) and with unbelievers (2:19-20), followed his plan (3:1-32) ran into trouble and prayed again (4:4), more trouble and more prayer/hammer and weapon (4:9), finished the project – God glorified (6:13-14).
Pray about problem, pray for authority and his favor; pray for the plan, share plan with God’s people and with unbelievers, follow the plan, be ready for opposition with your hammer (tools/gifts) and weapon (Word of God), marvel aloud at what God has done!
This song has been my theme song since first hearing it in April 2001. ‘Stay Up On The Wall’, by Babbie Mason says it like this:
“Now the day is fast approaching, we’re living in the time
When you must stand up and be counted if you’re on the Lord’s side
He’s looking for an army of true and faithful ones,
To be building up His kingdom, until His kingdom comes.
What is His kingdom that we are to be building up? One another in the body.
You are a leader – in your home with children, in your community with NDP, in your workplace as Christian witness, in your pastoral roles. Best advice I received about being a leader is not to be consumed about how many are following, just to press on following Christ closely. Ps 63 :8 “My soul followeth hard after thee; thy right hand upholdeth me.” What am I doing while His right hand upholdeth me? Following closely.
I must be persuaded that I am following closely.
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded (fully convinced, making my daily decisions based upon this, dedicated to this)
That neither death (if belief system depends upon only this life, then death is end, but believing that Christ has conquered death and opens eternity to us and makes death only a gateway to future life in Him. Also if our belief system at all relies upon another person, then the death or threat of death of that other person can give territory to enemy)
Nor life (what in your life holds sway over obedience to the Spirit of God?)
Nor angels (because they are different beings, do we think they have a “higher place” as they sing Holy, Holy, Holy? Can you picture yourself with them singing?)
Nor principalities, nor powers (any evil fallen angels or the darkest of thoughts or the wickedest of men’s imaginations)
Nor heights nor depths (astrological terms indicating influence of stars– astrology)
Nor any other thing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
3. KNOW YOUR OBJECTIVES
From Radically Committed by Jim Burns
Five Steps to Putting God First
- know what you want – does it match your life goal = does it edify the body?, does it witness to unbelievers. “He who aims at nothing hits it every time.”
- make a plan; break it into simpler stages with a time plan; ask a friend for accountability
- re-commit the work to Jesus (Col 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.
- recognize procrastination – don’t put off important long-term priorities with short-term fire-fighting
- be willing to pay the price – perseverance, stick-to-it-tive-ness
Stay Up On The Wall
Now we’re ready to consider:
REVIEW – HOW TO MAKE AN EFFECTIVE APPEAL
From Gotthard material, based on Lord’s prayer:
- “Our Father” I need to be in right standing – with God first, then with authority (i.e. does authority have power to affect change in what you are appealing for)
- “Hallowed be thy name” I need right motives – concern for reputation of one in authority Prov. 22:1 “ a good name is rather to be chosen than riches..”
- “Thy kingdom come” I need appropriate timing. Is authority free to hear appeal, are we ready to personally sacrifice for our appeal?
4. I need to give accurate information related to knowing ourselves, our appeal, the person to whom we appeal…. thereby not manipulating authority and hurting ourselves.
5. “Forgive us our debts” I need right attitude –spirit of reverence for position of authority held, loyalty to person in position, gratefulness to God for the person in role of authority
6. I need appropriate words – avoid trigger words
7. I need to display right response to rejection –i.e. get myself into the center of yes or no. Trust that the answer is in God’s control and is best for you