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man_kneeling_in_prayer | Disciple Men Mag

Men Who Lead From Their Knees

What is Leadership?

John Maxwell defines leadership as, influence, nothing more, nothing less. Therefore everyone is a leader to one degree or another.

Some of the finest leaders I know or know of are men who lead from their knees. What I mean by that is that prayer is one of, if not the greatest tool in their leadership skill set

The single most difficult person I’ve ever had to lead is me. I too often don’t listen to my own advice. My perfectionist tendencies keep me stalled in fear of failure. Just ask my wife Julie. She knows me better than I know myself.


Leadership is a topic I have devoted significant time to studying. I’ve held and currently hold a variety of leadership roles. As owner of an ambulance service, General Manager of a Holiday Inn Express, various other small business start-ups and now in ministry.

Lessons Learned

Each of these has taught me valuable lessons in leadership. But the most important item on the list of lessons learned was the practice of leading from my knees. Meaning prayer, and lots of it!

I reached out to a great friend and mentor, Leary Gates for insight on his thoughts of prayer and its place in leadership. During our conversation he said something that really struck a chord. He said, “There is nothing prayer shouldn’t saturate.” Masticate on that for a few minutes and savor the seasoning of that thought.

Leary also reminded me of a truism he previously shared. In life and leadership we need to learn to “pray ahead.” He reflected on experiences where a pattern appeared where he, “prayed for rescue instead of preparation.”  I’ll bet we can all relate to that statement, right?

There’s another great source of wisdom as it relates to prayer in leadership. It’s the number one best selling book in history, the Bible. We don’t often think of this book as a leadership guide, but it’s the ultimate source for all things prayer, leadership and life.

Prayers for Leaders

Here are a few passages that speak to prayer. Each of them can be applied to any leadership role you may have.

Ephesians 6:18

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Emphasis mine) 

1 Timothy 2:1

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.

Psalm 109:4

In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer.

Matthew 14:23

After he (Jesus) had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.

Mark 11:24

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

God’s Amazing Sovereignty

I was recently privileged to work with three other men to organize the first annual men’s discipleship conference for our church. The event was bathed in prayer for a month prior to the event.

The results were powerful. Men were shaken, challenged and encouraged to follow Jesus radically. Making disciples is not for the timid. It can get tough as you engage men in the messiness of life.

We were approached by one of the men in attendance who suggested we fine tune this format and conference and take it on the road to other churches. He is throwing his full support behind the program. To say the least, we are blown away and humbled by the grace of God through this man.

What’s the point of that story? Prayer and God. When we pray God works and when we obey God works.

God moved after prayer was poured over what was envisioned as a once a year local event. Time will tell what He intends to do from here.

From our Knees

Leadership is best undertaken from our knees, gentlemen. If it was what Jesus was moved to pray as He led us to freedom and redemption, why should we expect to do any less, as we lead those He gives us responsibility to lead? 


About today’s Guest Author: Dan Wobschall is the founder of Every Man’s Hope, a ministry whose mission is “To shine the light of Christ on pornography addiction, and bring from brokenness the hope of freedom and renewal.” Find out more about Dan on his profile page.

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