Saturday, November 29, 2008

Big 7 for Christian Leaders (6)

The second quality I identify, is Secret Prayer. (This will be no surprise to anyone reading my Pages from a Preacher's Prayer Book!)

We cannot underestimate the importance of a person's private prayer relationship that joins in with the interceding Christ (Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:34, 1 John 2:1). I call this the fifth dimension. Alongside the part of ourselves that we know and like, and therefore project to others; the part that we dislike and try to keep hidden; the part that others know and we don't see; and the part that only God knows, there is a fifth dimension. That part of our lives that is lived for God only. Just between us and Him. I am never more alive than in this private place (Matthew 6:6) when I pray to my Father, who sees what is done in secret. This secret prayer relationship grounds personal conviction, gives victory over temptation, and grants discernment of God's purposes. My integrity depends utterly upon this relationship. Leaders with a fifth dimension reveal deeper resources of the Spirit in their character and work. Leaders without, crumble under pressure.

PS. I received a good comment from one of you about 1) SACRIFICIAL LOVE that I will work into my eventual reflections on the Big 7. I welcome all such insights. I will not be surprised if I have to change my big 7, once I have listed them and heard from you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to think of there being five dimensions to ourselves. I understood that we have a life that we wanted to project or show to the world, a part we want to hide and a part that God knows and we are unaware or refuse to admit exists. I hadn't thought about the other two dimensions as being separate and distinct.

I hadn't really considered that after childhood that there are parts of our own lives or personalities of which others are aware that we are not. But you're right and I think it may be something that would be hard to face if we confronted it. Hopefully, it would be a small subset of our lives. The other dimension of self, the secret prayer life, I would have lumped in with those parts of me that I chose to keep private and hide. Although I would not hide it out of shame, but due to a desire to have an intimate, private, and therefore, special place alone with the Lord. It's a more complete picture the way you have enumerated the dimensions and laid them out though.

As you say, this final dimension of ourselves is the soil from which springs our own personal conviction, where victory grows up to overcome temptation and God blesses us with the fruit of perception, discernment and insight into his purposes and will. Therefore that is where we need to focus our attention since it is there where we meet our Lord and where we grow up as individuals into the people the Lord wants us to be. For that reason, secret prayer impacts all your other Big 7 characteristics so intimately. Without a deep secret prayer life, our Christian lives wither because we are not on the vine and from there we truly do die because apart from Christ we have no life.