Leadership, Prayer

The Everyday Prayer Every Leader Should Pray

By Shannon Reese

As a little girl, a small sign hung in my room with my name on it. It said, “Shannon: little wise one.” This sign was significant to me for two reasons. 

First, Shannon is not a common name. At every airport, theme park and gas station, I look to see if Shannon is engraved on the small plastic key rings and child-sized license plates. All the cool kids have them. I never did because Shannon is never pre-printed on custom trinkets. So, the fact that Shannon was written on this sign was special to me.

Second, in addition to my name being on the sign, the meaning of my name was written on the sign too: “little wise one.” As a child, I’d read Shannon: little wise one and immediately think of an owl. I didn’t fully understand or embrace what it meant to be wise. And yet, that sign called me to live up to my name; to learn about wisdom, to pray for wisdom, and to live wisely.

It’s been forty years.

Every day begins by hitting “snooze” on my alarm. 

Before the sun rises, my cell phone vibrates and I reach out for it. Eyes closed, I hit the magic button that makes everything quiet for nine. more. minutes. 

While I admit to occasionally falling back asleep, six days out of the week, I spend those first few “snooze” minutes in prayer. 

“Lord, I need you. Lord, I can’t do what you are calling me to do today without your help. Will you give me your wisdom? Will you help me be wise in my dealings? Will you help me make decisions and lead others in a way that honors you? In a way that aligns with your will? As I meet with different people, will you help me listen well and respond wisely? Will you show me your heart and give me your thoughts this day?  I love you. I trust you. I submit my will to you. I choose to follow you today.” 

Because James 1:5 says, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you…, I ask boldly. 

After I ask the first time from my bed, I brush my teeth and make my coffee. Mug in hand,  I open God’s Word and ask for His wisdom a second time. I ask believing that “…the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6). 

I ask for wisdom and anticipate that He will provide the wisdom I need for today. Not tomorrow. Not the next day. But today. 

So, how might a wise woman be described?

James 3:13-17 describes those who are wise and understanding. He says they are known by humility. They are known for being peace-loving peacemakers. They are considerate and submissive. They are impartial and sincere

Imagine a world in which Christian women leading were each praying for wisdom every single day. Imagine a world in which Christian women leading were known for their wisdom.

Really. Think about it.

What if you and I pursued wisdom each and every day?

What if we lived out Christ-like humility, peace, kindness, submission, fairness and sincerity in our homes, with our friends, in our businesses, and our churches?

What sort of influence could Christian women leading with godly wisdom have in this world?

This week, consider:

  • What is your reputation like in each realm of your life and leadership? What is your reputation like personally, professionally and online? Are you known as a wise woman?
  • Since wisdom is a worthy pursuit, how are you pursuing godly wisdom today?

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you… Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom… But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 

James 1:5, 3:13, 17

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