Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 117 - Essential qualities of leadership: Prayer.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 117 - Essential qualities of leadership: Prayer.


Announcements / opening prayer:



M. Prayer and leadership


The intellectual problems associated with prayer evaporate when we experience the joy of answered prayer.


There are those who find it much more engaging to argue about the problems of prayer rather than just praying. Something similar to this is illustrated in the man born blind whom Christ healed.


JOH 9:1 And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.


JOH 9:2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?"


The disciples immediately want to debate the reasons by which the man was born blind. This question is not important. Each of us might as well seek for the reasons why we have certain flaws and weaknesses. Sure, we could all answer that it was the fall of man, but why do you have areas of weakness that others don't? Why do you do you repeat the same type of sins while you find that you don't struggle with other sins as much? Why did my parents do what they did? How about their parents' treatment of them? We could probe and debate these things indefinitely and still we would not be able to find concrete answers because, outside of the fall of man, God has not chosen to reveal to us all the reasons for our specific ways of sin. Yet, what God has revealed to each of us is the solution.


Why was this man born blind? Doesn't matter - to him and to all mankind, the works of God that heal all things will be revealed.


Why do I have this certain weakness? In order that the works of God might be displayed in you. Why do I have this thing to deal with? In order that the works of God might be displayed in you. Why did my parent(s) do this to me? In order that the works of God might be displayed in you. No matter how long the list of questions is, the answer doesn't change.


Can I solve all the intellectual problems that arise with prayer to an omniscient God who can do nothing but good to all men? No, and the questions don't matter.


MAT 6:8

your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.


This is to give me unbounded confidence and not cause me to drum up a hundred intellectual questions.


Prayer is answered by the Father and that is all we need to know.


JOH 16:23

Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name.


JOH 9:3 Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.


JOH 9:4 "We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day [while Christ is on earth]; night is coming, when no man can work.


JOH 9:5 "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." 


JOH 9:6 When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes,


JOH 9:7 and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which is translated, Sent). And so he went away and washed, and came back seeing.


JOH 9:8 The neighbors therefore, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, "Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?"


JOH 9:9 Others were saying, "This is he," still others were saying, "No, but he is like him." He kept saying, "I am the one."


JOH 9:10 Therefore they were saying to him, "How then were your eyes opened?"


JOH 9:11 He answered, "The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to Siloam, and wash'; so I went away and washed, and I received sight."


JOH 9:12 And they said to him, "Where is He?" He said, "I do not know."


JOH 9:13 They brought to the Pharisees him who was formerly blind.


JOH 9:14 Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.


JOH 9:15 Again, therefore, the Pharisees also were asking him how he received his sight. And he said to them, "He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see."


JOH 9:16 Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, "This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath." But others were saying, "How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?" And there was a division among them.


JOH 9:17 They said therefore to the blind man again, "What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?" And he said, "He is a prophet."


JOH 9:18 The Jews therefore did not believe it of him, that he had been blind, and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight,


JOH 9:19 and questioned them, saying, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?"


JOH 9:20 His parents answered them and said, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;


JOH 9:21 but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he shall speak for himself."


JOH 9:22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed, that if anyone should confess Him to be Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.


JOH 9:23 For this reason his parents said, "He is of age; ask him."


JOH 9:24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, "Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner."


By saying, "Give glory to God," they are acknowledging that this man was born blind and now can see. The miracle is unmistakable.


During this whole time they could have believed in who Jesus really was and rejoiced in what they had seen and heard and glorified God, but they are more interested in debating so that they can deny the miracle and deny Jesus His rightful claim as the Son of God in the flesh. Their hearts have grown incredibly hard.


If we debate the intellectual issues long enough we can convince ourselves that faith in the things that are heavens above our intellect are silly.


JOH 9:25 He therefore answered, "Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see."


In the same way, in simple faith concerning prayer, we can all state, "How God can know all things and still change the events and actions of time due to my prayer? I do not know; one thing I do know, I pray and He answers my prayer."


JOH 9:26 They said therefore to him, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?"


JOH 9:27 He answered them, "I told you already, and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?"


JOH 9:28 And they reviled him, and said, "You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.


JOH 9:29 "We know that God has spoken to Moses; but as for this man, we do not know where He is from."


JOH 9:30 The man answered and said to them, "Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes.


JOH 9:31 "We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing, and does His will, He hears him.


JOH 9:32 "Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.


JOH 9:33 "If this man were not from God, He could do nothing."


This man is untrained in theology and obviously unread whereas the Pharisees have decades invested in both, and yet he easily finds the simple truth of the matter and they, due to their unbelief and hard hearts, cannot.


This is not a discredit to intense study, but a discredit for doing so for the wrong reasons or without faith. We learn so that we may apply the truth to our lives in faith.


JOH 9:34 They answered and said to him, "You were born entirely in sins [as if they weren't because they were born with working eyes?], and are you teaching us?" And they put him out [excommunicated].


JOH 9:35 Jesus heard that they had put him out; and finding him, He said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" 


JOH 9:36 He answered and said, "And who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?"


JOH 9:37 Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you." 


JOH 9:38 And he said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped Him.


JOH 9:39 And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see [think there is righteousness something other than Christ] may become blind." 


JOH 9:40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said to Him, "We are not blind too, are we?"


JOH 9:41 Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains.


"If you were blind," refers to the heart of a man who understands that he does not know the source of righteousness though he knows himself, his neighbor, and the law. He understands that righteousness and salvation is not in himself or in any other or in the world or in any law. He is therefore blind and the gospel will give him sight.


If prayer were silly or unnecessary would Jesus have spent so much time in it?


LUK 5:16 But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.


LUK 6:12 And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.


Directly before His transfiguration:


LUK 9:28 And some eight days after these sayings, it came about that He took along Peter and John and James, and went up to the mountain to pray.


HEB 5:7

In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety [reverence].