Leaders Pray

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I've never thought of work as "trinitarian," but Howard Butt is right. If we live out a calling and not just a job, the Father’s leadership style is extended by our hands. If we serve our coworkers, there is a Jesus-redemptive quality to our efforts. If we’re energized by the Holy Spirit, we will be creatively sustained until our task is complete. Sadly, for most of us, our workplace is the last place that God has half a chance.

My work-world was a highly competitive academic environment, not a place where the “teamwork” of the Trinity was readily exemplified. The Bible says, “Pray for those who despitefully use you” (Luke 6:28). But could I pray for the success of someone who might beat me out for the Nobel Prize in medicine? Not on my own strength for sure!

It was easy for me to be beneficent to my patients and students. Our relationship lacked a balance of power—it was all in my hands. But when it came to colleagues who were my equals, I found it hard to pray. Rather than Jesus’ gracious servant-words, I was drawn to what the psalmist said on a particularly bad day running away from his peers. “Strike my enemies on the cheek. Break the teeth of the wicked” (Ps. 3:7). And I worked with a wicked bunch!

Howard speaks of leadership style where authority flows through us and not from us. He tweaks our conscience. He drives us to our knees to pray.

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