February 14, 2020 • Life for Leaders
In your majesty ride forth victoriously
in the cause of truth, humility and justice;
let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.
Psalm 45:4 (NIV)
Psalm 45 is a prayer for a king on the occasion of his wedding. The specific prayer in verse 4 sounds like it could be about God. Yet, in this context, it is actually a prayer to God that is spoken as if to the king himself.
As we see to pray this psalm in our own lives, most of us do not have literal kings. But we do have leaders in government, business, school, church, and many other contexts. And we can surely pray for them in the mode of Psalm 45.
The prayer offered below, however, is meant to focus on our own leadership. You may be a leader in a business, a church, a neighborhood, or a family. You may have an official title or an unofficial but profound influence. Almost all of us are leaders in one context or another. So, this prayer uses the imagery of Psalm 45 to guide our prayers for the leadership we exercise in the places God has placed us.
Gracious God, as I reflect on Psalm 45, I’m struck by how this psalm teaches me to pray for leaders, including me. I’m not a king, but you have given me authority to lead. And I want to exercise my leadership in a way that reflects and honors you.
So I ask, Lord, that my leadership be grounded on truth. Most of all, may all that I do be guided by the truth of Scripture. May I follow your Word as I lead, whether making difficult business decisions or working with my colleagues. Moreover, may my leadership be characterized by truthfulness. Help me to be honest, even when it feels risky. Keep me from exaggeration or self-serving excuses. May I speak the truth in love at all times.
I also ask for humility. This virtue is in short supply today, as you know, Lord. It’s so easy for me to get caught in the current of self-importance. I can believe that I know better, even that I am better than others. I can fail to listen to the wisdom of others, keeping my own counsel. Help me to be humble, not just in my words or even my deeds, but in my heart.
May I be a just leader in all I do. Help me to treat all people rightly, even an especially when relationships are strained. Give me wisdom to ensure that the structures and systems in my control are just. May I contribute to a more just world, one in which all people experience the rightness of your kingdom.
O Lord, may what I accomplish as a leader be awesome because you are awesome. May my successes reflect your own excellence. May my shortcomings be a reminder of your amazing grace. To you be all the glory! Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day:
As you lead today, let your leadership be characterized by truthfulness, humility, and a commitment to justice.
Explore more at The High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project:
Superman and Psalm 45
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.
They say when you use all capitals it means you are shouting. So THANK YOU for this perspective on a prayer for leaders. I would not have included myself but now I see clearly how it applies and I need the truth stated here. Especially the part about Humility!