If the Son of God, Jesus Christ, needed to spend time alone with God the Father in prayer, how much more do fallen humans like me need to pray? If Christ prayed in order to lead His disciples and to carry out His ministry, how much more important is it for spiritual leaders, pastors, Sunday School teachers, and worship leaders to pray? Nothing can be more important in the life of a spiritual leader than time in prayer. For example, Dr. Earley discusses Martin Luther’s daily prayer time, which was generally two hours per day for any typical week. But during a particularly busy week, Luther claimed that he had so much to accomplish that he would start the day with three hours of prayer. Luther’s example demonstrates the need for spiritual leaders to pray: Busy leaders need to pray because it may “be the best time-saving device you have.” Earley, like Martin Luther, believes that spiritual leaders are too busy not to pray. That is a serious re-prioritization that we all need to consider. What would our lives look like if we prayed first and most, and did the rest later?
The Apostle Paul provides instructions for the church when he writes “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”  Paul means that prayer needs to be a priority and that Christians need to be spiritually alert, watchful for how prayer worked, and thankful for God’s blessings. Apostle Paul also knew how critical prayer was in the life of the believer.
Dr. Earley wrote about many great prayer ideas, but especially three that I will attempt to apply to my own life include: establishing a daily prayer time (23), institute a regular space for prayer (27), and praying for others (33). Dr. Early recommends establishing a daily prayer time because, “most of need to set a daily prayer time or times if we hope to build a dynamic prayer life.” Dr. Early also recommends establishing a place for prayer: “I have found it very helpful to establish a set, solitary place for my daily prayer time.” Lastly, Dr. Earley encourages Christians to pray for others: “One of the purest and most powerful ways for a leader to express and exercise such love is intercessory prayer.” Intercessory prayer, according to Earley, is “coming to God on behalf of another.” I can’t think of any greater gift to give.
I am forever grateful to the person who told me that she threw herself down on the altar to cry out to God to spare my infant son’s life. She prayed fervently –desperately – and hopefully for my child, who is now a bursting-with-energy, happy, healthy 7 year old. I always believed in the power of prayer, but I never believed in it so much as when my son’s tiny life hung in the balance. I realized that when there is no other recourse, we believe most fully. So how do we carry that depth of belief and certainty in the power of prayer into our daily lives? I guess, more than anything, it just takes practice.
Prayer works and we need to do it.
Earley, Dave. Personal Prayer: the Timeless Secret of High-Impact Leaders. Chattanooga, TN: Living Ink Books, 2008.
 Dave Earley, Personal Prayer: the Timeless Secret of High-Impact Leaders (Chattanooga, TN: Living Ink Books, 2008), 5.
 Dave Earley, Personal Prayer: the Timeless Secret of High-Impact Leaders (Chattanooga, TN: Living Ink Books, 2008), 5,
 Col. 4:2, NIV.
 Dave Earley, Personal Prayer: the Timeless Secret of High-Impact Leaders (Chattanooga, TN: Living Ink Books, 2008), 24.
 Ibid., 28.
 Ibid., 33.
 Ibid., 34.