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Prayer's Role in Leadership Uncertainty with Dr. Jenifer Williams

In this unique podcast episode, Dr. Jenifer Williams, a counselor, executive coach, evangelist, and prayer warrior, discusses the transformative power of prayer in navigating leadership uncertainty. She explores how prayer can provide clarity and guidance during challenging times, benefiting pastors and Christian business leaders alike. Dr. Williams discusses practical approaches to incorporating prayer into leadership practices, fostering resilience, and enhancing decision-making. Her insights shed light on the connection between spiritual grounding and effective leadership, offering valuable takeaways for leaders seeking to navigate the uncertainties of their roles with grace and purpose. Tune in to discover the profound impact of prayer on leadership in this thought-provoking conversation. 

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So today, I am joined by a very special guest on the podcast today. She is a very dear friend of mine, doctor Jennifer Williams. Thank you so much for being on Christian Litter made simple podcast today.

Thank you for having me today, pastor Ryan. Absolutely. Let me tell you a little bit about doctor Williams. She is a licensed or ordained minister, a teacher. A conference speaker.

An author, an international evangelist. She holds a doctorate degree and passed care and counseling and a master's degree in psychology and counseling. She does a lot of the counseling at Po, doctor Williams is also a national certified counselor, a licensed professional counselor, and we also share the same title of a townsend and Institute executive coach. And, you know, those are all really tremendous accomplishments, accolades, titles. But here's 1 of the most prominent things that I know about her And the reason that I've asked her to come on the show.

She is known around the world. Many of you already know her. She is known around the world. For her passion for prayer. She just...

I'll just say it how do is. She just flat out knows how to pray, how to touch the throne of guy. And, doctor Williams, this is sort of an impromptu to interview because I asked you just a couple of days ago. And you agreed to do this and thank you again for agreeing to do it. But in leadership, we're we're all faced with uncertainty quite a bit as we move through leadership, things that will cause us lots of stress and worry and struggle and our decision making.

You know, it it kinda kinda comes in at us pretty regularly, especially if you're a pastor or or a church leader, or you lead a, busy business, you're gonna face those stressful things pretty regularly. And I wanna unpack with you today how prayer can make a difference with these uncertainties. That's a it's a really important topic. I think to talk about And so to start us off, can you just sort of share your personal journey of how you integrate prayer into your day? In your day to day life and and how it has shaped your approach to some of the uncertainties in your life.

Pastor Ryan, I feel that every person will face uncertainty. Not just leaders, but every single 1 of us will face uncertainty. And the key to it, is to know that we can overcome that feeling of uncertainty. Many times when I have been uncertain and I've not known what to do. I will turn to the scriptures, and I would say Lord just give me a scripture to help me to anchor myself at this time.

And And 1 of the scriptures about uncertainty that I I've found is that when I am afraid, I will... Turn to you. All lord the scripture says what times I am afraid. It is letting us know that the uncertainty is definitely going to be there. And after I get that scripture, and that's in my mind.

Immediately, I think how can I connect with God? To subside the uncertainty. And that's where the role of prayer comes in. Prayer connects us to god who is the prince of peace. The 1 who can calm us down.

The 1 who really understands why we are uncertain and why we have uneasy feelings. Prayer is our connection to god. Prayer brings us into a place to where we can have peace about the situation. As well as to be able to gain wisdom them in understanding how to manage that particular situation. Yeah.

So I was I was facing some uncertainty just a few days ago when I asked you to be on this podcast. Mh. And it's... I went to my normal prayer time. I walk in the auditor, and lo and behold, doctor Williams is in the auditor auditory and praying.

And you gave me 4 words, and it said, he is leading you. That was powerful words to me. Now, I'm going in my normal routine prayer, but but I'm really... I'm in a... I've got a little anxiety and stress in my in my...

Mind and some of the things, the insecurities within me. And and you said, you told me that the Lord sent you there. Mh. And I just happened to be there. And you gave me that word.

So Tim talk through that a little bit. What what happened there? During my regular routine, I was praying. And when I walked into the sanctuary, I was a little later that day coming in, I saw you over to the left, but I went on to my routine. And as I stood in my regular place a prayer, all of a sudden, as the spirit speaks to me, he gave me those words just...

Speak to you. Had no idea what you were going through. But as we continue, and we have a connection with our prayer is a connection. Prayer is all about communicating with God. And as we communicate with God, God is going to communicate with us in different ways.

He's gonna speak to me differently than speaks to you. And the manner in which he speaks to me, he gave those 4 words to me for you, no idea of what you have been through, but no... We hadn't called no serious Talked. And I had no idea, but I trust did the voice of god and my life. Through prayer and through my time with God, God has taught me my sheep know my voice.

And we can only become accustomed to his voice as we spend time with him and prayer. And I had spent a considerable amount of time with him and prayer. And because of my time with God prayer, I knew it was Scott speaking to me because the enemy surely isn't gonna tell you something encouraging. And so I took a leap of faith, and I spoke to words to you. And I just wanna point out that that's not that's not just AAAA common prayer life to be able to do something like that.

That's a that's an uncommon. Prayer life to be able to step into the supernatural really. And to be able to operate in the supernatural and speak, things that that really turned that situation around for me. You heard me out a little bit even after that and it just kinda turned the situation around. It was the words that I needed to hear from the Lord.

It was it was that component that people can't give to to you. I mean, people are a huge part of regulating and stressful things and uncertain things. But there's a component that only God give. And in that... In that situation, it happened.

And I can tell you over the last 3 years of working on my book, working on launching the community. There's been probably 5 or 6 times. That I was walking in the auditor and low and behold, Jennifer Williams is there and has a very specific word, that spoke directly to that situation, and it's... Especially in the early on, you didn't even know I writing the book. Yeah.

Did not. Yet, you felt some very specific things that really spoke to me. And I just wanna say, I I... And I wanna say publicly. I I so value your prayer life, and the impact that it has had in my life.

The Lord has spoken words, specifically from you to me, many, many times, and that is super valuable in my life as as a leader as a pastor. Thank you for that. You're very welcome. And I do wanna add pastor Ryan if people understood the valuable. How valuable prayer is.

We would do it more. Prayer is our only connections to God Prayer is our only connection between heaven and earth. It is a biblical platform that has been established by God. For mankind to communicate with God and for God to communicate with us. And as we interact with God on that platform a prayer, God gets to know us.

And we get to know him and it changes a whole lives forever her. Yeah. That's that's very good. And and so with saying that, knowing that that if we really realize the impact that it could have on her leadership, What's some what's some practical ways that are practical tools even for... As we're as we're facing critical decisions, especially in times of unpredictability, what's some what some practical ways we can incorporate prayer into those things?

Prayer can be incorporated into every aspect. Of our lives best leaders. What we need to really understand is that prayer is not just practical and useful, but prayer is powerful. Prayer a paint changer. Prayer, disgust.

So it's not just making the right decision. It's the power that comes along with the act of praying for that right decision. Yes. And it will anchor you in that particular decision. It'll give you a sense of security.

A calm, a peace, knowing wing without a doubt that you've made the right decision. Many people face, many leaders face the uncertainty, asking themselves, what shall I do? How can I how can I make a better choice in this particular thing, if we would stop and pray first and make the decision afterwards, then we will see a difference in that? Some practical things that a person a leader can do to help them on in the journey is the first start small. Start with something simple, start in the moment where you are, where you need an answer or where you need to make a decision, taking a moment to pray.

When you feel that first prompting of that first feeling enough uncertainty, stop in the moment, just take a second. Say god help me. That's very practical, very useful. Just take the moment to say something. And sometimes people will say that out of habit.

Not help me. Mh. But if they would slow down and realize the power of those words, it could truly make a difference. Because I think I think there is a difference. Mh.

I mean, disagree with me if you want. But I think there is a difference in in habit perpetual prayer, Mh. And relational. Prayer with god. And that would be more relational, knowing, slowing down and saying God helped me because I know God can help me.

Right. I definitely agree that habit prayer, we're so a cuss come just to say in the words the lord from. But if someone doesn't pray as much as someone who does it habit visually in that moment knowing that god is there with you and you take that time to say God help me. And then you'd just make a marker say god. In the time when I needed you, the most, I'm not used praying it, and you help me How can I make this a pattern in my life?

And from that moment, link it to the next moment. You make a memory and you're link to your next moment. God helped me then, then god can help me in the next moment. And how can I incorporate this into my everyday life? Yeah.

That's very good. It makes sense. And you sort of answered this, but I wanna, ask it more specifically in case there's some more guidance you can give here. But in in church leadership and even in Christian business, leadership. You know, there's often a balance between faith and being strategic.

Strategic planning. Processes, and I'm all about processes. I love I love that side of of, of the church. I love consulting type things. But there's a balance in faith and strategic planning.

And so how can we sort of strike a balance. We don't need to get too corn minded with it, but we also can't get so heavenly minded that we don't get something done and do the processes and strategic planning. So speak to that just a little bit. Our God is a god of balance. Something many people think if I pray only, this is all I have to do, and they forget about the strategic planning portion of it.

Look with Jeremiah ken and 11 says, so I know the plans. Our God is a pleasure. You he wants to if he was going to accomplish something. He always starts with my plan. He knows exactly what he wants to do.

And so we can take our pattern from god, who is a planner. If god plans then we as human beings must understand. We must plan. The enemy would deceive us to make us think that all we have to do is pray. Especially, for me, when I love to pray, and I'm accustomed to prayer, and all I want to do is prayer.

But even after you have prayed, you're gonna have to get up and do something. So before we continue on with the pipe cast. This episode is brought to you by Christian leader community coaching. Are you a Christian leader experiencing low productivity, or chaotic lifestyle, and maybe you're overwhelmed and just unsure of what it's gonna take to create growth in your life. And so I wanna introduce to you our Christian leader community coaching program through our step by step framework You're gonna discover a better rhythm of life.

You'll see yourself more clearly, leverage your strengths and build more productive relationship. With our full archive of courses, our supportive community of peers, a powerful leadership assessment to get you quickly focused We also have live community coaching and so much more. And I've personally seen its huge impact with leaders from all over the world. Experiencing laser, focused growth in their lives. And now through this community, this experience is open to you, and we wanna help you implement these simple frameworks and then celebrate with you as you experience significant results in your life.

Don't wait any longer. Go to ryan Franklin dot org and join the Christian leader community coaching today, and I look forward to seeing you inside the community. Now back to our podcast. Yeah. You get a lot of stuff done.

You gonna have to get up. You got a lot of titles, Yeah. A lot of job roles. Yeah. You you get a lot accomplished from coaching to counseling.

To putting on a conference to going out and evan analyzing, and and that's a that's a lot it is a lot. You got you you gotta pray a lot just to keep up with all that. Yes, sir. I've been pray a lot to keep up with all the that and prayer is powerful and prayer brings and wisdom prayer brings and knowledge, prayer brings and the instruction. Their understanding how we're...

Of how we are going to accomplish the mission, but even after I I do all of that, and I have their understanding I've got to put that into a plan. I've got to strategically put that into something that's doable and workable. And this is where I feel that the road a prayer comes in between the faith, having faith that this is gonna work, and I have enough... Ate that that god wanna work this out for me, and he's already given me this vision. And then now I have this particular plan, how I'm going to do it.

This is how the role of prayer comes in. It becomes a balance serve. It becomes a something that helps me to carry out the plan. And when god gives that plan. And I'm hoping I'm I'm being understood here.

We must pray. We must pray Prayer brings us into that understanding their wisdom and that knowledge. And from their wisdom and knowledge, we get the strategic plan. But where the balance is, we have to know that without us carrying it out it's not going to take place. Faith without words is dead.

It is not useful. It's not advantageous. So we have to have a balance. I must pray, and I must work. I must.

Put a pray, and I'm a strategic plan as a leader. I can't just leave it out to prayer, and I just can't leave it out to planet. Because some people are great planners, but they're not great prayers. Some people are great prayer. They're not great planners.

They must marry you 1 another. There must be a a specific balance between the 2 to get the mission done. It's all about having that balance. And once we have that balance. The balance between prayer and the planning, then we see the mission accomplished.

Yeah. You know, setting up this... This podcast today. I've ran into couple of problems. You ran into some problems trying to trying to get here today.

You know, it it's easy to to sort of just say, well, that's that's just life. But reality is is that the enemy does not want us having in this conversation today. No. And the enemy does not want you going out and preaching at a church and people receiving to get to the holy ghost or, you know, things of that nature. The the in...

There is a real enemy out there. Right. And I think to neglect that side of it. The prayer side of it is to really, in my mind to shut down the powerful effectiveness of your ministry. Would you agree?

Absolutely. No prayer, em bounds. No prayer, no power. Little prayer, little power, much prayer, much power. I love that.

Yes. I love that. Yes. Okay. So your a counselor, you're you're also an executive coach.

And, we deal with a lot of, I do pastor counseling of a pastor counseling degree. I'm an executive coach. We deal with a lot of emotional, things with people. And we know that we are very emotional people, Mh. As well, as as whether people denied it or not, we...

They are everyone is emotional people. Right. But as leaders, we often deal with a high volume of emotions within us from stress and anxiety and dealing with other people's emotions and things of that nature. So is is there a role in prayer for our emotional resilience? I think that there is a role for prayer in every aspect of our lives.

We will not be able to be resilient without the power of prayer. Yeah. I wouldn't want to be a therapist a coach or anything without prayer because of the demands. That are there because of the complications that we face During the session because of the internal stress that we faced within out selves, it is no way possible that we as coaches or counselors or therapist can meet the demands of the people, without prayer. Prayer is our only stabilizer.

Prayer anchors our minds to the plates where we can understand others and more importantly understand ourselves because a lot of things are gonna happen in that session a lot of things are gonna happen when we or interact with other people that we must have something to anchor ourselves so that we would be able. To be able to meet those demands and become resilient. Do you realize the volume of things that we hear in the session you cannot manage it on your own Yeah. With your counseling. In a counseling session.

You cannot manage it on your own. Which let let me just clarify, even if you're a business leader, you're gonna find yourself in a counseling session at times with people that you lead, we can't avoid having these tough conversations that bring, emotional things to us and even bring emotional things in us. But prayer, I'm hearing you say as a stabilizer, a lot of times in, sort of releasing some of that regulating, some of the emotion within us that may be a little out of whack. Now, sometimes we need people in their life to vent to and and let them contain and and even give us perspective and things of that nature. But prayer is a place to start, first of all, and is a vital part of regulation in a leader's life.

Would you would you agree? Definitely. And that's what I hear you saying? Yes. Yeah.

So I'm trying... I'm I'm hitting some bullet points here and and trying to trying to, talk specifically to a few things. Let's talk about vision. Vision is vital to leadership. We need personal vision, but also within an organization, we need corporate vision.

So, how can specifically how can leaders use prayer to work on clarifying a god given vision and and even communicating it effectively and and fostering unity with teams. Even when the path forward may not be entirely clear. We may not would there may be some uncertainty as as to... We may not have the full picture of that vision, but how can prayer assist us in getting that full picture moving the ball with our organization and having people on board with it. What prayer does pastor ryan, it taps us into the eternal mind of god.

When we are tapped into the eternal mind of god, We gain vision. We we gained something that's beyond what we see in the natural. Vision is spiritual. Fight is just natural. And the scripture tells us in the book of Hose without a vision, the people will carriage.

So when I'm looking to get a plan, a blueprint or something to lead the people. I must turn a resort to God. I must ask him show me. We must ask him to give us revelation of what we need to do with the team, with the people that early... Can I pause you out there because I don't wanna go too far past this?

That's that's a powerful statement. You said vision is spiritual. Sight is physical. So is that how you said that? Physical natural.

Natural. So would you agree though that that spiritual vision has to eventually become visible to us and the natural in some form of fashion. Even if it's a... Even if it's in our minds, it's gotta become visible to us. Right?

Mh. So the the the act of prayer praying around a vision, a spiritual vision can actually help move that? Yeah. To a natural? The scripture says faith.

It's the substance of things hopeful. Mh. The evidence of things not saying. So that's vision. You can't you can't see it in the natural yet.

Yeah. But it moves us into what is seeing as we continue to believe. For to compass to. That's good. I've never actually looked at at vision through that through that lens, but that is a...

That's a powerful statement So with with getting people on board, unity, just even in a practical sense, how could we use prayer to help rally the troops so to speak around the vision that the Lord has given us. Just the natural man itself does not gravitate or take to unity. It's just not natural. Within us. I would agree with it.

We don't just gravitate towards unity. So it's definitely going to take the power of prayer prayer begin to shift shift our mind. It shift our spirit. Is, it helps us to be able to, desire to come together in farming. If we do not rate, definitely, we're going to always be in dis unit.

But if I want to rally someone or a group of people to get on board with me, it is going to come out of prayer. For instance, when I started to prayer group in my home, and I had received a approval from of anthony Manager to have that prayer in my home. And I wanted to unify with other believers to pray. Yeah. It started in prayer.

God began to tell me specific specifically and how to lead the people to come and when they come how to keep us unified and then to per hope us in on the vision. Tell tell... I don't mean side of gorillas, but tell us some more about that prayer? Because you... How many days in a row did you did you have that prayer time?

That prayer is still going on. We just had a large number group in my home. This past 30. It was... Over 60 plus people but had, consecutive days?

Are you still doing consecutive days. We are still praying them out home and usually, gonna put this consecutive days here. There has been probably maybe a few days. We've not been able to have the the negative date, but we went for years. Every it went on for years.

And and that prayer group is still going on much prayer much power. Yes. Much prayer much power. And it it it was stagger you that it's probably been made 1 or 2 day. That there's no 1 been in that room to pray.

That consistency is still there. Yeah. And so to rally that many people, hit to to unify to prayer, it is going to take something from god. And as we begin to to to great about it, God began to move the people. I feel that and this is kinda off just a little bit as an example for it.

And I feel that as noah began to build the boat. God began to unify, and he began to send those animals into their. The spirit was drawing them. So it's the spirit that draws the sent unit. The spirit that draws us into 1 this.

Yeah. And so without prayer, we were never unify. It takes the power for you. And can I say this? If if we were really wanting to unify someone around a vision of where we're...

Where we're moving towards AAA body of people. What would be wrong with, like, communicating the vision that you feel that the Lord has given you, and then asking the people to pray for it, because that's gonna do 1 of 2 things. It's... It first of all gonna get them praying in. Mh.

And then second of all, being that a vision oftentimes is so spiritual in nature. It it it almost takes prayer for them to really grab hold of it and sacrifice for that vision. Would you would you say? Definitely. Definitely.

I do agree. So the that active prayer could... Is actually gonna get that vision in in them more so than us standing up and and giving a great dis on what the vision is. Absolutely. I think as a leader, we must convey the vision.

And I had to convey the vision of prayer. To the group that I was leading. We must convey the vision so that they can have a well, a vision of what you're looking for and what we're trying to establish it because other than that, they're going to just be aim shooting at something aim going for a target. That's not there. We must always put the target out there.

But once we put the target out there, we incorporate the prayer as a means to reach in the target and rallies people into the same mind, and you can encourage less pray for this. Let's pray for that so that we could all be on the same page. Yeah. That makes sense. That makes sense.

So as we sort of move towards wrapping this up, if if a leader out there is wanting to take some very practical steps to deepen their prayer life. What what practical steps, strategies can you... Can you offer them to, you know, hopefully they all have, somewhat of a prayer life. But to deepen their prayer life, what's some practical strategies that you could that you could give them? First of all?

Forget about yesterday. K. Second, start where you are. Start. Where you are if you're in a office in your car, on a break on your job, just take a moment and just say a few words to god.

And in that moment, ask him to develop you into prayer. So right where you are. Don't try to do big things Don't try to go long times of prayer. Start where you are and go for small increments of prayer. 1 minute prayer.

And dedicate and commit to that 1 minute. And from that 1 minute link to 5 from 5 link to 10. But always stop where you are office car home. Yeah. And then begin to this small increments to prayer.

So I know you're, a, very, very seasoned person of prayer. And you may not use a certain template to pray by every day. But if you do, I'd love to just hear, what you do? And if you don't, what would you recommend people to to do, You know, I've heard of acts of prayer and praying the Tab and what what would you feel would be good for people to, maybe if they just wanted to use a a format of prayer to help kinda guide them. 1 of the things that I use a lot is the Tab prayer.

Ga Megan said Tab prayer is an in line plan. To the throne of God. And so I love it because it takes us from the beginning of Worship and it lands us right inside of the holdings of h, a place of worship. And it just takes you step by step, how to get into the the presence of God. It takes you to the altar.

And without an altar, you'll never be able to to go forward in life. So it takes us from that gauge and entering their gate. Thanksgiving. I won't go through the whole thing straight into the altar as we step our way into the presence of God. Yeah.

That is a very powerful template. And our our bishop, bishop Anthony Manga wrote a book on it, heaven to Earth. Right Look... I'll I'll put a link in the show notes for that book because I think it would be a worthy book of for anyone to pick up and and use as a as a you know, sort of a study guide to learn how to how to pray the Tab ankle. So that's that's really good.

So any final marks on prayer that you would like to to share anything, I don't wanna get to our last question until without giving you a chance to say a few words if there's anything prayer has changed my life. Mh. I never knew I could pray. I never knew I could understand for. And never knew that prayer can can really make the difference in your life, but prayer has changed me from from being timid at times and shy time, Believe it or not to becoming confident.

Believe that. Becoming more confident in who I am as a person. I didn't even know who I was until I got into prayer and God. Began to you overcame a lot of insecurity? Yes.

Yes. And so prayer changed me a to to become the vessel. So that God has called me to be, and it I keep saying this over and over. It is a connect between humanity and the vi. It is a connect.

It's our communication. It is how god communicates with us And this is what God is after the whole goal of prayer is relationship. Yeah. God relates to us and we relate to him, and it'll change your life forever. You can't do without it.

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, to wrap it up, 1 last question, I ask all of my guests. And it doesn't have to be related to prayer it can be, but it doesn't have to be.

What's 1 thing doctor Jennifer Williams would love to tell her younger. Self. If I were to speak to my younger self, I would say. Self have more balance. Mh Many times, I've had more prayer.

And then other times, I've had more planning but I have struggled with balance a lot of times. I would say have more balance to where you to where you would be able to accomplish the mission. Many times, I think things that I've started that did not get accomplished is was because I did not have balance. I had more 1 than the other. That's very good.

That's very good Well, Jennifer, this has been such a great great conversation, and thank you so much for giving us your time today. If people wanna connect with you in some way, where can they find you on online, and you got a prayer conference coming up, and I want you to tell people about your prayer conference. Yes, sir. If people want to connect with me online, they can definitely connect with me, Facebook. There on that platform quite often.

I'll put a link to that as well. And that's if they wanted you to preach or whatever, that's where they would be best to connect with you. Definitely. Okay. And of course, I am going to believe me a prayer conference here.

At the Ga Manga center here on the Po campus. It's called un hindered. It would be April the nineteenth and twentieth Friday and a Saturday. And it is a prayer conference people would be coming in. From all across the United States for the conference last year.

We had over 400, that attended the conference, and we had a powerful time in prayer, and I'm looking forward to that particular conference un. 20 24. That's tremendous. And if you wanna get un hindered yourself and really incorporate prayer into your life into your ministry, I would encourage you to to attend that conference because doctor Williams is is definitely no joke. She knows what she's doing.

And I have a lot of lot a lot a lot of faith in her. And and I'll put those links in the show notes. So... This concludes our show today. And if you are a new listener, I would greatly appreciate you subscribing, liking the podcast.

Sharing the podcast in any way that you can that just helps me sort of get the word out. My name is Ryan Franklin. Thank you so much for joining us on the Christian leader made simple podcast,

Copyright © 2024 Ryan Franklin. All rights reserved.


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