Servant Leadership, Conditions for our prayers to be answered

Matthew 20:25-28

Mother of the Apostles James and John came to Jesus with a request, to allow her sons to sit, one on His right and another on His left side, in His coming Kingdom. She wanted prominent positions for her sons….

Jesus saw the need to teach his disciples about His understanding of leadership. So He is using this opportunity for teaching.

A. Worldly leadership (Rulers of the Gentiles) Mt.20:25

a. They Lord it over them
Behave or act like a lord or as a king.

b. They exercise authority over them.
A person of authority commands or demands and not request or suggest.

Many people with this understanding of leadership join ministry for what they can receive (either materially or emotionally) from their people instead of what they can give.
Some of them expect others to treat them as small kings, special food, special place to sit, special accomodation and facilities..They expect tax or support from people according to their status…

B. Christian leadership Mt.20:26,27.

a. MUST be a SERVANT to others. Mt 20:26
A person who would serve others. Always available for the master.

b. MUST be a SLAVE to others. Mt.20:27

A slave is someone who is like a property of another person and has to work for that person. No demands or no special privileges.

C. Personal testimony of Jesus about serving Mt.20:28

1.Jesus came not to be served but to serve.

  1. Jesus came to give His life as a ransom for many.

Ransom was used most commonly for the price paid to redeem a slave. Similarly Christ paid the ransom of His life to free us from the slavery of sin by dying for us on the cross.

What kind of leadership do you see in your Church or around you today?

What kind of a leader are you?

To be like Jesus, is there any area you need to improve in your thinking or in your actions?


Conditions for our prayers to be answered

One day Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem with His disciples. He was hungry and saw a fig tree with full of leaves at a distance. Expecting some fruits, he went to the tree but he couldn’t find any fruit, so he cursed the tree and it immediately withered. His disciples were amazed and they asked the reason behind it. At this point Jesus taught them how they should pray and the conditions for their prayers to be answered

  1. Prayer in faith, without doubt.

“….If you have faith and do not doubt..” Mt.21:21.

A person who prays with doubt shows that he doesn’t have faith. For a plane to take off, a powerful engine and a qualified pilot is needed. Similarly for prayer to be answered, faith in God without doubt is essential.

  1. Prayer with belief that we will receive

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Mt.21:22.

The phrase about removing mountains was a quite common Jewish phrase. It was a regular, vivid phrase for “removing difficulties”.

Mark 11:24 should not be interpreted as God is obligated to answer our prayer no matter what we ask. Someone praying for sunlight in the middle of the night won’t be answered because that is against God’s natural law.

  1. Forgive others to get prayer answered.

When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25.

A lack of forgiveness and bitterness will hinder our prayers. So if we don’t forgive others, we are losers. Once forgiven, we should forget that and should not remember or talk about it.

Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors. Mt.6:12

If we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us too.

  1. Reconcile with others to get answers to prayers.

“If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23,24.

If our brother or others have got something against us….

Prayer without reconciliation with others won’t give any result. IF we are not in a position to meet a person physically, how about calling that person in our phone and reconciling with him or her? Let us say SORRY for all our mistakes.

A car needs all the 4 wheels to run properly. If one wheel is missing… Similarly, to get an answer to prayer, all the conditions should be fulfilled. Many of us are not getting answer to our prayers, because something is missing.

How is our prayer?

Have we forgiven all those who have wronged us? Do we still talk about it?

Is there anyone in the world with whom we are angry or have some problem with? What are we going to do about it?

Are we getting answers to all our prayers? If not, what could be the reason?


Rev. C. V. Abraham

God’s justice Matt 20:1_16 No parable highlights the difference between God’s justice and ours.In this parable the landowner pays the same wages to all his laboreres, even to those who arrive in the eleventh hour of the day.
To the complainers the landowner points out. It is my money and if I want to be generous to some, what business is that of yours A day laborer lives hand to mouth. A days wages. Provides a bare minimum for his family’s survival. So this generous landowner has the right to provide for the laborer’s needs regardless of his workload. So God is less concerned with being fair than with helping those in need. Generosity is God’s justice.

Cynthia Sathiaraj