A Leader’s Prayer for Wisdom

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1.5

I originally wrote this prayer in early June during the early days of the aboutLEADING re-launch. However, the issues of those days have only grown since then. I am re-posting it today as a tool to help us pursue something we easily forget.


This season we find ourselves in--plagued by a pandemic, navigating economic chaos, fighting devastating fires, sorting through the vitriol of a presidential campaign, and responding to the need for justice and reconciliation--is a day that is desperate for wise leadership.


Deep into the latter pages of the Bible, James wrote an invitation and a promise. Anyone who needs wisdom should ask God for it because He promises to give it generously. Wisdom is that ability to see below the surface, beyond the immediate, and between the lines. Wisdom is the fuel of breakthrough decision making. Can you imagine any leader who doesn't need it?


Therefore, I wrote this Prayer for a Leader.


I wrote this prayer ten years ago and used to carry it with me. Looking at it today, I am stunned at how it still speaks to me. Join me in praying these words with desperation and expectation. [Download a printable copy of this prayer.]

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A Leader’s Prayer for Wisdom

Lord, help me see beyond…


Help me see beyond…

… the borders of my own experience

… the constructs of my training and upbringing

… the limits of my own wisdom and insight

… the brokenness of my intuition

… O Lord, help me see beyond myself.


Help me see beyond…

… the surface

… the urgent

… the competing agendas

… the reactivity of others

… the easily accessible ideas, familiar approaches, and predictable personnel

… O Lord, help me see beyond the obvious to see where you are at work


Help me see beyond what my eyes take in...

…to see from your perspective

…to see beyond what is

…to see what could be

…to see beyond the words and actions and plans that I resist

…O Lord, help me see beyond the superficial to see the heart and longing and needs of the people around me


In every situation,

help me see the hidden part of the iceberg

that I might navigate the true spiritual

and human dynamics in play


O Lord, Give me your eyes, your ears, and your grace

to see beyond myself and my limits

to know your wisdom for all the decisions and responsibilities before me.


And, while helping me see beyond…

would you also grant me the ability to stand secure

in the reality of the present

in your presence

with unwavering courage.


Help me see beyond...

…So that I might be a non-anxious leader

patient with people

impatient with what is broken

and open-handed

with all you have assigned to me


O Lord, help me be the kind of leader

that the people

the world around me

and you

need today.




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© 2020 by Gary Mayes