The following is an excerpt from our Practical Guide To Prayer project coming later this year. This section highlights the necessity of gathering leaders to the place of corporate prayer.
C. Joel 2:16 -Assemble the Elders
1. The call to gather the elders has sounded forth once before in Joel 1:14. We have glanced briefly at this in our notes from that section:
a. The elders speak of those who carry both spiritual and natural authority from the Lord. (Ex.12:21; Lev.4:113-15; Rom.13:1). Practically, this speaks of calling leaders of families, leaders in education, ministry leaders and civil and federal governmental leaders. These leaders both represent the people before God and represent the primary avenues through which God will release His kingdom in power and authority.
b. Because of the responsibilities associated with leadership, a leader’s time is often accounted for in advance. It can be difficult for many to pull away even for a short season. This includes parents as well.
i. It can be frustrating for intercessors to try and convince their pastors to attend their prayer meeting. Because intercessors often carry a burden from the Lord the weight of what they are feeling compels them to urgent action. We must learn to be patient with those who do not see the need as we do. Criticizing leaders who don’t respond to our invitation will only sow seeds of division in a congregation and often create a distance the pastor and the prayer leader. At a fundamental level gathering leaders involves relationships built on trust. If we are committed to “assembling the elders” then we must be committed to the processes involved in establish trust and laying the foundation for a strong and lasting relationship.
c. It takes effort to cast vision. We must sound a clear call to leaders. It requires time and great effort to accurately define what God is emphasizing. It is critical that we are able to articulate what the Spirit is emphasizing and that we have a solid grasp on the scripture and it’s message and application to our day. An academic pursuit of scripture is not sufficient to interpret the Day nor is it sufficient to prepare our hearts to embrace the Kingdom (Jn.5:39-40). We need to cultivate, or develop a prophetic spirit whereby we can both understand and apply the scripture while growing in confidence and willingness to embrace the manifold wisdom and purposes of God. Paul prayed that the Spirit would give him language, or utterance that he would clearly make known the mystery of the gospel (Eph.6:19). Time spent growing in the word and in prayer results in clarity and authority as we proclaim to leaders what God is saying and doing (Ac.6:4).