One leadership principles that has become a mantra for many is that “leadership is influence.” (Thanks, John Maxwell) While that has been applied at a million micro-levels — from toddler moms to middle-school math teachers to customer service reps to CEO’s – it has huge macro applications as well. Leaders in various arenas are also influencers, who are shaping families, communities, cultures—and even the course of human history.
So, when we pray for the world, one of the most strategic things we can do is to pray for influencers. A sovereign God uses men and women, Christians and pagans who are politicians and moguls, doctors and entrepreneurs, teachers and presidents, techno-geeks and satirists, artists and urban planners and more to accomplish His redeeming purposes in the world. There is certainly Biblical precedent. Think of Pharoah, Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar, an Ethiopian eunuch, Cornelius, Lydia or Jason.
So, I want to be more intentional in praying for the gospel-directed influence of influencers. I’m praying for their salvation, for Christ-treasuring disciples to intersect their lives, for godly principles to be intellectually attractive to them, for the minimizing of godless decisions and more. It makes my praying more worldly, which is not all bad. It presses me beyond small, merely local praying to pray for world-shaking transformation.
Who do I pray for? That’s a bit of a challenge. Who do I know that is influential on a big scale? You can start with U.S. Senators and justices, leaders of nations or recognized political entities, Apple’s Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks (now as powerful as a producer as an actor) and Oprah. After that, where do I turn?
Newsweek recently presented their take on The Global Elite, their view of the world’s important people. Here is their list (see how many names you recognize before you read the article):
What strikes me is that with the exception of the Pope, no person openly identified as a Christian (especially an evangelical) makes the top 50. What does that say about the Christian life and message in the world marketplace?
I’m using this as a basis for developing a list of global influencers to add to my prayer list. Who would you suggest be added to that list?