Submitted and Shared Discernment

Guest Post – Prayerful discernment in community is critical for godly leadership. This guest post from David Chotka guides you to some practical resources to equip you and your team. David serves as Lead Pastor at Spruce Grove Alliance Church, a graduate of the Arrow Leadership Program – Executive Stream, author of Power Praying and is Chair of the Alliance Prayer Team. Enjoy the post!

It all began with a need to understand how to link prayer and missions. In fact, all I wanted to do was to train my leaders in hearing the Voice of God, so that we could follow the Lord in obedience. This text was one of the startling ones:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19b NASB.

So here we have God the Son at prayer.  He’s discerning the mind/action of the Father in order to accomplish whatever the Father had in mind in the moment (in this case Jesus was explaining that his relationship with God led to a prayerful discernment and a miraculous healing).

The next text was even more startling. Post-resurrection, when Jesus is seated above to Judge, he will still “do ministry” with the same method:

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5:30 NASB

Reflecting on these texts, it hit me like a ton of bricks: most believers (let alone church boards or congregations) don’t “do ministry” this way. Jesus did in fact use his mind; either before, in the midst of, and after thinking, Jesus submitted everything to God in prayer, experienced a leading and then did His ministry tasks as God commanded, either “in advance” or “in the moment”.

So how do we train ourselves (and then our leadership teams) to do this? We need to learn to pray together to discern God’s Voice. That was the reason for writing Power Praying. It’s a training manual to enable believers to pray according to the model that Jesus taught. It’s also a learning track in praying together to test out God’s leading. The first group to use this resource was my elder board – and Jesus’ teaching changed all of our praying – and our leading.

Do you need to train your leaders in “hearing” God’s voice? This resource is a seven day/a week interactive journey through Jesus’ teaching on prayer. For eight weeks you will journey together and share your learning. A DVD has been developed to assist you in “unpacking” the learning.

Click here to purchase David’s book. You can also download a free resource David just produced for CMA Canada by going to It’s called “50 Days of Prayer—Discerning the Voice” as well as a one hour concert of prayer on prayerful discernment.