Of late, I’m being led to pray more and more for leaders whom I personally coach  and am in touch with, as well as leaders with a national presence who I follow. Praying may very well be my most impactful contribution in the years to come—however many / few they may be.

It deeply disturbed me that way too often I’m reading or hearing about another fallen leader. At times I think about something that Bobby Clinton said in his book, “The Making of a Leader.” He was spinning off of Matthew 9:36,38 with leaders in mind:

“When He (Jesus) saw the leaders, He was filled with dismay, because so many quit, so many were set aside, and so many were plateaued and directionless. They had lost their zest for leading. They had no clear philosophy or direction in their leadership. They were leaderless leaders. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the leaders with clear direction are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth knowledgeable, discerning, and direction-oriented leader-laborers into His harvest.” 

There are so many different things I could be praying for leaders so that they’re  not quitting, being set aside, plateaued, directionless, having no clear philosophy or direction in their leadership—I have settled on three forming the acrostic HIP.


It was John Stott who said that humility is our greatest friend and pride is our greatest enemy. When leaders start seeing fruit, receive applause and appreciation for what God is doing through them, it’s much easier to become proud, self-sufficient, unteachable, independent and hungry for more attention and notoriety. 

The higher people place you on the pedestal, the longer and more hurtful the fall can be for both leader and followers.  Oh to see more and more anointed but truly humble servant-leaders raised up. When one of Billy Graham’s associates was asked how Billy managed to stay humble over all the years, his reply was, that they made a deal with Billy when they first formed the team that if God kept him anointed, the team would keep him humble. What an awesome combination—God’s anointing and the voice of a few true friends not afraid to speak truth to power.


It seems to me that not telling the truth has become an American pastime. Many of us are beginning to wonder who we can trust anymore. Who is really telling us  the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? At times when my wife Susan and I are watching the evening news, I will turn to her and say, “Somebody’s  not telling the truth. We just don’t know which one it is.”

For those leaders I’m praying for, I’m asking that they be leaders of above-board honesty. That they mean what they say and say what they mean. No embellishing the truth, telling half truths or deliberate lying  and intentionally deceiving those they lead. 

Truth-telling is becoming an endangered species; unfortunately even among Christian leaders. I for one want to be a leader who can be trusted to always tell the truth. 

Not so loving that I’m not truthful, but not so truthful that I’m not loving. Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). One more comment on truth-telling. 

Everything that’s said needs to be true, but not everything that’s true needs to be said. That where love and truth need to be looked at together. What I’m thinking of saying might be truthful, but should it be said at all? Should it be said right now? What would genuine love for Jesus and love for the one I’m about to speak to lead me to say or not say? ]

At times, I’m guilty of  sacrificing love when I attempt to speak the truth to someone.  I can be too straightforward and direct and not be loving and kind. Jesus is working with me on this. I love Proverb 20:28 in The Message, “Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.”


When most of us see the word purity we think of sexual purity. That obviously is very important—to stay sexually pure if not married and to be faithful to one’s spouse if married—both in action and thought. But when I’m praying for my list of leaders, I added two more ideas under the purity heading. 

Purity of motives 

Purity of devotion to Jesus

The motives deal with the why behind the what. What is driving and motivating me to say what I say, write what I write, do what I do? Is it love for Jesus or love for something else; my own ego, my desire to be important, look important, become important? Motives are a difficult thing to understand and grapple with, but  are, nevertheless important. 

Purity can be understood as focused and single-minded as it relates to my walk with Jesus. I recently memorized 2 Chronicles 19:9 NLT, “These were his (Jehoshaphat’s)  instructions to them ( the judges). You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart.” Purity of devotion to Jesus—an undivided heart. I desire to keep watch over my heart (Proverb 4:23) so that He remains my center, my due North on the compass of my life and His work through me. For me this means making sure I am spending adequate and quality time sitting at His feet as Mary did and not busy, busy, busy as Martha was. 

In summary,  I’m praying for a group of leaders to be HIP for Jesus:

1.  Leaders of true HUMILITY  before Him and others

2.  Leaders of total and consistent INTEGRITY 

3.  Leaders with PURITY  in their sexuality,  motives and devotion to Jesus

Why not consider and praying about HIP in your life as well as leaders you pray for?