In your communications with movement leaders would you say there is a common denominator when it comes to the time spent in prayer and the Bible Reading (e.g. # of chapters, etc.) daily by movement leaders who are seeing maximum impact?
Let’s start with the greatest movement leader of them all — Jesus. What was his pattern of time spent in prayer and the Word?
One thing is for certain, Jesus spent a lot of time doing other things than just praying. He was always on the move, teaching, preaching, healing, training, eating with sinners, debating with religious leaders, travelling to every town and village in Galilee (175 of them), as well as throughout Judea, and to Jerusalem.
In the midst of this activity we find Jesus alone and at prayer early in the morning. He prays all night before choosing the Twelve. He prays that Peter won’t fall into Satan’s grasp. He prays on the Cross. He teaches his disciples to pray. We’re not counting numbers of hours here, we’re talking about a way of life — a man of action and a man of prayer.
What was Jesus’ relationship with the Scriptures? That seems like a strange question, Jesus was the Word in human form. Why did he need to read the Scriptures? Yet he did. He saw his whole life and ministry as a fulfilment of God’s promises in his Word. Jesus was a man under the Word. His teaching is steeped in the Old Testament. He did not come to abolish the Scriptures but to fulfil them.
When Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples he had plenty to teach them. Just the words of the risen Lord would be enough. Why bother with the Scriptures when you have Jesus? Yet what does Jesus do? Luke tells us “he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45).
So as a movement leader Jesus is a man of action, a man of prayer and a man of the Word. It’s a way of life for him. It’s who he is.
I don’t think he did those things in order of have “impact.” He did them because they are right. Impact was the fruit; the by-product of a life lived as an obedient Son.