Prayer Service - Leadership in Service to Others

March-April 2008


We gather in prayer and reflect on what it means to put service of others at the center of our leadership styles. This is not always easy, and our culture does not always encourage this kind of leadership. Yet, we know that servant leadership creates possibilities not only for successful business, but also for successful people. And so we gather in prayer and open ourselves to the wisdom of God's word. Let us listen to this story and its challenge.

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew (20:20-28)

"Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached him with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, 'What do you wish?' She answered him, 'Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and other at your left, in your kingdom.' When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Brief time for silent reflection.

Responsive Prayer

Lord, how easy it is to confuse power and position as measures of success.

Let us instead measure success by how those around us have become healthier, wiser, freer and have learned how to be of service to others.

Lord, how difficult it is to set aside the "conventional wisdom" of authority that calls us to "lord it over" others.

Give us the courage to try something new, trusting that your wisdom will be a better guide to building a community of caring co-workers.

Lord, you have gifted us with a spirit of service that is strong, loving and wise.

Let us trust in that spirit as we work together to care for others and to build a community of care among ourselves.

Loving God, every day we struggle to follow your example of loving service to others. Let us find strength in our shared ministry of healing. This is your work, not ours, and you do not leave us alone.

Be with us now as we reflect together on this work and how you call us to share it in new ways.


Brian Yanofchick
Senior Director, Mission Integration and Leadership Development
Catholic Health Association


"Prayer Service," a regular department in Health Progress, may be copied without prior permission.

Copyright © 2008 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States.
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Prayer Service — Leadership in Service to Others

Copyright © 2008 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.