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Lordship of Christ – Spiritual Principles From YWAM’s Early Days

Published on: March 9, 2020

This month we continue our “Spiritual Principles from YWAM’s Early Days” 4-Part series on the topic “Lordship of Christ” with Darlene Cunningham. Thank you for joining us this month as we take up “The Invitation” and join together with YWAMers from around the world as we pray and hear from God.

In Philippians we read that at the end of time every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (2:10-11). But how are we doing with making Jesus Lord right now? Do we trust Him? Do we hesitate in obeying Him? This teaching of making Jesus Lord was one of the foundational principles emphasized in YWAM’s early days. In this month’s YWAM prayer focus, called The Invitation, YWAM’s cofounder Darlene Cunningham shares a dramatic personal story of how she saw this principle at work in her own life, and she gives YWAMers guidance about how to pray for a renewed commitment to making Jesus Lord each day.

Listen to the Letter

Please take a moment to watch the short video with Darlene as she is interviewed by Miranda Heathcote, who works with YWAM in Spain.

For a summary of the video, see the very bottom of this post.

Please join us this month during The Invitation prayer day on Thursday, March 12, as we pray and discern. If you only have a few moments to pray please pray for yourself and the YWAM family to grow in our ability to trust God enough that we will obey Jesus without reservation. Thank you for being part of The Invitation. We would love to receive stories from you regarding how you prayed. You can email us at [email protected].

Additionally, please note the prayer request regarding the call for all YWAMers to share Jesus with five people during the month of May.

Prepare to Pray:

Read aloud together from Romans 12:1-2:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (from The Message translation).

As you watch the video, pay attention to the way Darlene describes the lordship of Jesus. She says His lordship “means that there is no aspect of my life that He is not Lord of. When we have the lordship of Jesus it shows up in everything we do.”

After watching the video, everyone in your group will need paper or a journal, and a pen. Guide your group through the following steps:

1. Have them draw a large circle on the page.
2. Mark out 6 segments (much like pieces of pie).
3. Label these segments: relationships, finances, decision-making, body care, time management, vocation.
4. Imagine that the value at the center of the circle is zero and at the circumference of the circle is 10.

You are invited to consider each area of your life (you may add others if you feel prompted). To what extent are you satisfied with the Lordship of Jesus in this area of your life? Zero represents complete dissatisfaction, that is, you realize that Christ is not at all Lord of this part of your life, and perhaps you have never even considered that He might be. On the other hand, ten represents complete satisfaction, that is, you know that you live in complete submission to the Lordship of Jesus in this area of your life.

Make this a reflective process and time of dialogue with the Lord: listen to Him, be open to the affirmations and convictions of the Holy Spirit as you make a mark along the lines representing each aspect of your ordinary, everyday life.

How To Pray – Lordship of Christ:

  • Pray for awareness of distractions. After Darlene shared the story about her young daughter needing medical attention, Miranda commented that in the story it wasn’t just obeying God but being aware of God’s direction moment by moment.
    • What are the things in your life, and the life of your team or community, that prevent you from paying attention to the movements of the Holy Spirit?
    • How do you encounter distractions in your day-to-day life?
    • In what ways are your affections or attachments directed towards other things?
    • As you become aware of these “other loves” express this awareness to God. How might God be directing you to arrange your life in such a way that you consistently pay attention to His leading?
    • What would this look like in the context of your team or community?
  • Pray for a distinctness from the surrounding culture. In the Romans passage we read: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.“
    • Are there ways in which you or your community has taken on particular values from your cultural context that run counter to living with Christ as lord?
    • Take time to name any ways in which this might be true of you.
    • Along with this confession, repent of these areas of cultural adjustment and ask the Lord to once again align you with the life and teaching of Jesus.
  • Pray for a responsive heart. Darlene said delayed obedience is not Lordship. Consider any area of your life, or your life as a community, where you sense an invitation from God to take a step of obedience.
    • What is stirred in you as you pay attention to that invitation? It could be excitement, anticipation, fear, reluctance or some other emotion.
    • Rather than brushing those feelings aside, how would it be for you to be with the Lord in the reality of those feelings?
    • Allow time for you to become aware of His presence. Perhaps He has something to say, or perhaps He simply wants to be with you in a way that reassures you in this step of obedience.
  • Pray for increasing levels of trust in God. Darlene says “Jesus can’t be Lord if you don’t trust Him, and you are convinced completely that He is always kind, and just, and has all wisdom and all the things we know about His character. If we line ourselves up with that, then lordship is really quite easy.”
    • Take time to bring to mind those areas where you are finding it hard to trust God.
    • Pray that in your life and the life of your community, there will be a deeper revelation of God’s kindness, justice and wisdom.
  • Special note: Please pray for everyone in the YWAM family to share their faith with at least five people during the month of May. YWAM leaders are calling for YWAMers to participate in the Global Outreach Day ( by witnessing in this way. Said Lynn Green, one of YWAM’s leaders, “Please start praying that the Lord will open the door for every YWAMer, regardless of their role, to speak personally about Jesus with five people during the month of May.”
Jesus Christ is Lord Photo credit:

Take Action

  • Make it a spiritual goal to increase in the area of lordship of Christ in one or more areas of your life. Conduct the circle exercise from above in six months and then in one year to assess your progress.
  • How do you describe lordship of Christ to someone you are mentoring? Search Scripture and listen to God and develop your personalized way of explaining it. Share with an accountability partner and then with the person you are mentoring.
  • Prepare your location now to participate in Prepare each person, regardless of their role in YWAM, to share Jesus with five people during the month of May.
  • In 1993, YWAM leaders received the word of the Lord to pray for Muslims. The “30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World” prayer event has been growing ever since, with prayer guides now available in over 30 languages. Learn about Muslim cultures and identities all over the world, and be inspired to pray for their real needs and concerns, and for a revelation of Jesus. Join hundreds of thousands of believers to pray for Muslims during Ramadan beginning April 24.  Children’s editions are also available. Get more information and find where to order prayer guides in your country and language from
  • Share on, post a picture and add a comment about how you prayed.
  • Go to; search for #praywithywam and tweet about your prayer time/post a picture. You can also post a photo on Instagram and use the same hashtag, #praywithywam.
  • Send an email to [email protected] letting us know how you prayed and what God revealed to you.

How We Prayed

February 2020 – Holy Living

  • We received a request for prayers for peace at the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of Congo where there is fighting in South Kivu and North Kivu provinces.

January & February 2019

  • An update on The Send: We prayed for The Send in January and February of last year. YWAM is one of the partnering organizations for these mission-focused stadium events. We can praise God for all He has done through these gatherings. In February 23 of last year 58,000 people filled a stadium in Orlando, USA and many committed themselves to serve Jesus in the nations and their neighborhoods. Then in Brazil on February 8 of this year more than 150,000 people filled three stadiums in Sao Paulo and Brazilia and again many committed themselves to go to the nations, to reach their universities, to read the Bible daily, and to take care of orphans. Please pray for The Send’s upcoming events in Argentina on April 25, 2020 and in Kansas City, USA in October, that God would draw people and move among them again. For more information, see

Future Topics:

Series: Spiritual Principles from YWAM’s Early Days

  • April 9: Fear of God  – 4 of 4 in the series
  • May 14: Ending Bible Poverty (Loren Cunningham)
  • June 11: Venezuela

Don’t Miss The Invitation:

  • Sign up for prayer updates. Go to, find the “Stay Connected” box on the home page, put in your email address and click “Sign Up.”
  • Download prayer updates in a specific language. Go to (Currently available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Indonesian, Korean or request other languages.)
  • Join the conversation about how God is leading in these prayer times. Comment on the Facebook page on the second Thursday at or on Twitter @ywam, hashtag #praywithywam. You can also post a photo on Instagram and use the same hashtag, #praywithywam.
  • You can now listen to The Invitation as a podcast. To sign up or listen to past episodes, go to:
  • If you sense God giving you a word or a direction for YWAM’s prayer, please contact us: [email protected].

Summary of Darlene Cunningham’s Video:

In this video, Miranda Heathcote, who works with YWAM in Spain and who is part of the team for The Invitation, talked with Darlene Cunningham, one of YWAM’s cofounders. Miranda began by asking Darlene how she has seen the spiritual principle of the lordship of Christ at work in YWAM since the early days.

Darlene said the principle of the lordship of Jesus has been so foundational that it’s hard to pick one story. “It’s absolutely everything. It means that there is no aspect of my life that He is not Lord of. When we have the lordship of Jesus it shows up in everything we do.”

She tells about a day when they were driving from Switzerland to the Middle East on a field trip and they had their daughter Karen, who was less than a year old, with them. Darlene noticed that Karen felt quite hot. As Darlene looked closer, she saw that Karen had symptoms of smallpox. Darlene guessed Karen was having an allergic reaction to a smallpox vaccine they were required to get for this trip.

Darlene asked God, “What are you going to do? You’re the one who told me to bring her.”

She told Loren Karen’s condition was serious and they would have to do something right away. Just then Loren saw a sign for a military base. They turned in. They had a team member with them who was a widow of a soldier killed in Vietnam, and this gave her access to the base. When the guard saw Karen’s condition he told them to go straight to the clinic. When they got there, the doctor said, “You are some lucky people. We had this happen a few weeks ago. We had to fly medicine in from the UK. We have one dose left.”

Darlene said, “It comes back to the lordship of Jesus, that He is in charge. That gave me the confidence that everything was going to be alright.”

Miranda commented that in the story it wasn’t just obeying God but being aware of God’s direction moment by moment. She asked Darlene how she would like YWAMers to pray that we would be renewed in this principle of the lordship of Jesus in our lives.

Darlene said “If He’s truly Lord, then when God is asking me to do something, there is no negotiation. The answer is ‘Yes.’ I just need to know what it is.” Delayed obedience is not lordship. It’s not about consulting a calendar first or a bank account first. “That’s not the right answer. The right answer is, ‘Lord, do you want me to go?’ You’ll have to provide the finances, but I’m not going to tell you why I can’t go.”

She said at Kona now they have a lot of students. They are out of space everywhere. But they have a conviction they should say yes to the students God is sending. They have now had to put up their sixth tent. Darlene said it’s inconvenient and it would be easier to cut off the students at a number they know they can handle.

“We can’t do that if He’s Lord of it all. He sends them. We answer ‘Yes.’ And then He’s got to help us figure out how to do it.”

She said she doesn’t know how people live in any other way. “We have such security in making Him Lord.”

She added, sometimes God brings loving conviction of places where we haven’t made Him Lord. We’ve pushed aside the gentle word of God and we don’t want to go back to God about it because He might ask us to do it. “Then He’s not Lord.”

Miranda concluded that this is a convicting word. “How often do we negotiate and consider our own wisdom to be primary?” We can live out of our own limitations rather than the Lordship of Christ.

Darlene said we get hung up on making Jesus Lord if we don’t trust Him. “He can’t be Lord if you don’t trust Him, and you are convinced completely that He is always kind, and just, and has all wisdom and all the things we know about His character. If we line ourselves up with that, then lordship is really quite easy.”

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