Prayer for Personal Accountability
What is Personal Accountability?
In many ways the following quote by William H. Murray sums up personal accountability – “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Begin it now.”
I believe personal accountability is an ongoing habitual commitment to yourself and what is important to you through –
Today I came across the book The 85% Solution: How Personal Accountability Guarantees Success – No Nonsense, No Excuses by Linda Galindo. In the book, Linda focuses on three similar key elements of personal accountability:
- Personal responsibility is a “before-the-fact” mind-set of personal ownership and commitment to a result (page 58),
- Self-empowerment is taking the actions – and the risks – that you need in order to ensure that you achieve the results you desire (page 147), and
- Being accountable for your results requires an “after-the-fact” mindset of being willing to answer for the outcomes resulting from your choices, behaviors, and actions (25).
Early in the The 85% Solution Book, Linda shares her own wake-up call to practice personal accountability:
“Once upon a time, I was the Queen of Victims, with a shiny scepter, a sparkling crown, and a plush velvet robe, walking up and down the runway of Poor Me. Life didn’t work for me. My boss was a jerk. My parents didn’t encourage me. My husband was controlling. I got divorced. I complained and whined.
One day, a good and smart friend put a stunningly quick stop to it by asking me a revealing question that stung me a slap in the face.
“Have you ever noticed that all the bad things you complain about happened when you were in the room? Have you ever considered that you might have something to do with your own rotten luck?”
I hadn’t” (page 11).
Being personally accountable in all areas of our life can be tough going sometimes, however there are a number of benefits to choosing personal accountability.
What are the Benefits of Personal Accountability?
There are a number of benefits to personal accountability including –
- Decreased stress, increased productivity, better time usage, increased job and relationship satisfaction. As Linda says in the The 85% Solution Book, “…a lack of personal accountability is at the heart of chronic stress. It saps us of productivity. It wastes our time. It makes us less satisfied with our jobs, our relationships, and ourselves.” (31).
- Helps you keep focused in your work and life and know where you are up too. For example – if you know where you are up to and how much time you have, it can be easier to say yes or no to an invitation and make sure you don’t over commit yourself.
- Builds trust with people. Not sure about this? Maybe think about how you react when someone keeps an appointment and is on time or when someone is late or doesn’t turn up to an appointment.
- Helps you manage and keep track of where you are up to in different areas of your work and life (i.e. your health and/or finances).
- Sharpe and Balderson (2005) found that children who were encouraged to take personal responsibility for their actions also had more positive social interactions (i.e. healthy relationships).
Questions for Reflection…
- What does personal accountability mean to you?
- How personally accountable are you? For example – are you on time to appointments? Finish what you start? Do what you say you are going to do?
- Who are you accountable too in your life and work?
- What external structures can you put into place to become more personally accountable?
If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heart, why not join our Toolkit?
Galindo, L. (2009). The 85% Solution: How Personal Accountability Guarantees Success – No Nonsense, No Excuses. USA: Jossey-Bass.
Sharpe, T., and Balderson, D. (2005). The Effects of Personal Accountability and Personal Responsibility Instruction on Select Off-Task and Positive Social Behaviors. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, v24 n1 Jan 2005, 66-87.
The Power Of Prophetic Accountability
Are you seeking to grow your prophetic gift? Accountability is a vital key to develop a prophetic ministry with increasing accuracy, integrity, and wisdom.
Accountability is not popular in our independence-loving culture. And yet true, Biblical accountability is designed and ordained by God. Our Father’s intention is that we operate in our spiritual gifts and ministries in the context of community that includes leadership. (Eph 4, 1 Cor 12-14) Accountability is one aspect of relating to oversight.
What does Prophetic Accountability Mean?
Genuine accountability is not just by name only, to be effective it must include:
- Answerability: (Gal 2:1-2)We report to someone concerning our ministry, as well as revelation (prophetic insights) that we have received from God.
- Transparency: (Eph 4:25)We are not holding back information that is relevant to the process.
- Teachability: (Acts 18:26)We are willing to learn and change.
- Submission: (Heb 13:17)There are times when we obey directives when we do not feel it or necessarily agree with it. (Note: I am referring to leadership decisions, not issues contrary to Biblical, legal or moral principles) 
Accountability is not solely to oversight, it can also be outward—for example, to our team. It can be voluntary, (we seek it out) or a set part of our ministry role.
In Church life, accountability flows through the unique leadership structure of each local church and church movement. (Acts 20:28)
Signs that we are not accountable include:
- Operating in our gifts and ministries in isolation
- Not being open to correction or adjustment, or
- Believing we are only accountable directly to God (this is an Old Testament perspective). 
7 Reasons why Accountability is Beneficial in Prophetic Ministry
The themes of leadership and accountability run throughout the New Testament. Jesus demonstrated it in His discipleship process. The Apostle Paul wrote much concerning leadership. He also gave instruction concerning the practice of prophecy, which included accountability and guidelines. (1 Cor 14, 1 Thess 5)
We see a great example of how prophetic accountability functions in the life of Paul himself.
In a powerful open vision, God spoke to Paul about his future ministry to the Gentiles. However, he was only sent out from Antioch when the church leadership heard from God that it was time for him to be released into his Apostolic ministry. (Acts 13:1-3) Paul returned and reported back to his sending church. (Acts 14:26-28, 18:22)
When Paul received the revelation of the Gospel—God’s grace to the Gentiles—God led him to submit the revelation to the church oversight in Jerusalem, even though he received the revelation directly from God. (See Galatians 2:1-2)
2. It Sharpens our Prophetic Ministry
Prophetic ministry is not just about the revelation we receive. It also includes our interpretation of what the prophetic insight means, as well as where, when, how and to whom we communicate it. 
Weighing up prophetic insights is a Biblical mandate. (1 Cor 14:29, 1 Thess 5:20-21) Having an accountable relationship can help us to process our prophetic insights, gain wisdom, sharpen our prophetic gifts and increase our accuracy. As it has been said, ‘Feedback is the breakfast of champions.’ 
3. It Fosters Genuine Humility
‘Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.’ (Prov 13:10)
Being accountable and teachable in our prophetic ministry is a great antidote to pride and strengthens us in the area of humility. (1 Peter 5:5b)
4. The Power of God is Released through Authority
Spiritual authority and the power of God flows through the lines of appointed authority. (See remarkable examples of this in Acts 6:8; Acts 8:5) Jesus commended a Roman Centurion for understanding this principle. (Luke 7:7-9)
5. It Empowers the Church to act as a God Intends
God’s plan for the Church is for interdependence, not independence. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” (1 Cor 12:21)
Accountability is just one process that enables the Church community (body) to work together. Those who have prophetic gifts need to have alongside them, those with leadership gifts, as well as gifts of discernment and wisdom. (1 Cor 12)
6. Accountability Enables us to Grow in our Character
Eph 4:11-16, Proverbs 27:17 Prov 12:15
“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
We all have ‘blind spots’. These may include character weaknesses, hurts, skewed perspectives, or judgments about others that we have made subconsciously. We will only grow and change when we allow someone outside of ourselves to have input. We also grow in character as we have a teachable attitude.
7. Accountability gives us Protection (Eccl 4:9-12)
Accountability acts as a safety net to protect us from pitfalls. One role of Christian leadership is to warn and admonish us when necessary. (1 Cor 4:14) We can also appeal to our oversight when we need authority or assistance in a given situation.
Accountability needs to be to the Right People
The appropriate person (or people) to be accountable to varies according to our situations and ministry. This may include someone who is a leader in our church or organisation, or a mentor. 
If our prophetic function is within the life of our local church, then we are accountable to our church leadership regarding the expression of our prophetic gift in the church. (1 Cor 14) 
If we are working for a Christian organisation, our ministry accountability may be outside of our local church. However, even if we are engaged in an itinerant ministry, our local church pastors and leaders can have valuable input into our lives. When we minister into our own or another local church, we are also accountable for that ministry to the oversight of that church.Accountability also includes honouring prophetic guidelines and protocols when they have been put into place.
Notes:An example of submission in prophetic ministry is when our oversight instructs us not to share or act upon a prophetic insight we have received immediately, but to hold onto it and pray about it—and we carry out that request graciously.  For a helpful explanation of this see: Differences Between Old and New Testament Prophetic Ministry  See the article, Understand The Process of Prophecy  This quote is by Ken Blanchard  See the following articles on prophetic mentoring:
Prophetic Mentoring on a Personal Basis
8 Essentials of Healthy Prophetic Mentoring
Mentors should be in an accountability relationship themselves, spiritually healthy, and love and honour their church and leadership. Biblical leadership is not domineering or abusive, but strong ‘servant leadership’ as demonstrated by Jesus. (Matt 20:25-27, 1 Peter 5:3)
Do you have any questions or ideas on the topic of prophetic accountability? Leave a comment in the comments box. If the comments section is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church
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Top 7 Bible Verses About Accountability
God will hold us all accountable on the Day of His Visitation so what Bible verses reflect a believer’s accountability? What ones would you include and what about those who reject the gospel?
What is Accountability?
The word accountability means to be held accountable, liable, answerable, or be held responsible for what a person has been given.
This is a combination of several secular definitions of this word and it should get every believers attention for we will all be held accountable before the Lord someday for our actions, for what we did with what we have been given, and for what we didn’t do that we should have done.
Even worse, for those who are not saved, they will be held accountable for the works in this life at the Great White Throne Judgment and since works can never save us, unbelievers will have to pay for their own sins in eternity (Rev 20:11-16) and because they will be “judged according to their works” (Rev 20:12) and no one can be saved by works (Eph 2:8-9) their eternal fate is even hard to imagine. For Christians, they have been judged already since they repented and trusted in Christ and had the imputation of His righteousness credited to their account (2 Cor 5:21). Even so, every believer will be held accountable at Christ’s appearing and so what does the Bible say about a believer’s accountability before the Lord?
Paul is writing to Christians here and he just finished asking the Roman Christians, “why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Rom 14:10).
When we judge others we actually show them contempt in the way that they don’t live up to our standards, but their standard and ours is not a human standard but what Christ expects. We will all stand and give an account to Christ for what we have done or not done.
We will owe only Christ an explanation and we don’t owe any human an explanation for our life on this earth.
This verse should be a key verse for every believer because although we are not saved by works, we will be rewarded according to what we did for Jesus Christ while on the earth.If our works were for our own glory and not for the glory of God then our “work is burned [and we] will suffer loss” even though “[we] will be saved, yet so as through fire” but if we do things for the glory of God alone then we are building our rewards with a foundation that has “gold, silver, precious stones” and our works will come through the fire.
If our good works are only for the purpose of being seen by others and not of Christ, then “wood, hay, straw” they will all be burned up and we will have little or nothing to show for our life while in the body.
Before Jesus spoke these words He gave the Parable of the Talents (Matt 25:14-30) where each one of us is given talents. These include time, treasure, and talents (or gifts or skills). The Lord expects us to use these talents for His glory. If we do not use what we have been given, then what we do have will be taken from us (v.
28a) but if we have used what God has given us for His glory then more will be given to us at His return (v. 28b) so the question will be are we a “wicked and lazy servant” or will Jesus say to you and me “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.
Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matt 25:23)? The answer is up to you and me.
The last statistic I heard was that Christians give only about 2% of their income to the Lord and we spend 10 times as much in pet food than we do in giving to our local church for the proclamation of the gospel.
Does this say something about our priorities? Do we esteem the things of God more than those things that we esteem important to us? I understand that these are not verses about tithing but verses about who are we serving. If we are attempting to live for riches then we are making money our god.
Money competes with God in the sense that money can provide for our needs, it can give us what we want, and it gives us security but these things take the place of God because He provides for us, gives us what we need (not always what we want), and He is our security, not money. The “true riches” are in the things that bring glory to God.
If we can’t be faithful in a few things, our money, time, or talents, then how can God expect us to be faithful in the Kingdom of Heaven which will be far, far greater?
Here is what is called a sin of omission.We all know what sins of commission are and that is why we can come to God and confess them to Him and be forgiven (1 John 1:9) but we are also going to be judged for what we don’t do.
If we see our brother has needs and do nothing about it but say “Brother, I am sorry…I will pray for you” but do nothing to help, then for those who know “to do good” and yet “does not do it” to them it is sin.
This verse actually applies to those who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them” (Rom 1:18b-19) but they still refuse to acknowledge that there is a God because “they did not to retain God in their knowledge” (Rom 1:28).
Paul is saying that they knew better…in their hearts they knew that God exists but they suppressed this knowledge and so God gave them up “to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” (Rom 1:24-25).
This speaks of judgment. The more often a person hears the gospel and yet rejects the gospel, the more accountable they will be held because they knew what was required of them and yet refused to do it.
For the one who didn’t know as much about the gospel, the native in the deep, dark recesses of the jungle, they will not have as much required of them. In the U.S.
there is no excuse for those who have not responded to the gospel for they have easy access to it and may have heard the truth of the Word of God expressed many times but have never responded to it. In that case, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required” and more will be demanded.
I beg you to not turn your back on Christ today for He is the only way a person can be saved (Acts 4:12). The day is coming when it will be too late (Rev 20:11-15; Heb 9:27) so decide today to repent and put your trust in the Savior so that you will be saved today (2 Cor 6:2) if you are not already saved.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas.
Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon
Reprinted with permission from JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance.
One of the key goals of the women’s tefillah movement is to provide observant Jewish women with the liturgical knowledge, regular opportunities, and communal acceptance so that each woman can “pray as a Jew,” to borrow the title of Hayim Halevy Donin’s useful book. The premise is not that Orthodox women try to pray Jewish men, but rather that they take responsibility for regular codified prayer and Torah study, together with other Jews.
The image of women thus occupied should never have been controversial, of course. Rabbinic authorities have almost universally ruled that women should recite the Amidah.
Maimonides posited that women’s prayer–the service of the heart–was necessary at least once a day, and Nahmanides ruled that women should pray both morning and afternoon because they, no less than men, yearn for divine mercy for themselves and their families.
Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein (1829-1908) explained that Rashi and the Tosafot expected women to pray three times a day, albeit they were not responsible for time constraints.
Indeed, many of us had grandmothers–pious, “beshaiteled” European women–who prayed daily and with great seriousness and dignity. But perhaps because the obligation for group prayer and the ability to “count” for a minyan (prayer quorum) was exclusive to Jewish males, the women’s tefillah movement had a revolutionary aura.
Some women, feeling that the liturgy was “masculine” because of elements such as the recitation of shelo asani ishah (praise to God for not having created one a woman) and the masculine exclusivity of the Patriarchs invoked at the beginning of the Amidah, also felt that women praying publicly together meant trespassing on a male preserve.My thoughts today focus on another aspect of praying as a Jew–the personalizing of prayer. For centuries, inserting personal prayers into and between codified liturgies was a desirable activity.
As Donin notes, the Talmud mentions eleven sages and the supplications that each customarily added to the Shemoneh Esrei (Berakhot 16b-17a). The prayer of Mar, son of Rabina, a fourth-century rabbi, became a favorite and found its way into the prayer book at the end of the Amidah.
Thus, the powerful ending of our current silent devotions began as one of many personal prayers.
Ironically, in recent decades Orthodox girls and women are far more ly to learn than Orthodox boys and men that it is appropriate to personalize even the highly codified daily prayers.
Female learning environments more often instruct that when one comes to the 16th blessing of the Amidah, the shema kolaynu, (“hear our voices”) for example, “it is permissible, even desirable, to introduce extemporaneous requests…which may be said in any language.
” Yet, many men report having gone through more than a decade of day schools and yeshivot without being encouraged to personalize their prayers.
Women in Prayer
Why has the personalizing of prayer become more common among women than men? The answers are sociological and historical.
Jewish societies have encouraged women to personalize their prayers in many settings, the most ubiquitous being the lighting of the Shabbat candles.
My mother taught me what her mother taught her: that each circling of our hands choreographs a beloved group of people to request blessings for–ourselves, our children, the community, the Jewish people.The diverse tradition of tehines also supported quotidian, personal prayer. As the many books of women’s prayers now translated into English show, women’s prayers spanned the gamut of daily life.
It is easy to see the drama of a tehine for going into labor, but one of my favorites is a prayer for baking bread: as she puts the loaves into the oven, the woman calls on the angels in heaven to come down and “make this bread rise.
” What a testimonial to the dignity and importance of women’s work!
Because women were expected to pray throughout the day and the week as they went about their various tasks, the activity of personalizing prayer seemed natural, both to ordinary women and to the people who educated girls.
For men, in contrast–especially as, in reaction to modernity, Orthodox life became increasingly rigid, text-based, and suspicious of innovation–many boys’ schools and yeshivot moved away from encouraging the personalization of prayer.
Typically in boys’ schools and yeshivot, spontaneity and creativity are feared, and even the personal dimension of judgment is suspect. Boys are more pressured to “toe the line” and conform to halakhic and liturgical norms, and thus personalization of prayer has been deeply meaningful to me in three ways.
Finding Meaning and Connection
First, prayers in the regular, codified liturgy have suddenly emerged vividly.
For example, in the first painful weeks after my mother passed away, I found elohei neshamah shenatatah bi tehora hi in the preliminary birkhot hashahar service oddly consoling.
“The soul that You gave me is pure; You created it; You fashioned it; You breathed it into me…One day You will take it away from me…As long as my soul is within me, I give thanks to You…”
Staying in the synagogue for my first complete Yizkor service, I read a sentiment from the book of Ecclesiastes with similar resonance: After death the body returns to the earth, where it originated, and the soul returns to God, where it originated.
Despite my all-too-common doubts, that image of my mother’s soul rejoining something indefinable but infinite seemed profoundly right. On a happier note, one Friday evening on vacation in Vermont, each person in my family welcomed Shabbat at his or her own pace.As I stood alone on a balcony overlooking an exuberant mountain stream, the psalmist’s evocation of loudly melodic waters, mekolot mayyim rabbim, in Psalm 93 seemed overwhelmingly and joyously appropriate.
Second, moved by powerful personal events, I have experienced with gratitude a sense of divine presence, and, innumerable women before me, have uttered unscripted prayers. Many of those moments, happy or sad, were related to my children.
More than two decades ago, sitting in a new synagogue on Rosh Hashanah and reading about infertile biblical women, I “lost it” and was swept away in tears. I knew I was fortunate to have wonderful children, but I had recently endured three miscarriages in a row, and yearned for another child.
I composed my own prayers that year. One year later, I sat in the same synagogue utterly nauseated, thrilled to be pregnant, but also, at age 38, more than a little fearful. Somehow I found myself once again “talking” to God.
After praying, I felt calm: I felt that God was with me, and would give me the strength to deal with whatever came next.
Third, I am glad for every opportunity to insert my own special pleadings into the regular service–health for sick friends or relatives, happy events for the ones we love, a true and joyous peace for Israel. I am not really sure how I feel about hashgaha pratit, the divine ordering of and interference into daily life and human history, but I know that I need to say those prayers.
The personalizing of prayer is an historical Jewish conception. One can look at the moving sentiments that bracket the Amidah: “Please God, open my lips and my mouth will tell your praise,” we begin, and then we conclude by saying, “May the words of my mouth be acceptable to you.”
The conversation with God is pictured as a two-way, intimate dialogue that has to begin before it even begins, much a powerful verse in the Song of Songs: “Draw me after you and we will run.”The Rosh Hashanah before my daughter got married we sat together in the synagogue. In one sweet and unforgettable moment she turned to me and asked, “What do you think about when you say, ‘Hashem sefatai tiftakh ufi yagid tehilatekha?’” Then she said, “I think about all the things we women are doing to be able to draw closer to Hashem.”
That is one important meaning of Orthodox feminism and women’s tefillah, our legacy as women and as Jews. Observant women have much to offer Orthodox life as a whole by bringing personalized prayer into public focus as the birthright of both men and women. May it be God’s will that the meditations of our hearts bring strength and joy to our communities, our families, and to ourselves.
Pronounced: roshe hah-SHAH-nah, also roshe ha-shah-NAH, Origin: Hebrew, the Jewish new year.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
Pronounced: tuh-FEEL-uh or tuh-fee-LAH, Origin: Hebrew, prayer.
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.
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