What is one of the characteristics that distinguish a Biblical business from its competitors? It is the emphasis the executives of Biblical businesses give prayer in business.
This is an uncomfortable thought to many Christian business people. We have been lead to believe that prayer has no place in the business world. That idea may simplify our positions and absolve us, at least in our minds, of responsibility. However, there is no support for it in Scripture, nor in the practices of successful contemporary Biblical businesses. Both of those sources overwhelming support the case for an active, intentional and disciplined approach to prayer in our businesses and our jobs.
You may recall this passage in Philippians 4:6:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (NIV)
There is no limitation to that passage, no exception made for our jobs and our businesses. On the contrary, our work life presents us with a continuous, daily stream of things we could be ‘anxious” about, of decisions and risks that carry significant consequences and rewards.
Decisions & Prayer in our Jobs and Businesses
Which candidate should we hire? Will we quote this price, or a higher one? Do we invest in this relationship? Would we want to pursue this customer? Who should we give additional responsibilities to? Should we extend terms to this customer?
The list of decisions and risks never ends. And that is exactly as it should be. In The Good Book on Business, I make the case that God established business as the primary venue for him to:
- Build Faith
- Develop Character
- Bless Mankind
That continuous stream of decisions, relationships, and investments that come with being active in the marketplace and/or owning or running a business is designed by God, intended by him to drive us to him.
He wants to bless our businesses and our careers, and draw us closer to him. And the way he does that is to allow a continuous stream of decisions, challenges, and opportunities in our work life to prompt us to turn to him. And prayer, then, is the mechanism he uses to interact with us and become more involved in our businesses and our lives. Prayer in business is a must for us!
So, the question for a business person who wants to have a blessed career and business and lead a fulfilled life is not “Should I bring prayer into the business?” The answer to that is, “Of course. How could you have a Christian career or business without prayer?”
Rather, the question should be, “How do I embed prayer into the fabric of my daily life on the job?”
Here are some proven ideas from the practices of other Christian businesses:
Prayer in Business – Establish Disciplines and Practices
It should begin with you. Begin, like so many Christian professionals and executives do, with a daily time of prayer in which you lift up that day’s challenges, interactions and opportunities. Then, add other key people in your organization. Find others in your company who share your Christian faith, and invite them to pray with you, regularly and methodically, as you pray for the business.
For years my customer service manager and I would meet together at 7:45 on Monday morning, to lift up the week’s concerns and opportunities together to the Lord.
Other business people organize a weekly time of prayer and invite folks in the organization to join with them.
When big or important decisions are pending, think about organizing a prayer session specifically for those issues – a special time to seek the Lord’s involvement in the big decisions you must make.
Organize a prayer team. That is a group of committed prayer warriors who regularly intercede on behalf of the business. I have a team of six people who each pray for the business on one day a week. So, one prays on Monday, another on Tuesday, etc. Every Saturday morning I send an email describing the previous week’s progress and the issues facing us in the upcoming week.
Consider, also, having a paid relationship with someone who will intercede to God on behalf of your business. For years, I had such a relationship. At first, it was an individual who was gifted as a prayer warrior, and later, I contracted with an organization whose business was to intercede for its clients on a weekly basis.
Prayer in Business – With Your Employees, Customers, and Vendors
Imagine what would happen if you would ask, every time you talked with one of your employees if there was anything that you could pray for on behalf of them.
That’s exactly what one of my clients ( the CEO of a 100 employee manufacturing company) does to start every day. He walks the floor, and talks with as many employees as he can, and always asks them if he can pray for them in any way. Now, people often come into his office and ask him to pray for issues in their lives.
Another client (CEO) keeps index cards on each of his employees, compiles notes of discussions he has had with them, and items for which to pray. He views and prays for a certain number of those folks every day. Then, notes his prayers on the card. Over a period of a couple of weeks, every employee is prayed for by the head of that business.
Prayer in Business
Seek, in your prayers, to advance from petition to conversation.
In The Good Book on Business, I point out that God established business as the place where he will interact with us and work with us. He wants to use your business as the venue in which He grows you closer to him.
When we are new and immature in our faith, we often see God as sort of a supernatural vending machine. We put in our prayers and get specific things back. Later, as we grow in our faith, we begin to see that prayer is two-way communication in which God communicates with us. Not only does He provide answers to our prayers (sometimes answers which we don’t’ like), but He also communicates His agenda to us.
This ability to hear God and to recognize His communication through a variety of means is a higher order spiritual skill. It takes time and work to develop your prayer to the level of two-way communication. tI is worth it, not only for you but for the benefit of the business.
Prayer, in a Biblical business, is the mechanism that invites God into the business and makes him the general partner. It requires a bit of faith and risk to begin, and a heavy dose of commitment and discipline to continue. It is both commanded by the scriptures and evidenced as a best practice by Christian business worldwide. I don’t think you can approach the potential for your business and your life without it.
Read The Good Book on Business.
Your views of business will never be the same.
You will not be able to do business as usual after you read my new book,
If you want to take a look at business not from the purely economical perspective, but you are interested in values and more specifically Christian values and how they can guide business then “The Good Book on Business” is for you. Dave Kahle has over 30 years of experience running a successful business. Dave now shows us how we can do this too based on Christian values and that the bible gives us guidance on this path.—
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