What comes to mind when you consider the question “why should you pray for your business?”
I pray a lot. I pray for myself, for family, for friends, for clients, for my community and of course for my business. When I set out to pray, often I start a mental list of things to pray about; things I believe are needed; things I want to happen or not happen…
Do We Pray Rightly?
There are so many things we need to pray over that sometimes I believe my intent drifts to a place where it does not belong. Man’s very nature is a longing to be like God. From the original fall we stumble and seek to make our world by our own will. We take the bait just as Adam and Eve fell to the temptation of the serpent.
“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. Gen 3: 5-7, ESV
Through the lens of our own desire, it is easy to see “good” in so many dangerous things:
- “Good for food”/ Provision for my family
- “Delight to the eyes” / Culturally popular
- “Knowledge of good and evil”/ Pride in my success
Most of the potentially dangerous things in life are not dangerous in themselves; it’s what we let them do to us… These things become idols that blind us to what God wishes for us.
God cares for our every need and is pleased when we have done His good work. Often the fruits of that work will provide for my family, be viewed favorably by others or help me grow in wisdom.
But what do I do when I’m not sure that my family or others are going to see the greatness of my work? [note sarcasm]
If past performance is any indication of future outcomes, I tend to put a little more “me” in the mix; I grab that apple.
You want it done right, do it yourself. “Right?!?” I’m about to push away from my leaning on Father, Son and Holy Spirit as the guide for all my action and take matters into my own hands to get the results I want. What’s right about that?
How Does Scripture Tell us to Pray?
When Jesus instructed His disciples to pray, He offered the foundation for prayer and instruction to help us draw closer to Him as opposed to taking matters into our own hands.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Mat 6: 7-13, ESV
Jesus has provided detailed instruction on how you should pray for your business.
“Hallowed be your name” means we must always start with acknowledging the greatness of God and our deference to His authority.
“Your will be done” is the best thing we can ever hope for. Praying for the will of the Lord Almighty to be our greatest desire.
“Our daily bread” as gratitude for God’s providence in our basic needs.
“Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Do not hold debts over your brothers unless you feel up to covering your full debt paid by Jesus.
So Why Should I Pray for my Business?
The question can also be “what should I pray for my business?” As a business leader, your business is an extension of you. There is no Godly reason to have a different view of prayer for your business in contrast to personal prayer. We should be praying to align our business with God’s will. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are with us always to guide, correct, encourage and provide. Trust them with your business just like with your personal prayer.
I heard a teacher use the imagery of us being like a boat tossed about upon the waves of a rough sea. When the boat’s crew tosses a line to shore for mooring, are they seeking the shore to move toward them or draw closer to the safety of the port? We pray (the line to safe harbor) to draw ourselves or our business closer to the will of God, not as a vain attempt to sway the will of God to our own desires.
So pray for your business to be ever more aligned with what is glorifying to God and know that nothing is more valuable than that.
Chris Flowers says
Thank you for making me think about my business is an extension of me , and not swaying God to my desire
Jim Miley says
I’m glad you found the post of value Chris. Stay in touch.
Philip Thompson says
… Excellent metaphor regarding the futility of believing we pull the harbor closer to us, by praying harder.
It’s child-like simple, and points me to the value of disconnecting from all comms, being still, and learning the hard-to-develop skill of seeing and listening, what father has for us.
Thank you (and your former teacher) for sharing 🙂
Jim Miley says
Thanks Phil… Sometimes simple imagery just like the parables is helpful to our understanding. Best to you.