Seek and pray. Pray and seek. Which comes first? I truly believe that God cares about our businesses, so how do we get Him involved? Logically I know it is important to pray about my business. I have prayed for my business, for my clients, and for my team.
I talk to small business owners daily and they say they have prayed constantly about their business or a situation. Some feel God’s presence and answers to prayers, others don’t at all.
This caused me to think. Here was some of the thoughts that went through my head:
God wants me to pray for my business.
If I randomly pray for something, will He feel like I am doing my part?
What is the difference between seeking God, His wisdom, and direction versus praying for it?
Is there a difference?
As I ponder this, I feel the fog surrounding the idea dissipate. Here are my thoughts, although my terminology isn’t necessarily theological. It is just how I think about it.
My definition of seeking is:
Looking to God, through His Word, sermons, books, other people, and even prayer, to know Him better. Through knowing Him better it is more clear how to align with His will.
My definition of prayer is a subset of seeking:
I may seek God through prayer, but other times I am praying for other purposes aside from knowing Him better. I may pray to intercede for others, for a specific event/situation, for my business directly, and a multitude of other reasons.
Based on these definitions, I feel that many people may pray about their business without seeking God regularly. Prayer without seeking may feel unanswered; usually because things didn’t turn out how we had wished.
I believe that God wants us to be totally dependent on Him in everything, including our business. To be dependent on someone on purpose usually requires trust and faith that the other person can be depended on. How do we know if someone is trustworthy and dependable? I think we have to know them well.
To know God well is to seek Him.
There are 64 references to “seek God” in the bible. Here are a couple that I think lean toward seeking Him first before praying for things, situations, or people.
But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
“But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God;
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Again, I do believe prayer is a form of seeking, but that prayer would look like praying to know Him better, praying to understand His Word, praying for His will. If we skip the seeking part and start praying for things like business growth first, I think maybe God doesn’t feel the dependence.
I will give my disclaimer here….I am not a theologian. I am not preaching. I am just a business person like you and I pray for my business all of the time. Trying to sort through when I feel like He is with me in my business, compared to waiting on me, instigated this thought process. Also wondering why others who I know truly pray, don’t feel God.
I would love to know your thoughts too. Do you have your own theories? When do you feel God in your life and business?
Richard Brashear says
Really, really enjoyed this article! First time reader but subscribing through RSS !
Thank Richard! So glad you visited!
Leslie Bessellieu says
Great post! This is something I’ve grappled with as well, Sue. I’ve found the need to both pray and seek and I think you’ve done a great job highlighting some differences. For me, it’s important to pray about my business because it keeps me joined to Him in fellowship and reminds me of my dependence on Him. Seeking Him is vital and does imply a more concerted effort to know and understand His will. To me, this is an essential step in receiving His direction and guidance on the “how-to’s” and “which way” and “what now” questions that we face daily. This is such a timely post, Sue as I constantly look for ways to demonstrate that He is truly the CEO of my company. This can only be done through praying and seeking! I’d also like to offer this as a note of encouragement to those who don’t feel God at work in their business or lives. He is always at work on our behalf, even when we don’t sense His presence. I’m a witness that when we intentionally and continually seek Him, He makes Himself known to us. I’ll be praying that all of you who are praying and seeking Him will begin expecting Him to show up, in the little things as well as the big things!
Peace to all,
Hi Leslie, Thanks for sharing your experiences. And yes, I agree God is always there. In my experience, He is incredibly faithful. If I seek Him and am dependent, He always shows Himself!
Debbie Luxton says
Sue, this is an excellent article! I love the way you’ve broken things down. I too have struggled in this area throughout the almost 3 years of having my business. I will promptly admit that both my seeking and praying have not been what they should in recent weeks. Yet, I still look for God to move – oh my humanness…. I know He is always there, but I do want Him to know that He is in-charge and I am not keeping that a priority. Thus, your article is timely for me too!
Hey Debbie, Trust me, I am right there with you! I feel like I am waiting on Him at times and then remember “Oh, maybe I forgot to look to Him first!” Thank God (literally) for His grace and mercy! And thanks for sharing!
Sheila Kale says
This is a beautifully written and thought out article. Thank you.
If we don’t seek God first, we can’t as easily align with His will. Instead we are likely to tell God what needs to be done from our human perspective. Once our hearts are in union with God and His purposes, then God has freedom to implant His desires in us and then satisfy those desires.
Thank you Sheila! The way you put your comments makes me think of the quip Ready Fire Aim. Sometimes I am very guilty of this practice; but your perspective is exactly right and God is so consistent that I never understand why I don’t get the order right every time! Thanks for sharing.