One of the most underrated faith-based activities is prayer. Don't get me wrong the people who experience answered prayer are wholly committed to it, but for your average businessman or woman, turning to prayer is invariably a last resort, when it's too late!
Prayer is not about gimme, gimme, gimme! There is rarely a lightning bolt and a suitcase of money appears! What corresponds with prayer is patience and faith. Faith in the things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. And patience; if everyone received answered prayer at the same time, the world would be in chaos!
God's hand does not wax short! As a parent, if you were asked for something by your child and it was in your power to give it to them, of course you would. Well it’s the same with God. If you asked for bread, he wouldn't give you a snake!
What does Scripture say about prayer?
I'll just unpack this a little from a Scriptural perspective. In the beginning God spoke the world into being. In fact it says "God said" ten times in Genesis Chapter One. (Genesis 1, Psalm 33:9)
Joshua was told to meditate (which means to think!) on the Word night and day and keep the book of the law on his lips, i.e. to speak it out. (Joshua 1:8)
In Proverbs 18:22 it says "There is death and life in the power of the tongue" so we need to be careful about the things we say. Words are not just sounds; they have an impact on this earth. They were always meant to!
When God spoke to Saul, waking him up in the night, Samuel later asked Saul, “what was the thing that the Lord said to you." (1 Samuel 3:17 KJV) So words are things. The Hebrew for "word" and "thing" is the same - davar.
Do not worry!
King David, the Psalmist wrote, "The Lord knows your thoughts, he knows they are worthless” Paul repeats this Scripture in 1 Corinthians 3:20. Again, this reinforces the differences between thinking and speaking! We are also commanded "not to worry''.
Because words are things, they get sown in the same way that seeds that are planted. Their roots go down and take hold. Depending on what was sown, the seed will bear fruit, good or bad. A typical "bad" example is psychological damage done by a parent who keeps telling their child they are stupid or won't amount to anything. By definition, there must be an opposite affect if good things are spoken over people and situations.
The apostle Paul speaks about Abraham who God made the father of many nations, but he goes on to say, this happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and creates new things out of nothing. (Romans 4:19)
Write it up & speak it out!
In Philippians 4:6 it says in everything prayer (speak it out) and petition (write it up, like a business plan), submit your requests before The Lord.
John the disciple wrote that Jesus said "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. (John 14:12)
The above are only a few of the corresponding Scriptures that support the fact that we have power in what we say. There is a saying along the lines of 'the birds of the air may fly over your head but don't let them make a nest in your hair.' So whilst we can try a keep a clear, positive mind, don't let negativity get in and settle in your heart. Because “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)
So prayerfully consider your requests. Write them up, pray them out loud. Speak to God. He's listening all the time, it’s just that you don't talk to him. It’s all part of the process of getting to know God and realising that he wants the best for you and your business. Don't forget, he gave you ‘that’ ability and passion and he certainly doesn't want to take it away from you.
Understand what will change
You must remember, God will not force someones hand. Never. God gave us freewill, therefore, how can we expect God to force someone to give us a deal, money, favourable decisions or anything else.
We have been given the ability to channel God's power. We're a conduit, but for what?
Remember these facts:
First we must submit to God before He can change us. Once we repent, do an about-face regarding sin, God will guide us through the power of the Holy Spirit, only if we let Him and only iif we listen.
To change our environment or situation, we need to ask God for direction. Once we feel we have His guidance and our conscience helps confirm our plan, WE ARE TO GO AND DO IT, don't 'wait on God', He will not do it for you. He gave us a brain and intelligence that can increase its capacity through learning, therefore it is quite clear that we are to use our brains to further our existence and God will provide the wisdom to know where to look and what to do. Do not let anyone incapacitate you by telling you to sit back and wait for God to make a change in your business. It will not happen!!
We are expected to fight the enemy in every situation. As Christian, we are the only people who have the authority to fight satan and his demons. If the enemy is screwing up a situation for you, kick him out. Resist the devil and he will flee. No long prayers are required here. You have been given the power and authority to step on snakes and scorpions, so think, pray and create an action plan as to where you feel the enemy is affecting your business, kick him out and get to work repairing the damage using your business intelligence to start thriving again.
So, now that you’re ready to unleash the power of prayer on your business, I have prepared some examples to help get you going.
Top Business Problems
I researched eight business websites on the Internet all of which published their top ten business problems. They were all different as you might expect, however, I wrote them up and placed them in to seven main categories:
Marketing & Business Development
Marketing vision and strategy, marketing planning, mobile marketing, customer loyalty, finding the right customers, not listening to customers, marketing investments, marketing research, depending on a small number of clients.
Cash, borrowing and resource management, competition and lower prices, access to cash and funding, charging too little, wrong fiscal motivation, not enough start-up capital, being paid on time, borrowing from family and friends, cash flow, financial metrics to manage vision, money management.
Business planning, disciplined execution, strategic thinking, uncertainty, problem solving, globalisation, expansion strategy, scaling business, risk management, balancing quality and growth, supply chains.
Innovation and change, technology, information overload, not recognising moments of truth, call focus on innovation, complexity, security, specialisation.
Trust, poor accountability, talent acquisition, development of staff, accessing the right staff, integrity of staff, diversity, recruitment.
Leadership, lack of investment in creating a winning culture, poor productivity and teamwork, indecisiveness regarding mediocrity.
Fatigue, healthcare, founder dependent, time restrictions, regulations, childcare, forgetting about the family, trying to do too much, government policies.
Seven Prayers for Business
Prayer for marketing and business development
Lord we honour you and thank you for everything you've done for us and continue to do for us in this business.
We pray about our marketing and how we acquire new customers. We pray for vision and clarity about our strategy, so that our finances will be well spent and that we will find the right customers with whom we will be able to have a long and profitable relationship with.
We pray Lord that you will make all grace abound to this company, so that, having all sufficiency in all things at all times; we may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
In Jesus name - Amen
Prayer for cash flow and finance
Lord, we pray for wisdom and guidance regarding our finances for this business. We pray for access to funding where and when required and an unrestricted increase of cash, flowing into this business from all of our new and existing customers paying on time.
We pray for innovative ways of managing our finances and an overall reduction and eventual ceasing of any outstanding loans so that we become a financially stable and secure company, not borrowing from anyone.
Lord we acknowledge that it is your plan for us to be prosperous and to succeed and that you have blessed us with this business. We pray that your grace and favour will be a constant reminder to everyone within this company of your majesty and love for your children and their collective success.
In Jesus name - Amen
Prayer for innovation
Lord as the world progresses forward, we pray that you will bless this company and its staff with knowledge of witty inventions. (Proverbs 8:12)
That Lord, you will bless us individually and corporately, to keep abreast of new technological developments that will enable us to increase and maintain our competitive edge. And that our systems and infrastructure will continue to manage our workload until such time as we decide to change.
We pray Lord that we will confound the business world with our progress and establish this company is a leader in our field.
Thank you Lord for the blessings you have bestowed on this business. All glory and honour to you,
In Jesus name - Amen!
Player for business planning
Lord we pray for guidance and wisdom in defining our future plans and strategies. Your Word says that we make our plans but you direct our steps. So Lord, we submit our plans to you.
We pray for clarity and amazing strategies that will solve issues and desires we have for our business. We speak certainty into the areas of strategy, globalisation, expansion, managing risk and our supply chains.
Lord we know it is your will for us to succeed and we will do so, with your blessing.
In Jesus name - Amen
Prayer for human resources
Lord we pray for guidance and wisdom regarding the people within this business in accordance with all the government regulations and policies.
We pray that trust, accountability and integrity will abound throughout this business. We pray against every work of the enemy that would set itself up against our staff members and pray for compassion and patients towards each other.
Lord help us make the right decisions when employing and disciplining staff and when deciding on the most appropriate development plans for each individual
In Jesus name - Amen
Prayer for Wellbeing
Lord we pray for the staff members and directors who are committed to this business. We pray that they are prompted to take the necessary breaks from work and maintain their commitment to family and friends.
We pray that we establish a culture of caring for our co-workers and an awareness of their workloads. Lord we pray for divine health for all members of staff and their families.
In Jesus name - Amen
Prayer for Leadership
Lord we pray for the business owners their leadership and direction. We pray that productivity, teamwork and focused excellence will prevail in this business that will secure jobs and create a winning culture that draws new business and new staff towards us.
The Lord we know that it is your will for us to prosper and succeed and we call this into being.
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose again, he paved a way for you so that you can be forgiven of all the things you have done wrong, and that you find the true meaning of life. Since you have lied, stolen, used God’s name in vain, etc., you have violated God’s law, which will result in punishment. But the good news is that God loves you and that He doesn’t want you to be condemned to hell, therefore He sent His son Jesus to take your punishment.
If you turn away from your transgressions and accept this forgiveness through baptism under water you will then receive the Holy Spirit with the sign of speaking in tongues. This means that sin, which separates you from God, will disappear and you will, by the Holy Spirit, experience a living relationship with God, as we read in the Bible.
A supernatural relationship starts here and continues in heaven. The only way to heaven is through Jesus, which you can accept today.
Four Elements to Faith
Don't over complicate faith; before you do anything, we are called to: - 1. Repent to God
2. Get baptised to Jesus
3. Be filled with the Holy Spirit
Now you're ready to experience the four elements of faith we are expected to live by....
Lay on Hands
We are to lay hands on the sick and they will be healed.
Cast Out Demons
We have the power to bind up and cast out demons.
Ask for Wisdom
Pray and ask God for Wisdom, He promises to respond
Be ready to share your faith, always and pass it on.