Why and How to Bring Prayer into the Workplace
If God owns the business (and He does), how could we ever think of making decisions without consulting the true Owner? Jesus implores us to pray—to ask, seek, and even knock, promising our Father will hear and answer. In the greatest historical startup, He leveraged prayer as a regular discipline in His daily operations. He prayed:
– All night before a critical HR decision. (Luke 6:12-16)
– For key players’ performance. (Luke 22:21-32)
– To give thanks at the beginning of a meeting. (Luke 22:17, 19)
– For His succession plan. (John 17:20-21)
Historically, we have seen God use leaders who pray to change the world. Intercessors pray for the growth, strength, protection, effectiveness, and leadership of a church. Many leaders who follow Jesus understand and practice the discipline of prayer in their private time with the Lord. As Christian leaders, we can activate the full power of prayer to transform lives and our businesses by incorporating prayer in our regular operations and inviting others to join us.
A Wartime Walkie-Talkie
Given the elevated importance of prayer, theologians have filled books with meaningful insights about it. Timothy Keller defines prayer as “a personal communicative response to the knowledge of God.” Skye Jethani argues Jesus’s pattern for prayer was both communication and communion with the Father.
Perhaps the most riveting metaphor for marketplace application comes from John Piper, who described prayer as more like a “wartime walkie-talkie” than an office intercom.
The world and the workplace can be a battlefield. Without prayer, we are trying to fight the war in our strength—something God never expected us to do. Prayer allows us to radio our heavenly HQ from the battlefield for any and all of the following:
– Troop deployment and target location
– Firepower to blast open a way for the Word
– Healing for wounded soldiers
– Supplies and direction
A CCA Chaplain serving in South Carolina said this about one of the leaders he serves:
“During my rounds as a chaplain, I visit the office of a particular business owner who leads 300 employees in a struggling industry. We literally get down on our knees each week and pray for the company and its specific needs. How his company continues to thrive when others in the industry are collapsing, I’m not sure. But I do know that he is a praying man and God is faithful.”
Another C12 CEO shared his prayer and faith in the midst of COVID-19 via a short video, and multiple employees came to faith in response.
Personal but Not Private
The many tasks of our day can sometimes feel like wild animals charging full speed right at us. We can stop the stampede by inviting the Lord to recalibrate our minds, quiet our spirits, and tune our souls to Him and His will. We should urge our team members to do the same. God promises His presence “when two or more gather in His name” (Matt. 18:20). We cannot isolate our connection with God from our connection with His people. If we isolate praying for our companies to our private times of prayer, we miss leveraging the prayers of others. As Christian leaders, we are called to equip the people of God for the work of Business as a Ministry (BaaM), which includes corporate prayer.
Understandably, some Christians find praying in public uncomfortable. Others feel the misaligned urge to preach. Jesus says the power of prayer is not in the quantity of our words but the quality of our hearts. After all, God knows our needs before we even express them. Praying with our employees allows us to demonstrate our desire to align our business decisions and practices with God’s will and way. Praying openly may open opportunities to serve and minister to the needs of others, to comfort them in their crises, or to engage in conversations about faith.
C12 Member Barbara Myrick, CEO of B & M Construction, Inc., accepted God’s invitation to align her leadership and business with His will through a rich prayer discipline. Her faithful intercession–personally and with her personnel–has enabled God to display His undeniable power, to oversee the business, and to transform lives.
BaaM Daily Operations Prayer Plan
We do not want to position ourselves as “priests of the business,” although we are all ministers of the gospel. Instead, we can catalyze prayer partners by inviting employees to lead prayer—just as we would delegate other functions according to the 5-Point Alignment Matrix.
For leaders taking their first steps at incorporating prayer into business operations, here are four things you can begin praying for with others:
- Employees and their families
- Requests from customers and suppliers
- Your company’s city
- Upcoming hiring decisions
What is your operations prayer plan? Your BaaM strategy informs how you pray for your business. Identify three moments in which you can incorporate prayer into the rhythm of your company. What can that look like, and who can own it with you?
Incorporating prayer in your business is one step toward leading a BaaM. Each month, faith-driven, results-minded leaders meet to maximize performance and impact.
April 9, 2021