Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
How comfortable are you talking to God about business?
Do you feel 100% at ease, regularly asking God for his guidance on employee turnover, supply chain disruptions, and marketing ROI?
You can be honest.
It can feel awkward, asking God to weigh in on your worldly concerns at such a granular level. Through bringing up “business” in your prayers, you may even feel like you’re misusing God’s attention.
You’re not. Business is how you pour forth your God-given talents. Of course God wants to be included in how you optimize that pouring forth!
In fact, God takes great joy in helping you make decisions about how to run your team, division, and company. Like any loving parent, he finds your thinking and reasoning fascinating, and wants to support you to stretch your mind even further, the better to manifest his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
The question is, how can you invite God to do this?
You can start with how you pray. Specifically, you can begin using four targeted prayers that will support you to open up to God’s presence in your decision making process.
Over the years as a leader, and today as a coach and consultant, I personally use these prayers to develop a consistent prayer practice. They work for me. They relax my mind and heart, so that I can be more receptive to the bigger picture (the biggest picture!) and make decisions that serve the well being of others, long term. Regardless of the immediate business pressures I face.
In this post and the next few weeks’ posts, I’ll share these prayers with you, so that you may use them to develop your own regular, detailed talks with God. Here is the first:
The Prayer of Receptiveness for Servant Leaders
My desire is to consistently welcome your guidance into how I lead. I want your presence and perfect wisdom to illuminate my thoughts, decisions, and actions. I know that this illumination is possible, and through welcoming it, I will be a more effective and joyous servant leader.
Yet right now, God, I feel separated from you. My mind and spirit feel tight with tension and stress. Despite my best intensions, I’m finding it hard to slow down long enough to talk to you, Lord, and ask for your guidance. I’m feeling the weight of my leadership position, and intense pressure to figure all the answers on my own.
I don’t want to lead on my own; without true confidence or clarity.
I want and need to be led by you, God, and to lead others according to your will.
In this, Lord, I welcome your guidance. I open up my heart to you. I open up to the renewing of my mind through your grace and wisdom.
[Now, talk to God about the specific business challenge you’re facing, in detail. Set context, and be specific. Lay out the full narrative of your challenge at God’s feet.
Yes, he already knows what’s going on in your life. But to guide you effectively, he needs you to gain perspective and clarity; things you can only develop through exploring your challenge out loud, from all angles.
When you do this – when you engage your problem together with God — you will find that you begin to relax. Your body will shed tension and stress. Your mind will ease back open. The solution that is most aligned with your commitment to servant leadership will incrementally become clear to you.]
Lord, thank you for your infinite patience, compassion, and love. Thank you for walking with me, step by step, through this leadership challenge.
I’ll talk to you again tomorrow!
In your name I pray,
I know I’ve been talking a lot about prayer lately. There is a reason for this. Prayer is the cornerstone of humility. And humility is a trait that you must develop to be an effective servant leader.
Humble yourself. Invite God in to your decision making process. Let yourself off the hook from needing to have all the answers without God’s help!
You are a leader of God’s children. Therefore, God’s greatest joy is supporting your mind and heart to expand through prayer.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
Mark… I read a lot… don’t often come across much that is new. Your blog today was fresh and new and needed for me and I trust many other leaders seeking God’s direction in leading. It does feel curious at times to pray for things that in my small mind would be trivial to the maker of the universe… but your words make sense. Thank you!
Hi Travis! So great to hear from you. I am pleased to hear this message resonated with you. It is hard to fathom, but so wonderful that God wants to be a part of every aspect of our life, including our professional world. We spend a lot of time there, so bringing Jesus on the team is exactly what He wants! How comforting is that to know He will carry you through every situation. I really appreciate your heart for servant leadership, as you are a significant blessing to all those people within your sphere of influence. Blessings to you and your family!
Thanks Mark! I am grateful for this reminder!
You are welcome Lenny. It is a good reminder for all of us to stay connected to our source of strength, wisdom, and energy as we work through our days. I am so appreciative of your focus in the area of servant leadership! I know you are an amazing blessing to all those you interact with. I’ll be in touch very soon on the Online Training. The new worksheets are coming along nicely. Blessings on your day!
Yes. Humility does not have its eyes on self, but rather on God and others. God gives grace to the humble, and following Jesus’ example of praying with humility opens up His vault of grace. God puts a great price on humility of heart. Humility is a rare Christian grace, of great price in the courts of heaven, entering into and being an inseparable condition of effectual praying. Prayer has no beginning, no ending, no being, without humility. As a ship is made for the sea, so prayer is made for humility, and so humility is made for prayer. How graceful and imperative does the attitude of humility become to us!
Tim, thank you SO much for these additive comments on the subject of prayer and humility. Your insights are so valuable. You are a true blessing to all those you serve! Blessings to you and all the great work you are doing in God’s Kingdom.
Dear Mark Deternding,
Thank you for these prayers and information,I have just been elected secretary of my church. I am 74 years old. I’ve been with the church many years. I’m nervous and I have prayed for guidance in this role. Could you help me in this?