This post first appeared on She Works His Way blog here. If you are a female small business owner I highly recommend checking out the She Works His Way blog and their monthly membership! It’s one of the only subscriptions I have kept over the years because it constantly challenges me to keep my business pointed toward building God’s kingdom, not mine in practical ways. Check them out here!
Entrepreneurship is both an incredible tool that God can use for His kingdom and also fertile ground for us to point people to our own kingdom. Because of that, praying for your business and how you will handle that endeavor should be at the top of our to-do list. I know I’ve heard Michelle say, prayer is the single most important factor to running a business ,and I wholeheartedly agree, so today I’m sharing 5 things you can be praying for your business.
1. TO HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF OWNERSHIP
First and foremost, we must pray that we understand our role in our business. Though the world sees us as the owner, we must give that role to God. I think if this was a one-time signing over of your business to God, it’d be simple, BUT each day, we are faced with the opportunity to take control and call the shots.
Part of praying for understanding of ownership in close communion with God (through prayer, studying His Word and other spiritual disciplines) so when decisions need to be made, we are operating out of the wisdom God gives and not our own strength. It’s also praying that God would reveal any areas we haven’t given to Him and asking Him to give us eyes to recognize those areas and turn them over to Him.
2. TO SET AND KEEP GOOD BOUNDARIES
Being an entrepreneur can be messy. Having your laptop two feet away from your toddler can be the source of so much frustration. Mentally, we are ping-ponging back and forth, never able to fully concentrate on anything. Physically we are tense and easily frustrated by our kids or customers when they make even the most reasonable request simply because we feel like either never gets our full attention.
Ask the Lord for not only good physical boundaries, but for good mental ones too. Mental boundaries are something I’ve been praying for so much recently. I can physically put the phone away and play with my kids, but as someone who LOVES my work, it’s hard to switch off that side of my brain and simply play.
Typically, we are a driven bunch who dream BIG and find kingdom work more important that the little souls we are stewarding at home. We’d never say this of course, but our distraction does. Pray that you would be completely present when you are at home or working so you can enjoy and make a difference right where you are.
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3. TO BE FILLED WITH GOD’S CREATIVITY, NOT THE CREATIVITY OF OTHERS
If you are in business, God has a specific thing He wants to accomplish through you. When we are surrounded by other creatives though, it can be easy to “borrow” what we see has worked for them. And it’s all in the name of Jesus right? Here’s an important point that is so easy to miss as a business owner. The Bible tells us that we will be judged not on what we did, but what we were called to do.
To put it bluntly, obedience is more important than outcome. Because of this, we can’t look to others for what we should be doing. And this is hard, y’all! We have to go to God for what He’s asking us to do. Pray that the Lord would reveal to you any places where you’ve side-stepped His instruction and decided to lean on the plan He has for someone else instead.
The crazy thing is, we have access to the creative genius of the one who made the earth, the animals and each beautifully unique human. Isn’t it silly that we forget to tap into this source of creativity and look to others? As you pray, tell God that you want HIS creative best and seek it. Ask God to shield your eyes where you are weakest.
4. TO HAVE AN ACCURATE VIEW OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE
It’s easy to get caught up in the world’s definition of success and failure. Success is a lot of sales. Failure is a slow month. Success is a big following. Failure is a blog post with no comment. In our head, we know all the right answers to this. But in our hearts, we find out what we truly believe.
I wrestled with this one a lot at the beginning of the year. If you had asked me what I considered success, I would have given you the correct answer. But as business seemed to screech to a halt, I realized just how dependent my moods and even my faith was on the success or failure of my business. It can be a volatile way to live when our joy and confidence is dependent on a popular instagram post or slow sale day.
Read the Word and commit to memory verses that address God’s thoughts on success and failure. Ask Him to equip you to handle both and not place more importance than each should hold. Pray that neither success nor failure would cause you to drift away from Him.
5. TO SAY YES TO THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITIES / CONNECTIONS / PROJECTS
If you are balancing a family and business, weighing the cost of each opportunity is really important. And the reason praying for this is so important is because the opportunities you get will probably all be GOOD opportunities, they just may not be what God is calling you to. This goes back to #3, wanting to do what God calls us to, and not just good things.
You don’t have a million “yeses” to dole out, so how do you determine what to say yes to? I have prayed this prayer often for my business and have been blessed to see how the most confirming emails will come my way at just the moment I feel God leading me towards something. When I was working on the Adoption Prayer Journal and feeling a bit overwhelmed creating it as someone who wasn’t adopting, I got an email from someone who asked if I would make an Adoption Prayer Journal because she was in the process and wanted that tool. Through several more conversations, she helped shape the heart-felt content that was included that I know I could not have done on my own.
I would even consider praying this prayer of clarity over your inbox if you have lots of opportunities to respond to and feel overwhelmed in how to respond to each. Pray the Lord would nudge you toward the ones that are part of His plan and send up a red flag for the ones that are not the best use of your time.
Here are a few verses that have encouraged me on my journey:
- But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. – 2 Corinthians 10:13
- Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. – Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG)
- Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, … Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. – Deuteronomy 8:11-14, 17-18 (ESV)
- Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. – Proverbs 4:25-26
- Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. – Psalm 128:1-2 (NIV)