No one could have seen this coming. Where I (Kara) live, school was first canceled for just a week. That would be enough time, we thought, for this virus to pass over us. Talk about the underestimation of the century! Here we are, looking at no school for the rest of the year, no olympics this summer, not a Sunday at church as far as the eye can see or even lounging at our favorite restaurant comforted by chips and salsa. The world is canceled. And if you’re reading this, I don’t have to tell you that that can be just a little scary for small businesses. Not only does anxiety creep in regarding the health of our friends and families, but a lot of people are finding their livelihoods at stake too. We wonder, what will life look like beyond the virus?
I’m not gonna get into the theology about why this is happening. There’s plenty of talk on social media about that! 😉 What I do know is, that we’ve been collectively backed into a corner, the only option? The Lord. How often as modern-day people have we been in such a situation where we can’t help ourselves. This disease doesn’t see wealth, or power, color or education.
Yes, we have plenty of food for worry, but this quote by St. Augustine comes to mind: “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” I don’t know how much truer this could be right now. The future is uncertain. Maybe your business and life as you know it is at risk. And here I am, unable to tell you everything is going to be okay. I can do something greater, though. I can point you to the One who is faithful no matter the circumstance, no matter the outcome. Y’all if it’s ever been the time before, it’s time now to fall on our knees and pray.
If you’re a business owner, employee or just a small biz lover, here are 5 things to pray right now:
1. Lord, help me to trust you.
If nothing else, this is the one prayer that needs to be at the forefront of our minds. It’s easy to look around at the craziness going on and become uncertain, worried or even hopeless. We’ve got to keep the bigger picture in mind. The Lord is working out a plan that’s greater than our businesses. I’m sorry if that’s a little blunt! His plan for you IS good (Rom. 8:28), but that doesn’t mean our businesses won’t suffer. It does mean, however, that He’s working behind the scenes to bring about a plan that exceeds what we could have planned for ourselves. Trusting Him here means we’ve got to surrender the ownership of our businesses to Him to do what He wants with them.
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. -2 Chronicles 16:9
2. Lord, please provide for the families that depend on this business.
Pray for your family and the families of your employees. The answer to your prayer may not mean that business starts booming. The Lord has been known to show up in some creative and unexpected ways.
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. -1 Kings 19:11-12
**If you’re looking for a way to encourage your team during this season, consider gifting them with a prayer journal. Use the code 3ORMORE or 10ORMORE to save 20% or 27%.
3. Lord, help me to market to my audience out of love.
There’s the temptation to use the Coronavirus as a launching pad for a successful new marketing plan. It’s easy to play off of an audience that is worried, frightened and lonely. And when business is suffering, that line of thought is extra enticing. First, let’s refer back to #1 and #2. This kind of marketing during this time comes from a lack of trust in God and our own fears. Instead of asking the question, “How can I use this to my advantage?”, let’s ask, “Lord, how can I love on my audience during this time?” Is there a product you have that might help them get through this time? Great. Tell them about it! But let’s do it out of the right heart.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. -1 Corinthians 13:1-3
4. Lord, give me creativity in meeting the needs of my customers.
Just because you’re not taking advantage of your audience, doesn’t mean you can’t put your creative juices to work during this time. Ask the Lord to show you what gifts and resources you have to give. Obviously, we are all about prayer here–something that has a clear fit during uncertain times. So, one thing we’re doing is a prayer challenge on social media to help direct our audience to the Lord. Val has also partnered up with some other influencers to provide a video on how to pray right now. There is something that only YOU can offer during this time. Ask God what it is.
For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. -2 Corinthians 9:10-11
5. Lord, help us to use this time wisely.
As things started getting a little more intense this past week, Val called our team together to come up with a plan. She admitted that things might look different around here for a little while–slower. And yep, she was right. I can count on one hand the number of customer emails I’ve received this week when earlier this year there were too many to keep up with! “So, what are we gonna do with this time?”, she asked. She challenged us to see these quiet days as a time of growth. We looked back over the business courses we’d purchased in the past year. We talked about plans for the future. Instead of waiting for this season to be over, we want to be faithful with the time we’ve been given.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. -Ephesians 5:15-16
Is there anything you would add here? What are you praying right now during this uncertain time?
This post was written by Kara Bryant, Social Manager.