Neil Hart is currently the Executive Head of the Mergon Foundation. Previously he was the Founder and CEO of Boomtown Strategic Brand Agency, and before that he led a multi-cultural team of volunteers working across 40 countries for All Nations, an international disciple-making organisation.
1. Pray for your employees
Something changed in my business the day I began to realise that I was the ‘pastor’ of the people who worked for me. I began to go in early, before anyone arrived, and lay hands on the chairs of my employees. I prayed for them by name, trying to hear God’s heart for them. I would prophesy over them and speak life. I soon noticed a growth in our people resources after this time. God began to do something significant from these prayers.
2. Pray for strategy
Who really knows where and how to lead their business? We can read all the books and dream all we want, but as we plan our steps God directs our paths. This is the important prayer of strategic direction. The Maker of heaven and earth knows the next step and the plans for five years’ time.
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit,’ yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:13–17). Ask Him for direction and your strategy will unfold with greater precision.
3. Pray for wisdom
I remember a two-year period in my life when I prayed the prayer for wisdom every single day. I just believed God and His word: “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously” (James 1:5). No wise person writes an article telling people he is wise! But I can tell you that I have had wisdom added to my life in ways I cannot explain in human terms. God is faithful, and every business desperately needs wise leaders.
4. Pray that you can walk by faith
Nothing matters more in life than learning to walk by faith. Despite the important need for wisdom, there is a higher need to walk by faith. My “righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38). Walking by faith is really hard yet so freeing. When God gives you a bold word for your business and you step out in faith and see something huge happen, it is wild and wonderful. Pray that God guides you daily to walk by faith and then incline your ear and your heart to hear Him.
5. Pray for the Kingdom to come near
I want to tell you an important secret… there is no point in running a successful business, if the business doesn’t have the Kingdom of God established in it. It will matter nothing at the end of time despite all your hard work. Tough to hear, but true. “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” (Matthew 6:16). In Luke 10 Jesus sends His disciples ahead to towns and cities where He himself was about to go. He tells them to heal the sick and say to those in the towns and cities, “the kingdom of God has come near” (Luke 10:9). It’s a great prayer to pray: “Lord, let your kingdom come [in my business] as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).