Business leaders faced countless difficult decisions in 2020. For many, it felt as if progress toward prosperity came to a screeching halt. Suddenly, financial goals seemed out of reach, employees were furloughed or laid off, and tough decisions were made. Like no recent time in our history, small businesses began to lift fervent prayers to the Lord for business success.
In the months preceding the pandemic, it seemed to many business leaders that they could coast their way to wealth. They felt confident that their past efforts to make a successful business would carry them through. Then our world turned upside down with health concerns. In such an unprecedented time, many small business leaders turned to the Lord for counsel, guidance, and provision. That has proved to be a good practice. Prayer is now and always has been powerful and effective. The Word of the Lord says that the prayers of the righteous avail much.
What would happen if businesses began to consistently lift a prayer for success? Not only when hardships dampen hopes to succeed—but daily? Imagine the result of seeking the Lord to ask for help to follow Biblical principles and run God-honoring businesses—even during prosperity? What if business leaders offered these kinds of prayers for business success:
- Consistent prayers for business growth
- Fervent prayers for success and prosperity
- Passionate prayer for successful business transactions
- Ongoing prayer for business breakthrough
- Heartfelt prayer for more customers
- Sincere prayers for profitable sales
Imagine the impact if business owners turned to the Lord to determine what the Bible says about honoring God in business, or making sound decisions? A lot could change—for the better.
Why A Business Should Offer Prayers for Success
The uncertainty of 2020 has taken a marked toll on businesses. World governments took a stance never before seen and mandated business closures or imposed regulations that were too extreme for small businesses to endure. Many business leaders felt as if control over their organizations had been stripped away. It felt as if many decisions were no longer theirs to make, which made leaders feel powerless to steer things in a positive direction. Too often for entrepreneurs, it felt as if someone else was in control of their business practices. A sense of frustration and hopelessness ruled the day.
The truth is, it shouldn’t be so hard to prosper in the marketplace and work for the financial security of our children. And yet the health crisis has crushed the job market and made it feel nearly impossible for any business to thrive.
So what good can it bring to offer prayers for business success?
The Bible says “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, ESV). This applies to prayers lifted for personal matters and business concerns alike.
Prayer is also a trusted way to gain wisdom. When we ask God for wisdom, direction, and guidance, He gives it freely. Consider James 1:5 (ESV) which says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
The Hope that Prayer for Business Brings
Many Christian entrepreneurs and ministry leaders already know the power of prayer. Seeking the Lord calms anxiety, turns hearts toward gratitude, and helps us know that we are never alone. Communing with God and seeking His strength for all of our concerns is a basic tenet of the Christian faith.
When we forsake the practice of prayer, we’re often consumed with worry. Our focus becomes fixed on the problems we see and our minds feel overtaken with fear for the future. Without prayer, it’s far too easy to lose hope, to feel overwhelmed—without direction, and utterly alone.
Yet the moment we begin to pray, we can sense God’s nearness and the hope of Jesus Christ. We’re able to cast our cares upon the Lord knowing that He will carry them on our behalf because He cares so greatly for us (see 1 Peter 5:7). The psalmist declared,
“The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18, NIV).
We’re wise to thank the Lord for His provision and remember to actively call on God. Amen?
Offering Prayer for Guidance Through Business Decisions
As a small business owner, I’ve faced many challenges over the past months. At moments it felt as if my business wouldn’t survive the pandemic. Leads dried up, customers put services on hold, and uncertainty ruled the day.
As I prayed over my business, I discerned the Lord prompting me to pivot—to rethink what I offered. When I began to pray I felt God bring fresh ideas along with the wisdom and training opportunities to carry them out. When things looked bleak, I continued to walk in hope and remembered to thank Jesus for His guidance. As a result, the last half of 2020 brought more financial success and opportunity than the prior three years combined. I’m now coaching business owners to clarify and strengthen their online marketing message so that customers are invited to envision the story of their own well-being.
By offering prayer to the Lord, I am confident that I’m walking in His path, pursuing His purpose for my life, and enjoying a meaningful business. I believe every business owner should feel confident—even amid uncertain times in our economy. Prayer is one of the ways to achieve that.
Faithfulness in Prayer Can Lead to Prosperity
Business success is about much more than improving financial means. For entrepreneurs who follow Christ, a business can be a meaningful way to build relationships and model the ways of Christ. Many who don’t know Jesus Christ will never grace the doors of a church and your business practices may give them a glimpse of hope they never knew existed. Business owners have a unique opportunity to offer prayer for those they serve and to show the love of God to a hurting world.
While the Bible doesn’t promise financial prosperity, in several instances the Bible says that we can make our way prosperous and set ourselves up to flourish. Consider Deuteronomy 8:18 and Joshua 1:8, below (emphasis added):
God gives the power to gain wealth
“… but remember that the LORD your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors as it is today” (Dt 8:18, CSB).
We make our way prosperous
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Jos 1:8, ESV).
Just as these verses encourage, when we offer prayers and ask God to make our business thrive, we invite the movement of the Holy Spirit. He will show us the power God provides, and as we meditate on the Word of God we make our way prosperous. Righting our hearts before Jesus is a powerful and proven way to help our efforts succeed.
When we flourish in business, we can give more generously, help others, and reveal the work of the Lord to those around us. Lifting prayer for business success reaches beyond selfish motives and can genuinely impact customers, vendors, employees, our own children, and generations of people—all through the wise decisions we’re equipped to make.
25 Scriptures to Enhance Your Business-Minded Prayer
The most simple yet profound way to lift prayers for your business is to use Bible passages to provide guidance. Some of my favorites are:
Proverbs 3:3-4 (NIV)
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
An example of praying the Scripture is:
Father God, write your love and faithfulness on the tablet of my heart. Help me find favor and a good name in Your sight and before mankind. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Matthew 5:16 (CSB)
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Offer prayer like this:
Lord Jesus, may Your light shine through me. In my business, let customers, employees, and even their families see the good works that You instill so that they can see you and give you glory. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Psalm 84:11 (ESV)
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
A prayer can sound like this:
Thank you, Lord, that you help me to walk uprightly in my job. Be my sun and shield. I ask that you bestow Your favor and honor on my business and withhold no good thing. In the name of Jesus, amen.
For more Scriptures to pray over your business, I invite you to download my free eBook, a collection of 25 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Business. It provides Bible verses along with encouragement to offer prayers through each one for your own business success.
It’s not difficult to offer prayer for your job or business by using Scripture. In fact, there are three easy steps:
- Research the Bible verses (this is already done for you in my eBook—25 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Business—and you can download it for free).
- Offer prayers using the Scriptures in Jesus’ name each day (or at a minimum every workday).
- Thank Jesus for the ways the Lord will reveal Himself and how He answers your prayers.
Prayer Can Enhance Your Business
Imagine how it will feel to pray and focus on God throughout your day, knowing He is with you. In prayer, when you ask for and receive God’s guidance, it makes all things feel easier, less overwhelming, and somehow simplified. When you pray, your work becomes more efficient and meaningful and you see your products and services begin to help others. Those are likely the reasons that you started your business in the first place, and when you start to see your work pay off, it’s easier to believe that you’ll find prosperity. Then, by saying thank you to Jesus, you give Him the glory, honor, and praise for equipping you with all you need.
Every Christian, whether a business owner, ministry leader, or employee should lift fervent prayer for their organization or job. Jesus longs for us to have an abiding relationship with Him, not only when we’re at home in a quiet place, but throughout our day: on the job, at work, while running a business, writing for the Kingdom, or leading others to Him. We are to pray without ceasing and continuously give thanks in the name of Jesus.
Download Your Free Prayer Ebook
If you don’t know how to offer prayer for your business or if you would like a free collection of Scriptures to help you lift prayers for business success, I invite you to download 25 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Business, my free eBook. It will provide you with the encouragement you need to cover your work life in prayer, ask Jesus for His help and provision, and to thank Him for all He gives.
While God doesn’t promise prosperity, He does provide all we need to generate it in our lives. The Lord is faithful to hear our prayer. Interceding in His name, we give Him glory and let Him carry the burden of the weight of all the things our business or ministry needs. He is our provider, our guide, and our encourager. He cares about all of the work that we do and every life that we touch through our efforts.
Have you created something wonderful? Maybe it’s a ministry that serves people or a book with an inspirational message. Perhaps you’ve created a business that helps people overcome a common struggle. You believe in it. You’ve invested money and shared it all over social media. But it still feels like no one knows about it—and that’s frustrating. I invite you to discover how to clarify your message to help your ministry, book, or business stand out in a noisy online environment.
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How to Reach a Wider Audience for Your Ministry, Book, or Business
The sad truth is, even though your product or service may be exactly what people need, they won’t engage with your brand unless your message is easy to understand.
“People do not buy the best products and services, they buy the products and services that are communicated the clearest.” Donald Miller, Bestselling Author of Building a StoryBrand and Marketing Made Simple
Since people buy-in to the easiest rather than the best, what would happen if you developed a clear message for your product or service? What if you became the easiest brand in your field to do business with?
The average consumer sees over five thousand marketing images each day. The online world is more than noisy, sometimes it feels like pure chaos. With so much stimulation, it’s nearly impossible to capture anyone’s attention, even when you have something they need. Instead of trying to figure out an unclear message, they tune it out.
That’s a problem for someone trying to share details about a ministry with the potential to change the world or a business with a revolutionary solution. It feels disheartening. It shouldn’t be so hard to get your product or service into the hands of those who need it.
What you need to cut through all the noise is clarity.
What a Confusing Message is Costing You
You worked hard to develop and launch your service. Now, instead of serving customers and watching the resulting glow from the help you provide, you spend countless hours trying to advertise. Marketing feels like an experiment that never works, yet without it, you fear you’ll become just another failed statistic. You’ve poured way too much of yourself into your brand to have that happen.
But there is a better way! When you clarify your message and present it with consistency, your customers will understand. They’ll begin to see you as an expert, but more importantly as a guide who can lead them to the solutions their hearts crave. Soon you’ll see that they will engage with your brand, make purchases, and share what you offer with friends.
After reading the StoryBrand book (Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller) I knew immediately—this was the solution I’d searched for. I took all I learned a step further and pursued training to become a StoryBrand Certified Guide. While in training, my cohorts and I were tasked with writing a clear message for a product. I selected a prayer devotional for marriage that I’d written about 2 years prior. This was one of the best products I’d ever created, yet sales were disappointing.
To complete my assignment, I wrote a new message that focused on clarity. Then I shared it on social media over a break in our training. Without even creating a sales funnel, I simply used the StoryBrand framework to share a clear message. By the end of training that very day, I had email notifications for two new book sales. Within hours, my clear message was already bringing results.
To reach a wider audience for your ministry, book, or business, you must clarify your message. I’ve seen it work for many clients and for my own products and services too.
3 Fail-Proof Steps to Clarify Your Message
So how do you clarify your message? While the StoryBrand framework is a bit more involved, I’ll break it down into a simple, three-step roadmap.
Begin with the problem
By talking about the problems your potential customers encounter, they’ll become more interested in your message. Suddenly, they’ll see themselves in a story. They can envision using your product or service because you’ve proven that you understand what they’re facing.
As you reflect on the problem that you solve for your audience, consider what roadblocks to success that they see every day, the way those roadblocks make them feel, and how they might believe the world “should” be. These are known as external, internal, and philosophical problems. When you convey that you understand what they face, you’ve helped them understand how you can help.
Share the plan
This is the part where you make it easy for them. Break the process of engaging with your brand into three simple steps. Let me share a few examples:
If you’re running a ministry for the homeless your three steps might be: view our online list of needs, drop off supplies at our central location, feel the satisfaction of helping families in your community.
If you’ve written a book, three simple steps may be: read my book, follow the 5-part blueprint, enjoy newfound confidence.
Don’t overcomplicate the process. Our minds easily function with sets of three so keeping your plan to 3-steps is best. Make the journey easy for your potential customers so they know what to expect and can envision themselves taking the next step.
Invite the action
Too many leaders fail to ask for the sale. The third no-fail step to clarifying your message is to call your audience to action. Tell them what you want them to do. Your call to action doesn’t need to be lengthy or over-involved. Words like “buy now” “schedule an appointment” or “give online today” are clear, easy to execute, and create engagement. Weaker calls to action like “learn more,” “start now,” or “click here” are vague, muddled, and confusing. Invite them to take a very specific next step.
How Clarifying Your Message Can Grow Your Brand
Most businesses and ministries are multi-faceted. Books cover multiple topics. As you work to clarify your message, focus on one aspect at a time. How do you want to be known? When your customers think of you, what do you want to come to their minds every single time?
By clarifying your message, you begin to establish yourself (or your brand, or your team) as a go-to expert. You stimulate curiosity about what you offer and begin to build a trust relationship with potential customers. When they’re ready to engage, they’ll think of you first and connect without hesitation. Your reach will expand, and your brand will grow.
Staying consistent with your clear message, repeating it often, and helping your audience envision a connection with you will give you a competitive advantage. You’ll help your customers understand the benefits of working with you. A clear message will forever change the way your customers think about you and the value you bring to their lives.
Help to Clarify Your Message
If you have mind-blowing ideas but struggle to execute strong messaging principles, I can help. I lead ministries, small businesses, and solo-preneurs through repeatable frameworks so they can grow their brand while prioritizing what matters most. As we work together, I’ll help you adopt effective business-building strategies and expand your reach. My superpower is leading others to success. I can’t wait to come alongside you on your journey.
Schedule a consultation today at www.cathymcintosh.com/growyourbrand. I aim to be the best investment you make in your business or ministry. Let’s meet for a virtual coffee and discover if we’re a good match.
“Well? What happened?”
I’d just returned from the doctor’s office and my husband wanted to hear the story. As I sorted out the complicated details inside my mind, I found myself wondering how I could become a better storyteller in the next fifteen seconds.
Story is a powerful, sense-making tool that often lends better understanding. While the news I had to share wasn’t bad, it was a bit convoluted and I didn’t want to give him a long-winded answer. I knew by staying simple and focused, I could best ease his concerns.
The importance of storytelling
Anyone can be a storyteller, in fact, most of us already are. We use story as a tool in daily communication, parenting, business, ministry, writing, and even marketing. Even Jesus taught with parables (stories) to help listeners make sense of complex matters. Stories not only entertain; they engage us emotionally and help us remember details that might otherwise be forgotten.
These are ample reasons to become a better storyteller.
What are the techniques of storytelling?
It’s not difficult to learn the art of storytelling, but like any other talent, it takes a bit of practice. Remember that to become better at something, you must keep trying. So, start where you are and keep working to get better. There are a few techniques that are helpful.
- Keep your story as clear and concise as possible
- Make your main character likable
- Make your villain (either a person or a circumstance) easy to dislike
- Don’t always rely on the first ideas that come to mind. Let your story unfold inside your mind and look for deeper meaning.
5 simple tips to become a better storyteller:
Great stories have a controlling idea.
Those that ramble are hard to follow, so when telling a strong story you’ll want to stick with the point you’re trying to make. Toy Story focused on Sheriff Woody’s fear of rejection. Finding Nemo took us on Marlin’s journey of letting go. Avoid digressing and adding too many diversions or subplots.
Great stories convey emotion.
They tug on our hearts. When sharing a story, draw on your own emotional experiences and help the listener (or reader) feel them too. Think beyond what your character sees and reach into what she feels. How do those feelings cause her to react or withdraw?
Great stories share conflict.
A movie with no conflict is not interesting. As soon as conflict resolves, the movie is over. A fight doesn’t have to be between people but can also be an internal struggle or an external obstacle that the hero must overcome. The conflict is one of the most important aspects of your story so emphasize it well.
Great stories deliver the unexpected.
A story that’s too predictable (or shared too often) doesn’t capture attention. Mix it up and deliver a twist your reader didn’t see coming. You don’t have to be overly imaginative, just consider that in life things rarely go exactly as we expected. Use real-life examples to reveal a surprise.
Great stories finish strong.
Have a strong conclusion—one that resolves the conflict of the character and convincingly portrays the emotion of success or failure. A powerful conclusion will also defend the idea of your story or convey a moral. Tie a nice bow around your story before you call it finished.
The storytelling examples around us
As you work to become a better storyteller, go back and re-read your favorite novel or watch one of your favorite movies. Look at it with new eyes, examining it to learn its storytelling techniques. Consider things like:
- What made you like the hero of the story
- Identify the obvious and subtle obstacles the hero faces
- How does the hero feel? Did you feel that emotion too?
- What is the main point of the story? Now look a bit deeper and see if you can find an even deeper theme.
- Which parts of the story surprised you the first time you read it?
- How does the conclusion resolve the conflict and show victory or defeat?
Every one of us has a storyteller inside and good storytelling is a powerful and effective means of communication. To discover the art of storytelling, simply look at the stories unfolding around you every day. Pay attention to the things that hold your attention and then use those techniques in your own storytelling.
Before long, you’ll see your writing (even your non-fiction writing) improve. Your communication skills will become stronger, and you’ll begin to feel more confident in the thoughts and ideas you share with others. Above all, remember to enjoy the journey.