Adopt a Business

(Written by Lilian Schmid)

One of Transforming Sydney initiatives is "Adopt a Business": praying for the Domain of Business and asking God to raise people to establish prayer cell groups in every Business in Sydney and other cities.

Prayer cell groups will operate in the Business or the Corporate Building. Christians will meet once a week to pray for the business or the company where they work, which will include all offices, finances, transactions, equipments, operations, departments, people starting from the top of the pyramid, to the last one in the business of the company. Once a regular group is established, the next step is to encourage intercessors from within the company to be trained to use their gift to pray as internal intercessors.

Jesus said in John 17:18-19

"As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified."

Personal Prayer

We must not engage in a battle with the evil one without praying, to do so is foolish. All business evangelism must start with prayer. Here are some practical suggestions to help you get started.

When praying privately, always have at least some non-Christian colleagues among your own prayer points. Make up a short and simple list of people known to you who do not know Jesus.

Ask God to help you live a life which is consistent with your Christian profession. You may be the only sensible Christian that your non-Christian colleagues know. Pray that God's Holy Spirit will give them new birth and that they will turn in repentance and faith to follow Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

Pray that you will be ready to "give a reason for the hope that is in you" and that you will not be too busy to help them should the opportunity arise.

A suggested prayer could be:

Almighty God and Heavenly Father, I thank you that you called me out of darkness into the kingdom of your Son, Jesus.
Please soften the heart of your people in this company and give them new birth. Change them so that they will clearly see how much you love them when you sent Jesus to die for them. Bring them to the point when they will repent of their sins, openly place their faith in Jesus and serve Him for the remainder of their lives.
Amen

Corporate Prayer

Praying with fellow Christians is very important in a small prayer cell group. Any group of concerned friends, who are able to maintain confidentiality, can do this. These small prayer meetings should be specific, to the point and regular (Weekly, Fortnightly or Monthly). They could commence with a short reading from a gospel or epistle without any comment or explanation. Simply pick up reading where you left off last time.

Here are some possibilities.

  • A 15 minute prayer time mid-week, in the early morning, before work
  • A 20 minute prayer time before/after lunch with your cell group

Prayer Points could be:

  • Check the needs of your company, business or organisation
  • Understand the culture of your company, business, organisation
  • Bring everything in the building to the Lord and declare the company/business/organisation to the Lord
  • Pray that God will have mercy on you, your company/business/organisation and that His Name will be honored by people yielding to the Lord Jesus
  • Pray that God will bring all Christians to pray together in the company/business/organisation
  • Pray that God will lead others to you to support their need at work
  • Pray for your own holiness and the struggle to live as a faithful Christian in your family, neighborhood and workplace
  • Pray that God will use our own weak efforts to bring people to Christ

"Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him."
[1 Cor 1:26-29 NIV]

Remember that these prayer times are not gossip sessions. Neither are they another support group for Christians. Support is good, but these brief prayer meetings are specifically for evangelism.

If your business, organisation does not have a regular prayer gathering, start praying for it. Get someone to join you in this prayer and together you can look for a third person to also pray for this matter regularly. In this way the group will grow and you will have established a prayergroup. If a prayer group already functions in the business join it immediately. Don't just sit and criticize; see to it that you are there and that you make a contribution. To lead prayer is very important.

The following are a number of guidelines for prayer cell group:

  • The prayers said in a prayer group should be concise and to the point - in most cases a few sentences only. After someone has prayed, a number of other people should first be allowed to pray too, before this person may pray again - but all these prayers should be short.
  • The most important element of group prayer is harmony and unity, so that you may agree with one another in prayer (Mat 18:19-20). The number of people who pray is far less important than the oneness/unity that should characterise the group that has gathered to pray. The Greek word for "agree" can be literally translated as symphony. There must be spiritual unity among those who pray.
  • Pray about one topic at a time. One person prays for a specific issue for the business and the others join in on this subject. When everybody feels satisfied that prayers for the specific issue have been concluded the next prayer topic can be started with.
  • Brief instructions about prayer should be given at prayer gatherings. A short section from the Bible may be dealt with or one or two specific verses may be explained. Give the other prayers an opportunity to share a text or an important thought with the group.
  • Give the various intercessors the opportunity to say whether the Lord has put any particular prayer topic on their hearts or perhaps to share something with the group.
  • Do not convert the prayer occasion into a Bible study session or into any other form of discussion. The main emphasis should be on prayer.
  • Deal with the different aspects of prayer. For example, start with inviting the Holy Spirit followed by song, intercession, thanksgiving, other prayer requests, and conclude with Praise.
  • Write down the topics for intercession and thanksgiving
  • Don't start and pray non-stop for an hour on end. Give information on a prayer topic, pray about it for 5-10 minutes (perhaps longer) stop the group and share information about the next matter with them.
  • When you commence with a prayer group you should announce it in the building or send emails out to your colleagues and invite them. Don't be discouraged if only two or three persons turn up. Start with those who are there. It is of extreme importance to pray for more intercessors. Do not complain about the fact that there are too few people who are interested, pray for more. Approach specific individuals and ask them individually to join the prayer group and to come and help with the work of prayer. Ask people to become involved just as you would ask them to help transporting chairs to a hall, etc.

What is prayed for in a prayer room inside your organisation?

  • Pray for the activities of the business
  • Pray for the members that have been started together supported by their own churches.
  • Pray for the business evangelism actions of the business, etc for all meetings concerning the business activities
  • Pray for families, social activities, those in the business who are ill, people who are celebrating birthdays that week, etc.
  • Pray for spiritual growth of the members and for the unsaved that God will touch them through you.
  • Pray for the business finances and the effective administration of the finances
  • Pray for the reaching of the unreached with the Gospel.

Recruiting Intercessors (internal and external)

Once you established the prayer group, God will lead you to people within the prayer cell group who have the gift to be intercessors. Intercessors should at all costs guard against isolating themselves. In many cases one cannot blame the intercessors for wanting to withdraw into their own group, make sure no one feels threatened by the intercessors. However this is even more reason for the intercessors not to isolate themselves from the prayer cell group, and to simply do their own thing.

The intercessors need to pray with the group and intercede on behalf of the group, but not dominate the group.

"The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ."
[1 Cor 12:12]

To recruit intercessors is of cardinal importance. As a rule people do not volunteer to serve as intercessors. Feedback concerning answers to prayer helps to motivate and encourage individuals to come and volunteer to join the group of intercessors.

Don't make people feel guilty because they don't come to pray. Make it attractive to them concentrate on the blessings that intercession has in store for the intercessor and on the fact that God answers prayer. That will draw people. Don't be in a hurry. Allow the Holy Spirit to prepare people's hearts to become involved with intercession. Don't place an obligation on people to come and pray in the prayer room. Invite them to use it and do not place unrealistic expectations upon people.

Practical tips to choose the prayer room in your business or company:

  • The prayer room must preferably be closed board room, without interruption, close by and it must be accessible.
  • Use a specific book in which to write all the answers to prayer. Let someone read some of these prayer answers, it will strengthen the faith level of the whole prayer group.
  • It is important that the prayer room is used only for prayer.

The following are important conditions for a prayer room:

  • must be easily accessible;
  • must be safe
  • must be clean and someone must take responsibility for keeping it tidy
  • must be comfortable.
  • there must be a good lighting system and it should be relatively quiet.
  • the prayer room. Ensure that new people who are added are thoroughly orientated
  • concerning the functioning of the prayer room as well as the practical procedures.

Continuous Prayer Support for Specific Crisis

This covers prayer support for a specific project or action in your company (e.g. restructure, financial difficulty or merging with other businesses). It can be set up in different ways. One way is to get people who are available to come together at a specific place, perhaps everyday for 20 minutes to pray for this big change in the company or business to pray for this specific matter.

If you have intercessors by that time, you may ask the internal and external intercessors to pray outside their business hours. The intercessors that come to pray should preferably to take a shift, this way intercessors won't feel weary and they will have support to pray and share time with the Lord and stand in the gap to support the business in prayers.

Once the whole action has begun, it is important that information be passed on to the prayer room to enable prayer members and intercessors to know what to pray for. There must be as much fresh news as possible, because this keeps the intercessors in touch with the matter they are praying for.

Prayers for Breakthrough

It is obvious that prayers of the members are going to form a part of God's strategy for the Business Healing and breakthrough.

Great break-throughs followed Christians humbling themselves during prayer time. Great break-throughs also came as a result of continuous prayers with members attending prayer meetings regularly.

Remember that you have to persevere in prayer. Continuing prayer in very important and intensive prayer will be necessary, until conviction takes place in the business or company, and until you see a great spiritual break-through as fruit of these prayer meetings. I encourage members of your prayer groups to be faithful to the Lord's spirit: It will cultivate a spirit of prayer perseverance and help spiritual break-through to come into your organisation or business and also in every department of the building.

Feedback must be given concerning answers to prayer and the intercessors must be able to share with one another what they experienced in their different prayer times. It could be that the Lord wants to relay a specific word to the whole team. It can come through a vision, dream, Scripture or a specific impression. It can also be a promise, a rebuke, a warning or guidance as to what, or who, must be prayed for. Such information must be controlled and passed on to the whole prayer group.

Test the spirit always and discern the voice of the Lord, keep the enemy away and avoid conflict in the prayer group.

For more information contact:

Transforming Sydney EMAIL

Bjorn Schmid 0411 562 751

Lilian Schmid 0412 766 917