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One of the authors I coach has a book coming out in September, and we are in the process of ramping up some strategy in anticipation of the book launch. As much as I love serving authors as they serve their readers, the fact is that success is often measured by numbers more than it is measured by how much everyone feels helped.
I can serve authors so well they promise never to publish with another company, but when it comes down to it, blog stats and other metrics matter. How much everyone likes each other doesn’t necessarily measure success.
This is difficult for me.
I am most comfortable when success is measured by how well people are served rather than by how many people are served. In short, I focus on quality over quantity almost to a fault—because metrics and stats do matter, especially when you’re running a business.
Good feelings don’t pay salaries and bills, unfortunately.
Because of this battle with metrics and measures, prayer can feel like a burden. This is a problem.
Prayer feels like a lack of action, sometimes.
When I am forming strategies and planning meetings to help with a book launch, I think to stop and pray, but it feels like a burden.
Praying feels like a burden when you’re trying to accomplish a task, like meeting a sales number or certain number of pageviews, because praying for God to help meet those needs feels petty and self-centered.
I sometimes think, “Why should I stop to pray for God to help with this project instead of doing more to help the project myself?”
Somehow, in my sin, I think that God doesn’t have any interest in helping with this project.
He has too many sick people to heal and travels upon which he must show mercy—he doesn’t have time for my work project.
This is a lie that weasels itself into my head, and yours too, at times, I’m sure.
The work we do on a daily basis, whether at a construction site or in a cubicle, matters to God. Our work is not divorced from his will and the ways in which he is to bring about his plans.
We miss out on engaging with the God of the universe because we think our plans and projects aren’t important enough for his attention, or because we busy ourselves to the point of sinful God-neglect.
We need to stop and pray for our work. Don’t know how or what to pray? Here’s a start:
1. Give me wisdom.
In the spring of my freshman year of college, I was reading about Solomon and how the Lord answered his prayers for wisdom. I said, “If Solomon did this and the Lord listened, maybe he’ll listen to me,” and he did. God grants wisdom when you ask for it. Ask the Lord for wisdom, and trust the Lord to give it to you.
2. Keep me humble.
Humility is incredibly difficult to maintain for anyone, but it becomes even more difficult when the Lord answers your prayers for wisdom. When the Lord gives you wisdom, you will be tempted to glory in yourself rather than God. Resist this temptation, and pray that the Lord would remind you of who you are in light of who he is.
3. Make me grateful.
Praise God for all he has done for you, and ask him to keep your heart thankful, protecting it from becoming entitled. You didn’t earn anything you have. The only way you are able to enjoy the blessings of wisdom, humility, health, or other such blessings, is because of the grace God has shown you in Christ. So, as you pray, praise God for what he has done, and ask him to remind you to praise him when you’re tempted to praise yourself.