你的企業還有禱告的機會嗎?──DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE A PRAYER?

你有沒有聽過有人這麼說?「那個企業連禱告都沒用了!」而你自己說過或想過那樣的景況嗎?通常,像這樣的說法,暗示著這個企業應該不是成功的 – 甚至能夠存活的。它表明著,即使禱告,也無濟於事。

然而,我想提出從一個非常不同的角度來看待這個議題。因為根據我的經驗,許多大大小小的公司之所以失敗,正是因為他們沒有投入禱告。企業主和經理人沒有尋求上帝的智慧和轉向祂的指示,他們幾乎沒有考慮,上帝對他們的計畫可能有甚麼看法,而只是自己決定自己的路線。

我認識一些人,他們想到自己認為萬無一失的點子,也制定了營運計劃,募集了創始資金、招募了合作夥伴,並制定了令人印象深刻的行銷策略。但他們缺少一件事:沒有為自己將要做的事禱告,只是自以為上帝會祝福。

例如,我一位從事工業房地產開發的朋友,曾被提供了一個不容錯過的機會。他獲得了必要的資金、帶來了令人興奮的合作夥伴、並做了典型商人應該做的一切,只差禱告。多年後,他「不容錯過」的投資項目瀕臨破產,讓我的朋友極度掙扎,急欲擺脫困境。

然而,將禱告納入公司營運計劃過程的想法,經常遭到蔑視,甚至是懷疑。為什麼要費心為我們在職場上想做的事禱告呢?上帝與企業到底有什麼關係?如果我們相信聖經,那麼實際上,祂與企業的生存、興盛或失敗有著很大的關係。請思考以下幾個重要的原則:

上帝的指引遠勝於我們的。我們從哪裡獲得智慧、經驗、熱情和生來的恩賜,來開展一項重大的事業呢?我們也許可以努力發展和完善我們的技能,但讓我們開始的「原材料」是來自上帝。當我們讓祂參與我們的計劃時,我們就確認祂已經做成,以及祂所能做的一切。人心籌算自己的道路;惟耶和華指引他的腳步。」(箴言16章9節)。「人的腳步為耶和華所定;人豈能明白自己的路呢?」 (箴言 20章24節)

上帝的意念遠超過我們的意念。以營運計畫來說,對待上帝的這兩種態度是危險的:完全忽視祂;或假設我們所做的一切只要合法,祂都會認可。在準備著手之前,我們決定不事先與主商量,這是很可惜的,因為我們沒有考慮到的因素可能會透過禱告得到啟示,甚或祂會指示我們一個更好的計劃。你所做的,要交託耶和華,你所謀的,就必成立。」(箴言 16章3節)。「人心多有計謀;惟有耶和華的籌算才能立定。」(箴言19章21節)

上帝的時機比我們好得多。我們腦子裏,常常覺得需要立即採取行動,害怕失去一個完美的機會。聖經教導我們,要謹慎行事並以禱告的心期待,才是明智的。「你當默然倚靠耶和華,耐性等候他…你當等候耶和華,遵守他的道,他就抬舉你,使你承受地土…。」(詩篇 37篇7、34節)

© 2022. Robert J. Tamasy 是企業巔峰: 給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧 一書的作者。也與導師之的作者David A. Stoddard 合著Tufting Legacies。編輯多本著作包括Mike Landry. Bob的書: 透過苦難成長。Mike Landry. Bob的網站為www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的經文,請參考

箴言 11章14節
11:14 無智謀,民就敗落;謀士多,人便安居。
箴言12章15節
12:15 愚妄人所行的,在自己眼中看為正直;惟智慧人肯聽人的勸教。
箴言15章22節
15:22 不先商議,所謀無效;謀士眾多,所謀乃成。
箴言16章4節
16:4 耶和華所造的,各適其用;就是惡人也為禍患的日子所造。
箴言19章20節
19:20 你要聽勸教,受訓誨,使你終久有智慧。
箴言21章30-31節
21:30 沒有人能以智慧、聰明、謀略敵擋耶和華。
21:31 馬是為打仗之日預備的;得勝乃在乎耶和華。
箴言27章1節
27:1 不要為明日自誇,因為一日要生何事,你尚且不能知道。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你有沒有,或多頻繁聽說在進行計畫之前,企業領導人會花時間並委身向上帝禱告,尋求祂的智慧和引導呢?你認為為什麼會這樣?
  2. 你有沒有想過曾經為了一個重要的事業或職涯的決定懇切禱告,而當主改變了你的計劃或方向時,你也有意識地願意順服呢?如果有,請說明當時的情況和結果。
  3. 箴言說: 「人心籌算自己的道路;惟耶和華指引他的腳步。」你認為這是什麼意思呢?
  4. 為何遵循詩篇中的勸戒「你當默然倚靠耶和華,耐性等候他」會如此困難呢?你認為不肯安靜等候祂代表缺乏信心嗎?為什麼?


DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE A PRAYER?

By Robert J. Tamasy

“That business does not have a prayer!” Have you ever heard someone say that? Have you said or thought that yourself? Usually, a statement like this predicts the success – even survival – of a business enterprise is unlikely at best. Even prayers, it suggests, would not help.

However, I would like to propose looking at the question from a very different perspective. Because from my experience, many companies large and small fail precisely because they fail to involve prayer. Rather than seeking God’s wisdom and turning to Him for direction, owners and managers determine to set their own course. There is no room to consider what God might be thinking about their intentions.

I have known a number of people who came up with what they considered to be fail-proof ideas. They developed business plans, managed to gather start-up financing, recruited partners, and put together impressive marketing strategies. But one thing was lacking: They did not pray about what they were about to do, presuming upon God’s blessing.

One friend in industrial real estate development, for example, was presented by what seemed to be a can’t-miss opportunity. He obtained the necessary funding, brought excited partners on board, and did everything that a typical businessperson should do. Except pray. Years later, his “can’t miss” project was nearing bankruptcy, leaving my friend scrambling to disentangle himself from his dilemma.

Nevertheless, the idea of putting prayer into one’s business planning process often is met with a shrug, even skepticism. Why bother to pray about what we aim to do in the marketplace? What does God have to do with a business, anyway? If we believe the Scriptures, in reality, He has a lot to do with whether a business survives and thrives or fails. Consider just a few important principles:

God’s direction is far superior to ours. Where did we get the intellect, experience, passion, and innate talents for undertaking a major business endeavor? We might have worked hard to develop and refine our skills, but the “raw material” we started with came from God. When we involve Him in our planning, we acknowledge all He has already done and what He can do. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?” (Proverbs 20:24).

God’s thinking far surpasses ours. Two attitudes toward God are dangerous for business planning: to ignore Him altogether, or to assume that whatever we do is acceptable to Him as long as it is legal. In our readiness to proceed, we decide not to consult with the Lord beforehand. Which is unfortunate, because factors we have not considered could be revealed through prayer, or He might point us to a better plan. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3). “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).

God’s timing is much better than ours. In our own minds, we often feel a need to act immediately, fearful that a perfect opportunity could be lost. The Scriptures teach we would be wise to proceed with caution and prayerful expectation. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…. Wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land…” (Psalm 37:7,34).

© 2022. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Pursuing Life with a Shepherd’s Heart, coauthored with Ken Johnson; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How often – if ever – have you heard of business leaders taking the time and making the commitment to pray to God, asking for His wisdom and guidance before proceeding? Why do you think this is the case?
  2. Can you think of a time when you prayed earnestly about an important business or career decision, consciously being willing to submit if the the Lord changed your plans or direction? If so, explain the circumstances and the outcome.
  3. What do you think it means when the proverb says, “a man (or woman) plans their own course, but the Lord determines their steps”?
  4. Why is it so difficult to follow the admonition from Psalms to “be still before the Lord and wait for Him”? Do you think an unwillingness to be still and wait on Him represents a lack of faith? Why or why not?           

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Proverbs 11:14, 12:15, 15:22, 16:4, 19:20, 21:30-31, 27:1


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