Honi-Up And Pray In The Marketplace

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When I read and study the Bible, I find that it can be relatively easy to read the ancient stories of faith and think…of course, God showed up.  It’s easy…because the end of the story is already recorded.  But what would happen if you or I were in fact put in the position of one of the heroes of faith?  What would happen if God tapped you or me on the shoulder like he did with Noah, Abraham, Joshua…to do something big for Him?

It’s easy to look at the ancient heroes of faith when God has tapped them on the shoulder and believe that God would do a mighty miracle in, through, and for them…but when it’s you or me…well that can be a whole different story, right?

“You want me to do what, Lord?”

“Oh no…not me…you most definitely must have the wrong person.”

“Don’t You realize how foolish I might look if I step out in faith and do what You’ve asked me to do?”

“I know You showed up in the lives of the ancient heroes of faith…but they’re in the Bible…I’m not in the Bible! Are You really going to show up in my life in 2013?”

Well, let me tell you a true story about a man of faith who is not in the Bible and God powerfully showed up in his life. His name is Honi, the circle maker, and I believe that God is still looking for people like him today.

It was the first century BC, and a devastating drought threatened life. All of the prophets of God had died and no one had heard from God for a very long time.  But there was one man who believed that God could still hear the prayers of His people.  So one drought-stricken afternoon, Honi walked into a field, drew a 360 degree circle around himself with his staff, dropped to his knees, cried out to God with the authority of the prophet Elijah, and called down rain.

“Lord of the universe, I swear before Your great name that I will not move from this circle until You have shown mercy upon Your children.”

Described in even greater detail by Mark Batterson in his national best-selling book, The Circle Maker, Honi’s resolute yet humble, confident yet meek, expectant yet unassuming prayer sent shudders down the spines of those in earshot of his prayer. Then it happened. With everyone looking heavenward and Honi’s head still bowed, sprinkles of rain started falling. Nevertheless, over the sounds of the celebration, Honi cried out to God again.

“Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill cisterns, pits, and caverns.”

The sprinkling rain then turned into an overwhelming torrential rain, destroying brittle vegetation, and flooding everything in its path. Once more, Honi refined his prayer.

“Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of Your favor, blessing, and graciousness.”

Then, the downpour turned into a steady, stream of tender soaking rain drops that soothed the drought thirsty ground and the spirit thirsty souls of God’s people. God showed up that day when Honi dared to step out in faith and believe God would hear his prayers.

Wow! This true story of Honi, the Circle Maker, personally inspires me because as a believer with a heart for building God’s kingdom in the marketplace, I believe the Lord has tapped me on the shoulder to initiate an annual marketplace prayer movement called See You At The Office during the week of July 14th each year.  And the reason I feel like Honi is because I am not an ancient hero of faith in the Bible, I don’t know the end of the story yet, and it’s a big step of faith for me to step out and initiate an annual prayer movement in the marketplace.

It was during the See You At The Pole student led prayer movement about four years ago when I heard the Lord whisper to me, “If students can pray at the pole, why can’t business leaders pray at the office?”  At that time, I pondered the question for a little while but then let it drop from my mind until the next year when See You At The Pole came back around and I heard the Lord whisper to me the same question, “If students can pray at the pole, why can’t business leaders pray at the office.”  At that time, I decided to answer the question in prayer. “Lord, I don’t see any reason why business leaders cannot pray at the office and if You want me to initiate a prayer movement in the marketplace, then You will need to give me the name of it and the date of it.” So as I began to pray about this, the Lord gave me the name, See You At The Office, and He gave me the dates of any 2 days during the week of July 14th on the basis of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”

Think about it… Can the Lord really use somebody like me or somebody like you to do something big for Him? I guess I’m just crazy enough to believe that He can…so I have done the “crazy” thing by stepping out in faith and obedience to do what the Lord has asked me to do. And you know what, I have confidence NOT in me or my obedience, but rather I have confidence in the Lord’s obedience to be true to His Word which gives me supernatural courage to “Honi-up” and do what He has asked me to do.

2 Chronicles 16:9 states, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” The truth is that I don’t know the end of the story yet, but I am doing what He has asked me to do in faith and I am totally trusting Him with the end of the story. Despite what others might say about my boldness in the Lord, I know this, my responsibility is to simply listen and obey.

So then you might ask me why haven’t I scheduled any See You At The Office prayer meetings at the church. It’s not that I don’t want to pray with my colleagues at the church office…it’s simply because See You At The Office is a prayer movement in the marketplace and not in the four walls of the church. I personally believe that our nation is in desperate need of spiritual leaders in the marketplace who will glorify God – Monday through Friday – in the marketplace praying for our nation, praying for their companies, and praying for their team members which is why I’m praying with leaders in the marketplace during See You At The Office. However, I do invite all of my brothers and sisters in the Lord on church staffs to please pray with me for God to move powerfully in the marketplace during See You At The Office.

This week I read a tweet stating that Christianity is not about what you can do for God, but what God has done for you. Now I totally get that salvation is the free gift of God and not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9), but I also know that faith without works is dead (James 2:20). Therefore, once we as believers accept and receive the free gift of God for salvation in Christ, we all have a spiritual leadership responsibility to do something with our lives for Christ. If not, we can be very close to being like the nine of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus, and only one came back to thank Him as recorded in Luke 17:11-19.

If we as believers, do not return to the Lord and give Him thanks for what He has done for us in Christ by honoring Him in the marketplace, I think we are in for a tough road in this nation. Let me read this startling true article from Fox News and Friends. The headlines read: Arizona Pastor Arrested, Jailed for Holding Bible Study in Home; His Wife Says It ‘Defies Logic’  Click Here to read the full article. It is unbelievable that this kind of story is actually true right here in America and not just some other country. It is unfortunate, but so terribly true, that our constitutional freedoms like the freedom of religion, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of speech can be so easily stripped away from us, if we who believe in Christ do not stand up and impact our culture for Christ. This is one of the reasons why I believe the Lord has asked me to initiate See You At The Office. It is an opportunity for His people, called by His name, to draw a circle in the marketplace and pray for Him to move in a mighty powerful way on the behalf of His people.

In fact, in Matthew 18:18-20 Jesus tells us, “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Without any doubt, you and I, along with other Christ followers in the marketplace, have the awesome opportunity and tremendous spiritual leadership responsibility to pray in the marketplace for our nation, our companies, and our team members with the authority that Christ has given us. And the coolest thing about it, when we “Honi-up” together and pray through the challenges that face us, Jesus promises to answer our prayers and be right there with us. Therfeore, it is my sincere pleasure and honor to personally invite you and your colleagues to pray with me and many other Christ followers in the marketplace each year during See You At The Office!

To the glory of God, have a blessed “make it happen” day and I will See You At The Office!

Honi-Up And Pray In The Marketplace Copyright 2012, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, Honi-Up And Pray In The Marketplace, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Be Encouraged To Pray In The Marketplace

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See You At The Office

In July of 2011, I had the distinct privilege and honor to launch the inaugural year of the annual See You At The Office marketplace prayer campaign.  For 5 days during the week of July 14th, I prayed and fasted for God’s sovereign hand to move upon marketplace leaders so that we might have Holy Spirit boldness and courage to be the salt and light of the kingdom of God in the marketplace.  Additionally, I had the awesome privilege of praying with several marketplace leaders during this week for our nation, our companies, and our team members.

While the inaugural year of the See You At The Office marketplace prayer movement was a seemingly insignificant event on the stage of national and world affairs, I know that the Bible says in James 5:16 (NLT) that “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results”; therefore, what may seem like insignificant little prayers can actually produce huge and powerful results in the kingdom of God because God hears the prayer of righteous people (Proverbs 15:29). With loyal hearts expressed towards Him, God shows Himself strong on the behalf of His people (2 Chronicles 16:9).  In fact, through prayer and fasting over the See You At The Office prayer week, I heard God speak to me in His still small voice encouraging me to not despise the day of small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10 NLT) because He was attentive to my obedience and He would be responsible for the long-term results.

Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Praying In The Marketplace

To pray in the marketplace during the annual See You At The Office marketplace prayer campaign, I fully understand can be a little intimidating, especially given the modern-day undercurrents of political correctness in our society which seek to silence the voice of God’s people.  However, as current day leaders of righteousness and grace in the kingdom of God, we can take great comfort from the real life examples of many heroes of faith in the Bible whom had to also face many of the same kinds of challenges, fears, and societal intimidations. In fact, one such real life example of a legendary hero of faith having to face intense spiritual intimidation and opposition to his courageous, disciplined life of prayer can be found in the book of Daniel.

Affirmation To Pray During See You At The Office

On the last day of praying and fasting during the 2011 See You At The Office prayer week, the Lord gave me tremendous affirmation regarding the courage to pray in the marketplace. As I was waking up on that Friday morning, the Lord began to speak to me about Daniel’s courage to pray even in the midst of seemingly impossible circumstances.  Daniel’s true story can be read in Daniel 6:1-28 of the Bible.

In reading this account about Daniel, it struck me that Daniel’s courage to pray when others told him that he couldn’t pray actually ended with a world-wide revival initiated by the king.  Furthermore, it was striking to me that the opposition tried to use the law of the Medes and Persians to stop Daniel from praying.  The reason this has significance is because it was the evil spirit of Persia that was fighting the angel of the Lord in the spiritual realm for 21 days when Daniel was later praying and fasting for his nation as recorded in Daniel 10:12-14 of the Bible.

When God’s People Pray, God Hears Our Prayers And Shows Himself Strong

Through these passages, I believe the same wicked spirit of Persia that was opposing Daniel, could be the same evil spirit that is still trying to intimidate God’s people today from exercising their freedom to pray in the marketplace.  However, when marketplace leaders demonstrate the courage of Daniel to humble ourselves and pray for our nation, our companies, and our team members each year during the annual See You At The Office marketplace prayer campaign, I believe the evil spirit of Persia will be defeated in the spiritual realm as in Daniel’s day AND the results will be the same as they were for Daniel – worldwide revival in the marketplace – the domain of modern day kings. God is good and He is great!

Thank You For Praying With Me During See You At The Office

So let me say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who joins with me in faith and prayer each year for the See You At The Office marketplace prayer campaign!  I look forward to praying with everyone who desires to join me as we humble ourselves before God and courageously pray for our nations, our companies, and our teams in the marketplace.

To His glory, have a blessed “Make It Happen” day and I will See You At The Office!

The Courage To Pray Copyright 2011, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, The Courage To Pray, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Be The Salt And Light Marketplace Prayer Theme

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The primary prayer theme for the annual See You At The Office marketplace prayer campaign is Be The Salt And Light.  As believers unite in prayer each year at the office for any  2 days during the week of July 14th,  we can confidently place our trust in the promise of God found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 stating,

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Therefore, to help facilitate the See You At The Office prayer campaign in the marketplace, leaders can use the five prayer points highlighted below to lead personal and corporate prayer meetings at the office anytime during the day for any 2 days during the week of July 14th.

Since prayer is nothing more than a simple conversation with God about important matters on our hearts, each prayer meeting should merely be a time of simple prayer requests made to God with private meditations upon His Word. Even if there is only one person willing to stand in the gap at the office and pray for the nation and the marketplace, significant impact can result. James 5:16 (NLT) states, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results”; therefore, it’s not about the length of prayer or the quantity of prayers, but rather the earnest prayer of anyone willing to stand in the gap and pray.  With that said, please utilize the following five prayer points to lead a time of earnest prayer at each See You At The Office prayer meeting – personal or corporate.

Prayer Point #1: Pray for God’s people to turn from sin and be the salt and light of the kingdom of God in the marketplace

In Matthew 5:13-16, the Lord tells believers:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

With our Lord’s exhortation in mind, let us pray for the unity of God’s people to turn from sin and faithfully fulfill their spiritual leadership responsibilities to be the salt and light of the kingdom of God in the marketplace.

Prayer Point #2: Pray for believers to be empowered with Holy Spirit boldness in the marketplace

The book of Acts records in 4:29-30 a prayer for boldness of believers in the early church and the Lord’s response as follows:

“’Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.’ And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”

As believers in this 21st century stand together and pray in the marketplace, may the Lord grant us the same kind of boldness to be His kingdom ambassadors in the marketplace.

Prayer Point #3: Pray for our nation and our leaders in authority

In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul encourages believers to pray for our nation [all men] and our leaders in authority stating:

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”

Let us pray for the Lord’s continued blessing and favor upon our nation and our leaders, making our prayers and supplications known to Him with thanksgiving in our hearts for His grace that is sufficient, His mercy that endures forever, and His faithfulness that reaches to the heavens.

Prayer Point #4: Pray for our companies to have the resources and provision needed to fulfill their purposes in the kingdom of God

In the kingdom of God, the Lord does not only care about our eternal needs as human beings whom He created in His image.  He also cares about our temporal needs on earth until we are united with Him in heaven; therefore, He gives people gifts and talents to be used for the purpose of serving others on earth and helping to meet the temporal needs of His creation.  In 2 Corinthians 9:8 the apostle Paul writes,

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”

Let us pray that the Lord will provide the sufficiency of all resources necessary to fulfill each of our organization’s mission and purpose in the kingdom of God as we work unto the Lord and not as unto men.

Prayer Point #5: Pray for the leaders and the team members of the organization to be empowered in grace to work with a spirit of excellence, wisdom, commitment, generosity, humility, and faith.

In Titus 3:1-2, the apostle Paul provides great direction for the behavior and conduct of believer’s in the workplace stating:

“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.”

Let us pray that the Lord will strengthen each member of our team to walk in obedience to His will and His commandments in the workplace, giving honor and respect to one another and the leaders whom God has given authority to lead, resting in the peaceful knowledge that the Lord alone raises up leaders and removes leaders in accordance with His perfect plan for His kingdom on earth.

Have a blessed “Make It Happen” day and I will See You At The Office!

Be The Salt And Light Marketplace Prayer Theme Copyright 2011, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, Be The Salt And Light In The Marketplace, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

See You At The Office Marketplace Prayer Movement

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God Whispered…See You At The Office…

Pray For Our Nation

It was during the See You At The Pole student prayer movement when I heard the Lord whisper to me, “If students can gather together at their schools to pray for the nation and their schools, why can’t business people gather together at their offices to pray for the nation and their companies?” At first, I just contemplated the question, and after awhile, I honestly didn’t think much more about it until the See You At The Pole student prayer movement came back around the next year.  Once again, I heard the Lord quietly whisper to my heart the same question He asked me the year before.  “If students can gather together at their schools to pray for the nation and their schools, why can’t business people gather together at their offices to pray for the nation and their companies?”

This time I didn’t have to think long about it before answering, “Lord, I don’t see any good reason why business people can’t gather at their offices to pray for our nation and our companies and I see many good reasons why we should.  If You would like me to initiate a grass-roots national prayer movement in business, I will do it; however, You will need to give me the name and the date to do it each year.” So as I prayed about this matter, the Lord impressed upon me to name this marketplace prayer movement, See You At The Office, and He directed that it be held 2 days each year during the week of July 14th (2 days during 7/14) in response to His promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which states, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Therefore, in obedience to the Lord, it is my sincere pleasure to personally invite you to join me for the annual See You At The Office marketplace prayer movement by uniting with me in prayer during the week of July 14th to pray for our nation, our companies, and our teams. To join me, all you have to do is find an appropriate location at your office where you and your colleagues can request permission to pray sometime before work, during lunch, or after work on any 2 days during the week of July 14th. If for any reason you are not able to host a prayer meeting at your office, then please join me via open line conference from your office for 15 min of marketplace prayer during the week of July 14th at 12:00 pm CST Monday through Friday by calling (530) 881-1212 and entering Meeting ID: 293-389-546.

Together, with a spirit of faith and unity, we can change the marketplace and our nation through prayer! So if you want to see God move in a powerful way in our nation through the marketplace, I ask that you please do three simple things:

  1. Mark your calendar for 2 days during the week of July 14th at 12 noon CST and plan to join me via the conference line above for 15 minutes of See You At The Office marketplace prayer.
  2. Follow See You At The Office information updates at www.twitter.com/SeeUatTheOffice
  3. Share the information from this post with your friends and colleagues to invite them to join the See You At The Office marketplace prayer movement by hosting a prayer gathering at their respective offices as well.

Thank you and I will See You At The Office!

To the glory of God, have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

See You At The Office Copyright 2011, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, See You At The Office, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

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