As the New Year has dawned upon us, we find the world at a very different juncture than it was just a few months ago. Leaders are scrambling to make sense of perplexing problems yet the most effective solution to problem-solving has always been in the virtues of prayer and faith.
Few can say it better that E.M Bounds:
“Prayer and faith are Siamese twins. One heart animates both. Faith is always praying. Prayer is always believing. Faith must have a tongue by which it can speak. Prayer is a tongue of faith. Faith must receive. Prayer is the hand of faith stretched out to receive. Prayer must rise and soar. Faith must give prayer the wings to fly and soar. Prayer must have an audience with God. Prayer asks. Faith lays its hand on the thing asked for.”
What is Faith?
Active faith is above events, no delays can dampen it or depression in trade can hinder it.
Faith has three qualities, namely knowledge, belief and trust. A measure of knowledge as to what is possible is essential to faith. The mind then needs to follow knowledge to believe that these things are true. The soul aligns itself with a God who is Sovereign, and the soul and mind partner to produce faith.
Faith is critical to life, because as Hebrews 11:6 states:
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Paradoxically, if we are to make faith our currency and experience its riches, then we must be careful not to make faith our primary focus but rather the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Smith Wigglesworth said, “I am not moved by what I feel. I am not moved by what I see. I am moved only by what I believe.”
What about the other Twin?
In the business world, I am often rebuked for my devotion to prayer, but my critics cannot laugh me out of it, and neither should your critics (and there will be many) distract you.
Prayer has various meanings to different people, but for me prayer interferes with my own ambitions and directs me to surrender my independence to a Sovereign God.
I take faith with me to my prayer closet, and I get down on my knees and try to follow the pattern prescribed in Matthew 6:9-13. At times I skip the narrative to swiftly get to the bottom line with the plea “God, please help me.”
I have been privileged to witness countless evidences of the power of prayer, but one particularly striking experience was when I needed to urgently capitalize our Swiss Balance sheet with then existing cash deposits being held in British Sterling. I prayed that Sterling would appreciate significantly against the Swiss Franc to enable us to sell the former and buy the latter at a good profit, which to my astonishment happened on the day we needed it. The profit we made on the exchange covered our capital shortfall.
The most revealing aspect of prayer, is that you get the best results when you realise your own inadequacy, your own failings, your willingness to forgive anything, and your total dependence on God– but you must hold fast to the other Siamese twin!
Victory is not something that could happen on a good day, it’s something that should occur on a normal day. Being successful should however not be the aim, being faithful should – and the spiritual Siamese twins would significantly assist you.
About the Author: Dr Alan Louis is a third generation entrepreneur in a family with a 100-year business history. He devoted his life to Christianity as a child. Awarded a PhD in Commerce, is an Ultra Ironman Triathlete Gold medallist and was inducted in the IBC Hall of Fame for entrepreneurship. Internationally he has served on more than 100 private corporate boards, and has experienced the trials and successes of commerce for 3 decades.