DELIGHT & DESIRE
PASSAGE: Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
PRINCIPLE: Notice the order of these comments from King David. First comes the command to find your heart’s delight in God. Then comes the promise that God will give you what your heart desires—more of Him. Don’t pursue innovation for innovation’s sake. Pursue innovation because, through it, you can more fully experience God and His life and His best and His will for you and the world around you.
PRAYER: God, You are the why behind the what of our desire to innovate. We want to more fully experience and delight in You, Your will, and Your ways. And we want the world around us to more fully experience the life that You offer. From that starting point, we pursue innovation. Amen.
THE REQUIREMENT//TO INQUIRE
PASSAGE: The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. Joshua 9:14
PRINCIPLE: In this situation, the Israelites found themselves trying to resolve a dilemma, but instead of “inquiring of the LORD” or seeking wisdom from God, they assumed (wrongly) that they knew the correct response. The consequence of these leaders not first seeking the face of God in the face of a challenge was being deceived, losing their credibility, and experiencing the grumbling of frustrated followers.
PRAYER: God, please ignite a fire in us to ever inquire of You when we face challenges that require breakthrough solutions that only You can provide. May we never rely on our own intelligence, but seek first Your insight and wisdom which can protect us from needless failure, guide us into right solutions, result in gaining leadership credibility, and joy for our followers. For Christ’s sake we ask these things, amen.
NEED WISDOM? ASK!
PASSAGE: If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
PRINCIPLE: No amount of education, wealth, status, power, prestige, intelligence, strategy, experience, shrewdness, prescience, strength… can make up for a failure to pray. We may be guilty of many things. But let’s never be guilt of not asking. God says, “You need wisdom? ASK!” So when it comes to wisdom for our innovative efforts, let’s ASK.
PRAYER: God, we see this pain / problem / challenge / tension, and while we know a solution exists, we don’t know what it is. Please, out of Your generous wisdom, grant us the wisdom we need for this problem. We are boldly asking for wisdom. And we believe You will give it. Amen.
RESULTS FROM RELATIONSHIP
PASSAGE: If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you… I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it. John 15:7; 14:13-14
PRINCIPLE: Through Jesus Christ, our results for God flow from our relationship with God. And when we intentionally remain connected to Him through our loving obedience to His teachings and our deepening desire to live in ways that are consistent with His Word and will, Jesus promises to give us what we ask for. But praying “in Jesus name” is not a magical “abracadabra” prayer tag. It is an echo of the promise of Psalm 37:4 and an invitation to so remain in intimate relationship with Jesus that our hearts want what His heart wants. In prayers where our hearts’ desires echo His heart’s desires, we can be sure they will be answered. And these answers from God will result in increasing glory for God.
PRAYER: God, please remind us and never let us forget that our innovative efforts are simply expressions of our loving obedience to You—that our results for You flow from our relationship with You. We believe it is consistent with Your Word and will, with Your name and character, that we solve this problem for those who are suffering. So we thank You in advance for the wisdom and courage and resources to solve it so that, ultimately, You may receive greater glory. Amen.
PASSAGE: When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth… John 16:13
PRINCIPLE: Jesus promised the gift of the Holy Spirit, which was given to all believers following His resurrection form the dead and ascension into Heaven (Acts 2). Among the many ministries of the Holy Spirit (i.e., comfort, guarantee, conviction, power, regeneration, prayer, etc.), one of the most wonderful is the promised guidance into truth that He offers. I believe this doesn’t simply refer to truth about God, but also God’s world; in other words, we can expect to be given guidance not just about some truth, but “all truth.”
PRAYER: God, You have promised and have provided the gift of Your Holy Spirit to fill the minds and hearts of those who trust in You through Your Son, Jesus Christ. As we confront this challenge with a desire to create something new to add value to others, we ask that Your Spirit would guide us into all the truth we need to make the biggest, boldest difference for Your sake. Amen.
PASSAGE: When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13
PRINCIPLE: When Peter and John appeared before the Jewish Supreme Court to give a defense for positive disruption they were causing in telling people about Jesus’ resurrection, the Jewish leaders were blown away by their realization that the impact Peter and John were having didn’t come from pedigree or credentials but from their proximity to and relationship with Jesus. Whatever innovational impact we may have for God will not ultimately come from prestige or position, but will be a result of our simple reliance upon His presence and power in our lives (see again John 15:7).
PRAYER: Jesus, You see this need. And You know how You can use us to best meet this need. May we move into it in such a way that those who observe our solutions will be amazed and come to realize that the breakthroughs we bring don’t come from us but from our reliance upon You—that You are real, that You are alive, that You are loving, and that You are good. What we do, we only want to do with You. Thank you, Emmanuel, for being God with us. Amen.
A WAY IN THE WILDERNESS
PASSAGE: Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
PRINCIPLE: God spoke these words to His people through the Prophet Isaiah to encourage them with the hope of a new perspective around His new activity on their behalf. He was saying, “If you think the miracles I’ve done in the past are incredible (i.e., Creation, the Exodus from Egypt, leading you to the Promised Land, etc.), just wait until you get a load of the new things I’m getting ready to do through you!” God loves to do new. God loves to do breakthrough. God loves to draw our attention to His intention to bring life-giving changes to difficult, seemingly hopeless situations. Trust Him for that.
PRAYER: God, when it comes to this challenge we’re facing or this problem we’re trying to solve [be specific—nothing is dynamic unless it’s specific], we need You. We need You to intervene and do a new thing. We need You to make a new way in this wilderness. We need You to bring streams into this wasteland situation. Please give us Your mind and heart on this matter so that our innovation results in Your exaltation, so that our gain results in Your glory. Amen.
OTHERS//THE ULTIMATE VALUE PROPOSITION
PASSAGE: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
PRINCIPLE: The Apostle Paul argues and urges us here to realize that the highest human ethic—which comes from Jesus’ perfect example—is self-sacrificial love, springing from humility, which values others more than ourselves. This kind of others-centric loving humility is selfless, not selfish. And it makes the starting point of living a focus on how we can best be loving to those around us. Critically, this is the starting point of innovation as well—loving others enough that we actually empathize (suffer with) them, seeing the pursuit of solutions to their needs as more important than our own (see EDIPT model).
PRAYER: Jesus, we want to be like You—moving into our innovative endeavors with a humility that values the interests of others more than our own. Like You, we want to see the need, have our hearts overflow with compassion, and move to meet the need. So let us empathize with the pain of others—feeling what they feel and feeling what You feel for them. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours. Give us an accurate perspective of the core problem to solve. May we define it deeply and well. Inject Your insights into our minds as we seek to ideate the strongest solutions to that problem. Grant us a lion’s-share of Heaven’s wisdom to know how to prototype and test our best ideas. In these ways, and for the sake of others, bring breakthrough. Amen.
OUR SUPREME MOTIVATION
PASSAGE: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30 As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34
PRINCIPLE: From Jesus’ own lips, God’s greatest commandment to us is for us to love Him with everything that we are—including all of our spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and even innovational energy. When we love God this way, we’ll come to see how perfectly and completely He has loved us. And when we come to experience how perfectly and completely He has loved us, the inevitable outcome will be for us to grow an insatiable and relentless desire to—in His strength—love others in that very same way (see my post “The Supreme Motivation for Innovation”). Therefore, love—for God and for others—is our supreme motivation for innovation.
PRAYER: God, please purify our motivation for innovation. Let our deepest desire of seeking to solve this deep challenge be to love You and to love others the way You have loved us. While the pursuit of personal profit is not, in and of itself, wrong, may our primary driver be love. As we approach this problem this way, energize every aspect of our heart, soul, mind, and strength to synergize with Your purposes in and through us. Amen.
What is a prayer you have prayed to ask God for His help in your innovation? Share it here.
I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these days..
Notice your interest in innovation theology. You may be interested in the free pdfs of varying lengths to be found at innovationtheology.org, as well as a couple of publications by Wipf & Stock on Innovation Theology.
Happy to chat if you are interested.
P.S. Mostly retired now from a practitioners perch on innovation in global corporate R&D and now teaching innovation theology at Santa Clara University (school of engineering, interestingly enough: though not surprising the more I learn about the Jesuits)
Lanny, thanks so much for reaching out! I’ll enjoy exploring your site in the days to come. I would love your comments interaction around the innovation theology you see in these posts. Feel free to dive in!
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