Let’s start wondering about a wonderful thought: if God loves us and loves to innovate because He loves us (see my post “The Supreme Motivation for Innovation”), does that mean He wants to join us in our efforts to innovate for others? And if the answer to that question is YES!3, does that mean we should be talking with God about why we want to innovate, who we want to innovate for, what we want to innovate for them, how we want to innovate for them, and when we should innovate for them?
If we want to be innovating with God, should we be talking with God?
Now, if you’re like most driven leaders, you’re probably thinking 1 of 2 things right now: either “PRAYER?! Dude, I’m an innovator, not a monk!” or “I’ve tried tossing up a prayer. I’m not great at it.”
Sometimes we can think that talking with God (AKA, prayer) is like talking with Siri. We’re trying, but we’re not sure if we’re connecting. And, if you have my luck, 80% of the time we’re pretty sure Siri is utterly incapable of hearing us clearly, knowing what we really want. We ask Siri to do something as kindergarten simple as to play a favorite U2 song, and she tells us, “I’m not able to search for Albanian restaurants right now.” (WTFudge?!) Or maybe she hears you but is just unable to help. So you get this vexing response—“I’m really sorry about this. But I can’t help you right now.” (Why not?!) Whether Siri is confused or “indisposed,” a few of those kinds of dead-end interactions, and we stop talking with Siri.
Talking with God is not like talking with Siri.
God knows what’s on your heart and mind before even a word of it is on your tongue. He knows what we need. God has turned over Heaven and Earth to be connected with us. When we realize that and trust in the direct line of connection that He’s set up between us and Himself (His own Son, Jesus), we’ll gradually and more-deeply-every-day come to understand that the line of connection God set up can never be dropped, interrupted, or weakened.
You’ll never get a “Siri-esque response” from God.
So whether you’re engaged in commercial innovation or Kingdom innovation, product innovation or social innovation, for-profit or non-profit innovation, pray. Or, you know what, don’t!
If you want to ensure that your innovative efforts are shallow and short-lived, don’t pray.
If making a flash-in-the-pan difference is all you’re after, don’t pray.
If your only goal for innovation is your own economic enrichment, don’t pray.
But if you’re hungry for true change, for deep insight into our world’s deepest problems, for wisdom to make the future better than the present, for energy and stamina that go the distance, for the fulfillment of enriching the lives of others, for strength to demonstrate a love that lives out-loud, for pure impact that echoes into eternity, for the joy of joining God in His ongoing work of innovation, then PRAY.
Prayer is not just a welcomed conversation with the universe’s Chief Innovator. Prayer is a way to do life and innovation with the God who longs and loves to be with you. Need proof?
• If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given him. James 1:5
• If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7
• Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
• Jesus is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. And He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. Hebrews 7:25
• In Jesus and through faith in Him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12
• Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
If you want to innovate with God, then talk with God. I promise, it’s way better than Siri.
My next several posts will explore why and how to mix the ingredient of prayer into your innovative process. For many of us, this will be terra nova. But when these neosparks hit your terra nova, it’s bound to start a wonderful wildfire that will result in sharper focus, clearer purpose, fresh ideas, new growth, and deeper influence.
- Have you ever prayed about what you’re trying to innovate? Why or why not?
- What’s stopping you from shutting your office door and saying a short, heartfelt prayer with God right now about whatever problem or challenge you’re trying to address? Why not try it?
- Do you have a story of an example of a time when you or your team prayed about a problem and you believe God gave you supernatural guidance that energized your process or outcome?
- Is your relationship with God off-line? Do you want to improve your reception with God? Get spiritually connected with Him. Check out and think about these powerful ideas from the Bible that explain why and how God offers spiritual renewal to anyone and everyone: Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Romans 5:8; Romans 10:9; Romans 8:31-35, 37-39.