Have You Prayed About That?
Norm Miller, principal owner of Interstate Batteries, recalled that in the early 1980s, their competitors were trying to establish independent distributors mimicking the way Interstate had pioneered (e.g., service stations and auto repair garages). Those competitors decided to have a convention.
Norm said, “We had never pulled our customers together, so we decided we better have a convention too—and we decided on Hawaii. We started preparing and it sank in, ‘We’ve never had a convention! What if we mess it up? We could get all our distributors to attend, but really blow it.’ So we thought, ‘What do we do?’”
“We decided we needed to pray.” Interesting choice. When confronted with an unknown, the first disposition of Norm’s heart was to pray.
Norm continued, “We made a list of everything we wanted the convention to accomplish, and what we wanted to avoid—like negatives and dissension. We wanted to bless the people so that they would have a great time. We asked for His presence to be evident, but also for pragmatic things.”
Once they finished their list, they were about 18 months out from their convention. They began to meet every morning at 9:00 a.m. with their list to pray over.
When they went to the convention in Hawaii, God blesses it item by item as they had prayed. Some people even repeated back the exact words they had prayed, like, “Hey, this is great. I feel love here. What is the deal?”
Norm said, “We had prayed that the love of God would be present there; that it would be a wonderful, fun, exciting, great time; and that there would be no dissension.”
One man’s wife said, “I do 15 conventions a year, and I’ve never seen anything like this in my life!” The attendees came up with the name, the “Interstate Family,” and that’s what it has been called ever since.
Interstate’s first convention was a huge success, built on a foundation of prayer.
Do you pray about your business needs? Usually I do, but recently I found myself falling back on three things:
- My competence: I know what needs to be done
- My experience: I’ve done this before, and
- My determination: I’ve always been willful about things I really want.
I have to say, Norm’s story was a great reminder. The Bible says, “It does not depend on might or power, but my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6, paraphrased).
What is the first disposition of your heart? Is it to pray? Or is it to fall back on what you already know? Or if you don’t know what to do, do you try to substitute determination for prayer?
Here’s an idea you may want to try. Make a list of all the things you really, really want, but have maybe been relying too much on your own competence, experience, or determination to achieve. Now make a daily appointment with yourself to pray about your list. Be sure to thank God for his answers (nobody appreciates someone who forgets to say, “Thank you.”).
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,
Pat Morley, Ph.D.