“It was good for me to learn that you are a person of faith.”

These words were spoken to me recently by a new client. I’ve heard similar statements dozens of times before so it didn’t surprise me. I don’t like to use the word client because it feels transactional. My vision for each new relationship is friendship and perhaps partnership. For whatever the stated reason, we come together to seek understanding and renewed purpose and direction for the days ahead.

Most of my “clients” are aware that I pray for them and our meetings. It’s what I do because I recognize we need assistance. I pray for things like trust, openness, new discoveries, courage, truth, and whatever seems to fit the context of our relationship.

Sometimes I forget to pray. It doesn’t happen much but when it does, I am often reminded of the fact during the meeting and immediatelty offer up a silent prayer. As humans, we have been given amazing abilities. We are able to engage with someone while at the same time pray for them. It’s probably the most value I add to our relationship.

As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another.

– Proverbs 27:17

I remember the day prayer entered my professional life. It was the mid-1980s and I was a business banker for Bank of America. I was informed of a very bad situation involving a large loan that was in jeopardy due to a technical error we had made. As the small team gathered in my conference room, I listened as the problem was described.

When the facts were exhausted, the team looked in my direction for an answer. I did not know what to do. Momentarily, I forgot where I was defaulting to my life-long practice. I bowed my head and began to pray aloud. A few seconds into my prayer for wisdom, I realized what I had done. I lifted my head while I continued to pray to see how the team was reacting. All three had their heads bowed and eyes closed. They were listening in prayer right along with me!

That’s a crazy story I know. The funny thing is… I do not consider myself more spiritual than the next person. I just know I need God. I wonder what would happen if each of us prayed more about our work and at work. I wonder what would happen if we were less offended by faith and considered the possibilities.

For another anecdote from Jim’s time in Bank of America and what it’s like to be part of their management training program, read the Monday Moment blog Where Have the Professionals Gone? – Management Training Program.

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