How to Spend a Day in Prayer

By John Pearson

The Ministry Grew—“Not by Methods or Principles But by Promises Given to Him From the Word”

Some of your board members may have more time—during this COVID-19 crisis—than they’ve ever had before. So consider planning a day of prayer: personal and/or corporate. Here are two resources:

#1. “Slow Down and Wait on God,” from Chapter 28 in Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom (2nd Edition). This chapter is based on The Navigator’s booklet by Lorne C. Sanny, “How to Spend a Day in Prayer.” Click here to read this chapter. Lorne Sanny writes:

I believe it was in these special times of prayer that God made known His ways and His plans to Moses (Psalm 103:7). He allowed Moses to look through a chink in the fence and gain special insights, while the rank-and-file Israelites saw only the acts of God as they unfolded day by day.

Once I remarked to Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, “You impress me as one who feels he is a man of destiny, one destined to be used of God.”

“I don’t think that’s the case,” he replied, “but I know this. God has given me some promises that I know He will fulfill.” During earlier years Dawson spent countless protracted time alone with God, and out of these times the Navigator work grew—not by methods or principles but by promises given to him from the Word.

#2. Read Jerry White’s guest blog comments (click here) on the above chapter. Writing in Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, White notes:

I became much more reflective, thoughtful and prayerful through my 18 years of leading The Navigators—where I could not “make it happen,” but had to rely on God and others to do what I could not do. I began to see the consequences of action without deep prayer, counsel and reflection. “Seek first…” and “in everything by prayer and supplication...” have become my pattern as I have grown in my leadership and in my own maturity. What is more, key members of my board checked up on me regularly on how I was doing in my personal walk.

BOARD DISCUSSION: How might our board devote itself (individually and corporately) to greater prayer and discernment? (Maybe a Zoom conference call-in—exclusively for a day of prayer—with “shifts” of board members and staff members hosting the 8-hour, 12-hour, or 24-hour call to prayer?)

MORE RESOURCES: Reflect on Wes Willmer’s guest blog, “Guarding Your CEO’s Soul,” which notes that the “fourth-century Christian pastor and philosopher, Gregory of Nyssa, described the soul’s desires as a river, and at the end of the river is God. Yet channels in the river can divert us from our journey and eventually our desire-river is completely dried up before it reaches God. Board members—also—must model to CEOs that they, too, are on this journey toward God, our Only Hope!”

Click here to read Willmer’s color commentary on Lesson 4 in More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom.


This article was originally posted on the “Governance of Christ-Centered Organizations” blog, hosted by ECFA.
John Pearson, a board governance consultant and author, was ECFA’s governance blogger from 2011 to 2020.
© 2021, ECFA and John Pearson. All rights reserved.


This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.