We are encouraging people in work to organise daily prayer sessions in their workplaces over the eleven days of Thy Kingdom Come 2020, whether in the buildings you work in, or online using tools such as WhatsApp, Zoom or Skype. This is supported by a prayer journal to help you run these sessions and engage with your colleagues.
It is important to positively engage with your employer when organising these prayer sessions. This short guide explains why and how we should explain to the management at our workplaces what we are doing and alternatives if this is not approved.
A. Why explain to management
As Christians we are called to live in the world, submitting to those who have authority over us, including in our places of work (see Romans 13:1 & 2, Ephesians 6:5-7 and Colossians 3:22-24). We need to do everything in Jesus’ name openly and with transparency.
The Kingdom Come events in your workplace need to be open to everyone who works there. Providing an opportunity for people to pray and the Thy Kingdom Come resources can be a blessing to many of your colleagues and your employers as a whole.
Many of us have heard the phrase: “Nobody is an atheist when their parachute doesn’t open” and we know that many people, of all different persuasions, pray when they are in difficulty. This has been the case for many thousands of years. In 2018 a survey suggested that one in five people pray regularly and as many as half of those surveyed said they pray at times (https://www.tearfund.org/en/media/press_releases/half_of_adults_in_the_uk_say_that_they_pray/).
We would encourage you to make your prayer meetings as widely known as possible, for example through the official communication channels in your workplace, such as email and Yammer. By helping people pray, you are sharing a valuable resource so there is no need to keep quiet about it or try to meet against the wishes of your employers.
Making an official request to hold Thy Kingdom Come prayer meetings gives you a fantastic opportunity to ask senior leaders and managers in your workplace what they would like prayer for. For example, you could ask your CEO and other senior managers what three things they would most like people to pray for over the eleven days of Thy Kingdom Come. Even if they don’t share anything for you to pray about, it’s a great way of communicating that you care about and are praying for your senior colleagues.
Finally, asking for permission to hold Thy Kingdom Come prayer sessions as official work events gives you the opportunity to invite a senior church leader, or even a Bishop, to one or more of your prayer sessions. This will help raise the profile and provide a greater opportunity for your colleagues to pray in and for their place of work.
B. What to explain to management
The best way to tell management that you want to organise Thy Kingdom Come prayer events is through its equality and diversity framework, normally run by the HR team. If there is a Diversity and Equality Manager, they would be the best person to contact initially.
If you are acting on behalf of a Christian Workplace Group that is already recognised by your employer, then your lead contact as a diversity group/network is the best place to start. Either way, it is important to make it clear that members of other diversity groups or networks (disability, LGBTQI, gender, other faith groups, BAME, etc.) are welcome to attend events and that you specifically want to extend the invitation to them.
C. What if management does not give approval
Every employer has a different approach and you need to respect the decision your employer makes. If your employer does not want prayer sessions to take place, please do not organise them against their wishes. However, there are a number of things you can do:
- reach out personally to Christian and other colleagues who may be interested without using company communication channels
- organise prayer meetings outside of your building, such as at a nearby church
- hold prayer meetings outside normal working hours, such as at lunchtime or after the working day
- hold prayer meetings online using tools such as WhatsApp, Zoom or Skype via personal accounts rather than using any social media that is run by your organisation; this may be helpful when a lot of people are working from home or have different working hours.