One of the first emails I read every day is from In The Company of Prayer, a daily prayer and brief reflection from a business leader or business book.
Leslie Bianco curates those prayers and reflections, publishing her Morning Briefings as an email service which reaches the global business community.
As a long-time subscriber myself, I was drawn to Leslie’s purpose for In The Company of Prayer: “We’re here to guide each other that one step further along a personal journey.”
How do we guide one another if we’re all following the same leader, the One who called us to life and to serve Him through our jobs and vocations? I think you know the answer; Leslie shared her perspective on how this happens:
2 Thessalonians 1:11 reads, “ So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his calling. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.”
EW: Is In the Company of Prayer is a business, a passion, a vocation, a ministry —or all of the above? How is Company of Prayer a response to a prompting of your faith?
Leslie: “In the Company of Prayer is a Delaware LLC currently operating from Seattle, WA. I started my career as a journalist, most notably as a staff writer and editor at Bon Appetit magazine. I left my 30th floor Wilshire Blvd world for my own scrappy start-up that I sold days after delivering my firstborn.”
"In the ensuing years, I kept a toe in my profession, writing just about everything imaginable from home all the while immersing myself in my children’s world through volunteer leadership roles. When my oldest was about to graduate high school, I was ready to formally reenter the business community using all those experiences, with my MBA as a jumping off."
"I remember pitching the idea to my entrepreneur husband, who was to be my emotional support and technology genius, and the one to help me front the expense; saying that I wasn’t sure that it was the right time, financially, as a family to take this on. He responded, ‘There’s never really a good time, financially, to take on an endeavor such as this. You’re either in it or you’re not.’”
“I chose to serve the business community because these are my people. Not just from my own professional experiences but from the advantage of being a CEO’s wife. I see clearly that this is a segment of society likely to be spiritually overlooked by the various faith communities. We are a start-up family, so I structured Company of Prayer as such, comfortable with all the rules of that particular entity, rather than a not-for-profit.”
EW: What led you to start publishing the reflections, and why did you choose to focus on the business community?
Leslie: “The summer between the Y2K and September 11, I—or more specifically, my youngest daughter—received a postcard from the Vatican from her high school-age Sunday school teacher saying that she was praying for our family from there. That one postcard changed my life. In effect, she was saying, “I see you. I’ve had my eye on you. I’ll continue to keep my eye on you. I value you.” At the time, I was just so moved by the gesture, and so immature in my own faith development, that I really wasn’t all that aware of what is now so obvious. That she was speaking on behalf of Christ. Our Morning Briefings focus on the businessperson’s world. Their challenges, trials and triumphs are unique to their lifestyle.”
2 Thessalonians continues: (1:12) Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him.”
EW: How do you think what you do brings honor to Jesus?
Leslie: “Our entire “product” consists of a one sentence prayer, followed by three sentences of reflective content, delivered via email and social media. The idea is to get professionals, perhaps before they do anything else, to stop and collect themselves in community with others over the notion that they are prayerful people. For some people, it’s baby steps, for now. Ultimately, these little pieces of content can lead them to deep and exacting insight and contemplation. Then we get out of the way and let the Almighty work His magic.”
EW: How has the business community responded to you and Company of Prayer? Would you mind sharing a story from your readers of how your work has impacted them?
Leslie: “When I started out, I wanted to be that messenger; the one to say, “I see you. I’ve had my eye on you. I’ll continue to keep my eye on you. I value you.” But what “I’ve found is that those same Morning Briefing messages are being used as tools for the subscribers—who were originally intended to be the recipients of the messages—to become the givers of them. They do this, they tell me, by forwarding them on to the one person who most needs to hear it—an employee, customer, shareholder, vendor, family member. It’s becomes a tool for healing, understanding, conversation.”
EW: Do you have a board or mentors with whom you work? How do you decide what to publish?
Leslie: “I only have one Boss, and He controls the message. Of this, I am certain, as there are times when I publish something and I think, even I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. Invariable, I get emails back, with subscribers telling me how spot-on it was for their particular circumstances that day. I am very protective of those messages. I guard them closely. I don’t tell our readers what I think or how to think. I just say think. Pray. That very intentional responsibility is hard to articulate, and I guess I’m just not willing to share it, so, but for my husband, I go it alone, knowing that such a decision has likely stalled my growth.”
EW: How do you personally approach your work as worship?
Leslie: “My work is a gift from God to me. I get to do this incredible thing. I get to gather, each morning, two or more of us, to a place where He can say, “I see you. I’ve had my eye on you. I’ll continue to keep my eye on you. I value you.” As I have furthered my own faith, I have had this incredible community to share it with.”
Sign up for “Morning Briefings” and discover how prayer can be an inspirational and strategic tool in the management of your professional life at companyofprayer.com.
Read the article that explores the the difference between your purpose and mission with an example from In The Company of Prayer.
The image is a detail from from a photograph taken inside the La Sagrada Familia Basilica, designed by Antoni Gaudí, in Barcelona, Spain. ©2016 Brian Sooy. Meet me there in 2026, and we'll take more photos and worship in the most beautiful Basilica in the world.
Posted on Sun, May 7, 2017
by Brian Sooy filed under