The outcry is fervent – “Let’s bring prayer back into the schools!” Equally fervent should be our cry – “Let’s bring prayer into our workplaces!”
One man did. He was only 25 years old when he became the leader of a very corrupt administration. Under his leadership, he instituted revolutionary reforms with courage and humility. But the characteristic that most defined his work was prayer. He prayed in his work.
His name? Hezekiah. Through his work as king of Judah, he significantly impacted the spiritual well-being of an entire nation. This is what the Bible says of him: “Hezekiah trusted in the Lord…There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. He remained faithful to the Lord in everything.” (2 Kings 18:5-6 NLT)
One of the most renowned accomplishments of Hezekiah's long career was the courage he demonstrated in rebuffing the powerful Assyrian army that threatened his country. (He knew the pressures of facing a hostile takeover – literally). But the most notable characteristic of his work life was prayer. Note how the Bible further describes how he worked. “Hezekiah carried out this work and kept it up everywhere in Judah. He was the very best—good, right, and true before his God. Everything he took up, whether it had to do with worship in God’s Temple or the carrying out of God’s Law and Commandments, he did well in a spirit of prayerful worship. He was a great success.” (2 Chronicles 31:20-21 MSG).
Hezekiah believed it was essential to incorporate prayer into his work. And note how Hezekiah carried out his work: He did it in a “spirit of prayerful worship”.
I suspect many reading this will be thinking, “This sure sounds lofty, but it’s just not realistic for me to pray in my workplace, with all the demands and pressures I face.” O really? It’s precisely because we do face so many pressures and demands that it is even more critical that we learn to work prayerfully. Is working in a “spirit of prayerful worship” easy? Definitely not! It may be the most challenging thing you ever do in your work. It is the “narrow road” that few will take. No one can do it perfectly. But, it is possible for it to become a characteristic of your work.
The apostle Paul gives us the admonition to “Pray continually[i]”. There is no footnote at the end of that verse that says, “except when you are at work." When Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice,”[ii] he didn’t place any disclaimers that we hear His voice only after “normal business hours.” Solomon, who wrote more on work that anyone else in the Scriptures said, “Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go.” [iii]
Give yourself permission to pray at work. This is not about sacrificing the excellence of your work. It’s about making your work excellent!
Look for ways and ideas to pray throughout your workday. Give yourself permission to do so. It’s about covering the quality of your work in a spirit of prayerful worship. For most of us (me included), we try to pack so much into our workday that we make no room for God. God is with you when you work – acknowledge Him. He is very aware of the problems you are facing – ask Him to help you. He knows when you are at your capacity – allow him to be your strength.
Prayer allows your work to become God’s work!
For other ideas on how to integrate prayer into your work contact info@bleonline.