Prayerful Workers for The Kingdom

As a thought exercise, a mentor recently challenged Aislinn and I to consider what we could do to ensure the failure of our ministries and suggested that failing to pray would be near the top of the list. Since then, we have been considering that question in the context of our work; we have a deep conviction that God wants to use our work for His Kingdom; that our interactions with people, the decisions we make, the quality of our work and the tangible outcomes of our labour contribute to God’s kingdom as we walk in step with Him. Does prayer have a role to play in this process?

To answer that question let us consider how prayer impacts us:

  • Prayer gives us perspective by reminding us of God’s bigger picture and reorienting our desires and priorities. It allows us to act not just based on the material world we see around us, but in light of eternity. There are spiritual ramifications to much of our work, but unless we connect to God in prayer, we may fail to see them.
  • Prayer allows us to experience God amidst our most ordinary daily activities. Through prayer we invite God to join us as we write emails, fold laundry, see patients, look after our children, or run classes.
  • When we face challenges or big decisions, we can access the heart and wisdom of God through prayer, trusting that through the Holy Spirit He will inspire in us practical ideas and solutions.
  • Prayer fosters love in our heart toward our colleagues, clients, customers, pupils, and children.
  • As we invite God into the difficult parts of our work, we allow God to shape our desires, motives, and character: this openness to God elevates our work into a process of sanctification.
  • God teaches us to bring everything to Him in prayer and promises peace as an outcome of this process of trust. Surely this includes every circumstance, relationship and obstacle we face in our work.

As we consider the difference prayer makes in our inner life, it is easy to see that it must spill over into our day jobs for our work to be transformed by the gospel. Perhaps we overlook the place of prayer in roles outside the Church because our managers and customers do not require us to pray to achieve the outcomes they are looking for. But what about our heavenly master? What does He wish from us?

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Col 3:17

We are convinced that with God there is no separation between the spiritual and the secular: every aspect of our lives matters to Him. God doesn’t have work hours, so when he commands us to pray continually, he has our ordinary work in mind too!

So, how can we increase our prayer life in our work? Here are some practical ideas to help you -we suggest picking one this week to either put into practice, or to share with someone you disciple:

  • Commit the day of work ahead to God, perhaps on your commute, or as you go through your start of work routine.
  • Go for a prayer walk on your break.
  • Pray through difficult decisions or ask God for practical help when you’re stuck.
  • Take time to pray for your colleagues, clients, customers, patients, or students by name.
  • Pray reflectively at the end of your day, asking God to give you insight and peace.
  • Spend time in prayer ahead of important events.

The Navigators vision statement describes “a movement of the gospel, fueled by prevailing prayer, flowing freely through relational networks and out into the nations”. If we wish for our work to be a part of this gospel movement, we must find ways to integrate prayer into our daily work rhythms.

– Peter and Aislinn Molloy