The simplest and most important part of living out our faith at work is also the hardest: prayer. So why is it so hard to pray? Among many reasons, several stand out:
Bias for Action. American culture prizes action, accomplishment, efficiency, and productivity. When we slow down to pray, we feel like we are not accomplishing anything. Without immediate and tangible effect, we feel as if we are wasting time. We need to get going and do something!
Misplaced Confidence. Deep down we believe we really don’t need to pray. Our strong work ethic and “If you can dream it you can do it” mindset has helped make America the greatest country on earth. But it has a dark side when it comes to serving God. Armed with the good strategy, compelling facts, and winsome words, we feel strong, competent, equal to the task—and forget “without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Spiritual warfare. Living out our faith at work means we are participating in God’s plan to reclaim men and women trapped under Satan’s control. Satan knows that prayer is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal for freeing men and women from his hold.
Living Within Limits. Does what we dream take God to accomplish? If not, we're likely to go it on our own. Step out on a limb for God and prayer will come as naturally as flying to a bird.
Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work. — Oswald Chambers
The apostle Paul told the church at Colossae,
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. (Colossians 4:2)
God is always present with us at work, so prayer can be a running conversation—verbal or non-verbal—with Him.
- When we feel overwhelmed by stress, we can ask God to flood us with His peace.
- In the middle of a conversation, we can silently ask for wise words.
- In a difficult confrontation, we can ask for grace and for God to move in all the hearts involved.
- As we feel our anger rising over some offense, we can ask God to help us see the bigger picture and the other side of the argument, and for gracious words.
Prayer is the resource that makes our mission possible.
Origianlly adapted from What God Does When Men Pray by William Carr Peel