Day 70 – Prayer and Work
Brother Lawrence reflected on prayer and work: “I do not mean that by this that you must withdraw forever from your duties, for that would be impossible; prudence, the mother of all virtues, must be your guide. I do say, nonetheless, that it is a typical error among the spiritually minded not to withdraw from what is external from time to time to adore God within themselves and enjoy his divine presence in peace for a few moments.”
Recall that Brother Lawrence was an ordinary Christian who lived in the 17th century in a monastery. He described himself as a clumsy oaf who broke everything. He worked in the kitchen for many years and later repaired sandals.
Being frustrated with the expected prayer forms, he discovered the joy of merely focusing on God’s near presence. While busy cooking or sewing sandals, he brought God into his work.
Over time people began to hear about this simple Christian who loved God and who glowed with God’s glory. They traveled to see him and talk to him for themselves.
What would that look like for you – bringing God into your work?
Mother Teresa understood how: “You can pray while you work. Work doesn’t stop prayer and prayer doesn’t stop work. It requires only that small raising of the mind to him: ‘I love you God, I trust you, I believe in you, I need you now.’ Small things like that. They are wonderful prayers.”
Moses prayed about his work: “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands” (Psalm 90:17).
You can pray the same even when your work feels frustrating or insignificant. God answered that prayer for Moses, and God will answer it for you.
Dedicate your work space to God. Pray for coworkers by name and need.
When wrong, ask for forgiveness. In conflict, pursue peace. In stress, request strength. When confused, look for wisdom. When challenged, ask God for courage. In unfairness, seek justice.
Brother Lawrence brought a bit of heaven to earth while doing his job. “From time to time” and “for a few moments” throughout his day, he lifted his heart, mind, voice to God, and enjoyed God’s peaceful presence. He discovered how prayer and work go hand in hand.
Action Step: Initiate one new habit of bringing God into your work.
This is God’s Word for you today,