Friday, September 23, 2011

Working and Praying Every Day

     As I drive to work each day, I pray on the way to the office.  I pray for our patients.  I pray for wisdom and the ability to help others.  I pray for my co-workers, and I pray for my husband -the doctor that he might be guided to make good decisions in the care of his patients.  Then, I get to work and do the best I can to support the business and those we serve.  I guess that is why I am surprised at times when I hear people say that they pray for things but get no results either on the job or in their church.  This reminded me of the Scripture found in Matthew 9 dealing with laborers and the harvest.
     Jesus spoke to his disciples saying:  "...The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.  And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out and to heal every disease and every affliction" (Matthew 9:35-10:1).  The Lord could see the need for workers who could bring in a spiritual harvest so He told His disciples to pray to God, and then, He prepared them to go out and work.  There is a twofold call here from the Lord.  Praying and working go hand in glove.
     Often, we hear people talk about how they have prayed for their church to grow and yet, they offer excuses when asked to participate in some area of ministry.  Others pray for their loved ones to come to Christ, but they have never even considered telling them about their own faith in Him.  We pray for our work load at the office to slow down so we can catch up,  then, balk when the boss asks us to work some over time.  It is as if we expect our prayers to be magical and accomplish things for us without us ever being a part of the solution.
     What we often forget is that God may want us to be a part of the answer to our prayers.  He may want us to pitch in and serve as well as lift up the needs.  We cannot expect God to do everything.  He has, after all, called us to be His hands and feet on this earth as we serve others.  Maybe you have never thought of your job as a ministry, but each of us is called to use our talents right where we are  for God's glory.   There is honor in each task when it is done with a heart motive of pleasing God.
     Certainly God wants us to bring our requests to Him daily, but He also has called us to work in this world.  As we pray for our job, it changes how we view the work we do.  We are far more effective when we combine both prayer and work together.    Be willing to put feet and hands on each prayer you lift up to the Lord.  He desires for us to be a light in this world by our words and deeds.  Remember:  "Pray as if everything depends on God; work as if everything depends on you."  Selah!

I welcome your thoughts and insights here.  Thank you for sharing your encouragement.  It is a blessing to me and others.


Christina said...

Another good one dear sister!

I thought I might add one more possible scenario to your list -- we pray for God to help us lose weight and then insist on going back for that second helping! LOL!

Many Christians think that because God saved us by His grace and this not of ourselves but a free gift of God (Eph. 2:8) that the working out of our salvation will be effortless too. Scripture tells us otherwise.

Paul, in Colossians 1:29 said, "For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me."

And, in Cor 15:10 he said, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me."

This is a faithful admonition dear sister! Well said!

Love and blessings!

Barbara Thayer said...

Thank you for the great insights. So matter what we pray for...we have to be willing to put hands and feet to those prayers and make the effort to work our our salvation. I was thinking about that this evening. It is so easy to believe....but then...we have to put what we believe into practice. Hmmm...maybe another good topic for a devotion? always I appreciate your insights and sharing. May the Lord give you a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow!