Note: This article is excerpted from A Guidebook to Prayer.
An easy way to connect our faith and our work is to pray for our work and the people we come into contact with in our jobs. In the same way that we pray for someone's health, finances, children, or the souls of others, we can also pray for our work. Work prayers bring God's blessing into the work environment. They're prayers for the people, the decisions, the customers, the products, and the meetings. Yes, especially the meetings.
Work prayers invite us to become attentive stewards of the things God has placed in our hands to do. These prayers are best if they are simple and ordinary. Small, short requests for blessing, help, or guidance remind us that God is near. Here are three ways to pray:
Daily habits of work prayer: Establish a pattern for arriving at work and spending five to ten minutes in prayer before the day begins. Pray for the day and the people and the work in the day. These are simple prayers. If this is not possible, use 5 to 10 minutes of your lunch time or break time. At the end of the day, take 5 to 10 minutes to give to God all that happened during the day.
Create a work prayer group or find a prayer partner: Bring together one to three other people to meet weekly for 10 to 15 minutes only to pray for work. Again pray for the company or place, its decisions, its challenges, its meetings, and the dear people who work there. Focus on work rather than personal needs.
Walking work prayer: Wherever you go through your work day, walk and pray with God. "Lord, I'm going into a budget meeting. Guide us." "Lord, I'm walking this tool over to Joe. Bless him." "Lord, I'm going to lunch with Amy. Feed us." "Lord, I'm washing clothes. Cleanse us."
Group Prayer Experience
Decide together that you will each pray in your work environments 5 to 10 minutes a day for 4 days one week. These are closet prayers, prayers said silently and privately. If you are a homemaker, you will be praying for the home and those in the home. If you are a student, you will be praying for the teachers, students, learning processes, and school needs. If you are retired, pray for a business in your town that is important to the town's economy. You can go to a large store or mall and walk around and pray for the employees and leaders are walk up and down your local downtown praying for the business and people. If you are self-employed, pray for your own business.
Alternatively, go together as a group to a place of business such as a shopping mall, business complex, social service and court buildings, or hospital. You can walk around individually praying and then meet together after 15 or 30 minutes to share about your experience.
Keep a short journal or notes and reflections on your personal work prayer experience. The next time you are together as a group, share about your experience. Do you have questions or insights? How did you experience God? What did you learn about prayer and work?
A suggested prayer format is:
- Blessing: Begin by praying short prayers of blessings: "Lord, bless this business and the people who work here."
- Guidance: Next pray short reminder prayers that the company or work place might be good stewards of God's creation and might contribute to improving the lives and environments around them. "Lord God, guide X to care for its employees and the environment."
- Requests: Then pray short petition prayers for any particular challenges the workplace might face. "Lord God, our school needs new equipment." "Lord, this home needs your peace." "Lord, help this company get financially stable."
- Personal requests: Finally, pray for yourself in the workplace. "Lord, help me to be a blessing and a light in this place. Teach me how to reflect you."
- Thanks: Conclude by thanking God for work, blessings, and provision.
—MaryKate Morse. Taken from A Guidebook to Prayer by MaryKate Morse. Copyright 2013 by MaryKate Morse. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press.