PROGRAM W-1740 – Part II
Will you play “let’s pretend” with me for a minute? Let’s pretend you could change your workplace and make everything right that you think is wrong. Let’s pretend that you could change people and their attitudes, that you could mend broken relationships, that you could put an end to office gossip and political games, and that you could implement better systems and more efficient methods. Let’s pretend that you could do away with unfair treatment and discrimination.
Let’s pretend that you could change your job description, that you could take on new responsibilities or get a new position more suited to your strengths and abilities. Let’s pretend you could distribute the workload more evenly, that you could make your company or organization run like a well-tuned clock. What would you do? Where would you begin? What would your to-do list look like?
I imagine that most of us could easily make a list of all the things that are wrong and all the people who need to move on or change, etc. But have you ever made a list of what you would do or could do to make things better where you work?
Before you start thinking why you can’t effect any significant changes, I want to remind you that if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ—if you’ve been born from above and have the Spirit of God as your constant companion—you have incredible power to make change happen. You have some powerful tools at your disposal.
Prayer is the most powerful tool you will ever have to effect change. Now, before you turn me off and think, Ok, I’ve heard that before!, let me ask you several questions to evaluate the role that prayer plays in your life.
Do you have a consistent, effective prayer life established?
Usually people who don’t want to hear that prayer changes things are people who don’t pray very much. Prayer is work. Prayer takes time. Effective praying is something we have to learn how to do. Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them how to pray, and he did. Likewise, if you and I are ever going to use this very powerful tool which we have as believers in Jesus Christ—this weapon of prayer—then we simply have to pray, don’t we?
If you haven’t thought of prayer as a weapon, let me remind you of what the Apostle Paul wrote:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
This weapon is something that the enemy does not have, cannot stop, and cannot thwart. There is no defense for this weapon of prayer. No rules can be made to stop you from praying. No laws can be passed to keep you from using this weapon.
C.S. Lewis wrote in his book Mere Christianity that this world is enemy-occupied territory. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. It is primarily through prayer that much of this sabotage takes place. Prayer is how we spiritually fight back against the enemy. “Prayer is fundamentally a warfare activity.”
As a result, our prayer closets should be war rooms—more like a foxhole. We are at war and prayer is the way we communicate with the Commanding Officer, our God. We are in a war and we need to pray like it.
When you pray, do you pray specifically for your job, your company, your coworkers, and everything connected with your job?
If we could take an accurate count of how many true Christians pray regularly and rightly for their jobs, I think we would be surprised to see how few do. It goes back to our tendency to think of our jobs as unrelated to our walk with God. We mentally segregate our job into the secular category and therefore we don’t think to pray about it.
Oh, we may pray for a new job, help on an interview, or God’s peace while we work. We may pray for ourselves and the issues we face on our jobs. But how many of us truly wage warfare prayer on and about our jobs?
Here are some suggestions to consider implementing:
- Set at least one day a week to pray for your company in much detail. Pray for every part of the organization—the management, the coworkers, the product, the customers, etc. You could even do a prayer walk around the office—if you work in that kind of environment—and just silently pray for each person as you pass their work station.
- Pray for the people with whom and for whom you work—by name and in as much detail as you know. If you know, for example, that someone is going through a difficult time—health problems, divorce, whatever—pray specifically for that person.
- Pray that you will be a good representative of Jesus Christ on your job—that you will react and respond in Christ-like ways.
I have a good friend in a very responsible, high-powered position, who regularly asks me—usually by texts—to pray for certain situations she is facing. It could be critical meetings with clients, personnel issues, or deadlines and workload—but her prayer request is always that she will show the love of Jesus in each situation. She prays not so much for success as she does for her life to be a strong witness to the Gospel of Jesus.
This is because she sees her job as her calling to be light in a dark world, and she takes it seriously. She knows that her secret weapon is prayer. And what joy it is to get reports back from her of how God has answered her prayers.
You and I have this incredible weapon of prayer, but are we using it? Do we know how to use it? If you’re struggling with establishing an effective prayer life for yourself, I have published a prayer journal which is a suggested way to structure your prayer time. I began to do this many years ago, and it has been immensely helpful to me. I find it difficult to sit still. I have trouble keeping my mind focused when I pray. But since I realized that I can learn to pray effectively using the prayer structure Jesus gave us, it has made a huge difference in my understanding and use of prayer as a weapon against the enemy of my soul. You can order that prayer journal on our website. Perhaps it would be helpful to you, as well.
Do you offer to pray for others?
I want to be careful how I explain this because this is not something we do superfluously or insincerely. There are bound to be times when you have an open door to say to someone on your job, “Can I pray for you?” or “I just want you to know, I’ve been praying for you.” Rarely, if ever, will people reject or resent your prayers—even if they don’t believe in prayer.
I think of a friend of mine who began to tell others that she was always glad to pray for them if they wanted her to. At first people were hesitant, even suspicious. Gradually, however, she became the go-to person for many of her coworkers—they would bring her their problems and simply ask her to pray. Obviously, you don’t do this on company time, but you can become a quiet but authentic prayer warrior for people on your job.
Another friend who lives in a high-rise apartment building recently asked for permission to put a notice on the bulletin board letting people know that she was always glad to pray for people if they would leave their requests at her door—anonymously, if they liked. After much deliberation, they have allowed her to do this. She has now become a prayer warrior for people in her building.
You may be surprised who would love to have you pray for them. It could be the last person you would ever imagine would ask for prayer. However, keep this in mind: if you do this, you must be diligent and honest to pray for them as you have agreed.
Back to our “let’s pretend” game that we started with: Let’s pretend you purpose by God’s grace to be joyful in the Lord every day, regardless of circumstances. Let’s pretend you decide that you’re going to take the Word of God literally when you read in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
You can’t get much simpler than that—we are to be rejoicing people. When we are full of joy, we are strengthened because the joy of the Lord is our strength. Being full of joy is one of the most powerful tools you and I have as believers in Jesus Christ, especially when we are joyful in the midst of difficulties. Do you genuinely show the joy of the Lord on your job? You can pray it into your life and by God’s power. You can rejoice and be joyful always.
A friend of mine actually came to saving faith because of a co-worker who was joyful and peaceful in the midst of a very difficult work environment. His lifestyle caused her to ask questions, which led to an introduction to Jesus, and that led to her salvation. Joy—that’s what people want but few have, so when they see real joy in us, it becomes a powerful testimony to Jesus and opens doors for conversations and friendships where we can sow seeds of God’s love.
You and I have far more power than we realize when we become prayer warriors on the job. It will make a huge difference where you work, and I encourage you to take seriously your mission to pray and be joyful on the job.