(presented by Lauren Stibgen)
What do prayer and work have in common? For many years I separated my faith life from my work life. God was held for Sundays or my off hours, and prayer seemed like a bedtime activity. That was until I was convicted about prayer after completing a bible study on Elijah. Elijah only had what the Lord provided him.
In just the few chapters of 1 Kings 17-19, we see how Elijah draws near to the Lord and must rely upon Him solely. We first see Elijah cry out to the Lord in a bold prayer for the life of the widow’s son. His prayer is answered.
“The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.” (1 Kings 17:22).
His second bold prayer comes in Chapter 18 verses 36-37. In his repeating plea, “Answer me, O Lord, answer me…” we see that Elijah implores God to show that he is the Lord God by consuming a soaking wet offering with fire.
In the book of James verse 5:17-18 we note that Elijah “was a man with a nature like ours”, and that he “prayed fervently”. How could changing my outlook on prayer change my work? I realized that Elijah’s “work” was from the Lord, and that mine was too. Prayer needed to be part of my work.
On a red eye flight back to Chicago I scheduled my first prayer meeting for working women: Wednesday, lunch hour. It sounded good—mid week—get me through. I knew that I needed to pray for others and wanted others to pray for me. Would anyone show up?
I prayed on that flight that, even if one woman came in need of prayer, that my heart would be filled with joy. Not just one, but four women joined, and we prayed. We prayed for opportunities, for difficult conversations and for feelings of hurt and rejection. For the last year, these midweek calls have become a part of my work, as I pray for the many needs and recount the answers to prayer and God’s goodness.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18).
We will continue to look at different ways to pray for your work, and how it will transform you, and bring you closer to God.