Pray for Our Work: Day 15 of the Pray-May Challenge

Monday.
How does it make you feel?
Excited? Tired? Discouraged? Relieved? 150 lbs heavier?

In a TGIF culture, Monday can be seen as the beginning of the weekly grind, rather than the start to a week of good work. Can we view it differently? I think we can.

Today’s prayer challenge is to pray for our work, and it’s based upon the prayer in Psalm 90:17:

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,

    and establish the work of our hands upon us;

    yes, establish the work of our hands! (ESV)

Perhaps you love your work, and feel privileged to do it every day.

Or you might be like many others, who have a love-hate relationship with work.

There are some who feel really stuck in work that seems to be killing them.

Work is a good gift from God, and yet it can feel like the bane of our existence. Where can we go with it? We can take it to God.

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Just so we’re clear, work is not only “paid” work. Work is anything that we are given to do to meet the needs of ourselves and others, and it can cover daily chores within our households, raising children, volunteering in a community group, serving in church, studying at school, weeding in our garden, running a business and working a paying job.

Our prayer today is that: 1) We would experience the favor of our Lord. And 2) That God would establish the work of our hands.

First, we ask God for his favor. Does that seem like a bold prayer? In some ways, it is. And yet, remember to whom are we praying? Our loving Father, who longs to see us grow and flourish as his children, in all of our relationships. To ask for the favor of God to be upon you is a prayer we can pray with confidence, for by the Holy Spirit, the Father wants to pour his love and grace and insight and revelation and power in our lives, permeating our work in the process.

By praying for his favor, we are also lifting up the very work we do to God, asking for his blessing upon us as we work. And what a great way to remember that any work we do can be offered to his glory, so that “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17 NIV)

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Second, we ask God to establish the work of our hands. The truth is, our work–even our good work–can often feel meaningless. We wonder if what we are doing is making any difference at all. The prayer to God to establish our work is given in recognition of the brevity of our lives (read the whole of Psalm 90 and you’ll see that). We know we are only here for a short time, and we long for God to take our work and make something of it. Establish it. Make it worthy. Give it significance. Do something with it and with us.

That, too, is a bold prayer, and it reminds us that even mundane, everyday chores can be offered to God as an act of faith–that through our work God does his work in us and through us. It’s amazing to think that God cares for the needs of others through our work, and cares for our needs through the work of others. So we pray that God will establish the work of our hands, meeting the needs of many as we do our work for his glory.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,

    and establish the work of our hands upon us;

    yes, establish the work of our hands! (Psalm 90:17 ESV)

And so, that is our prayer challenge for today: Heavenly Father, we work this week knowing that we are your children, asking boldly for your favor to rest upon us. Take our work this week, and establish it for your glory and our good. And through our work, may other’s needs be met and may people see your care.  For your glory, Amen. 

 

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