Being a Christian at work ...

Prayer: the context (1) 

signpost to the Power House - prayer

Does work sometimes seem like a dense green jungle? This section offers a few insights on prayer.  In particular, it looks at prayer for the church, prayer for individuals, including ourselves, and prayer during the working day.

God our Father

through human labour you govern and guide the work of creation,

Hear the prayers of your people,
and give them work that enhances human dignity
and draws them closer to each other
in the service of their brothers and sisters,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and forever.

Amen. 2.1 

To be effective, we need to pray in line with God's will.  Thus it may be helpful to clarify the place of work in God's overall purpose.  In Unit 1, we met John Stott's definition:

Work is the expenditure of energy, (manual, mental or both), in the service of others, which brings fulfilment to the worker, benefit to the community and glory to God.  

Analysis by Mark Greene offered us three ‘values’ to work.

  • Through money earnt or time given, our work will contribute directly to our own or other people's well-being (instrumental value),
  • work is a context in which we can use the gifts and skills God has created us to use (intrinsic value) and
  • work can provide opportunities for ministry and evangelism (strategic value).

Alongside which we can add the ideas developed by the Bishop of Willesden in a leaflet entitled The Place of Work in God's Purpose.  He notes that work in the original created order might be seen through Genesis 1:27-28 while after the fall it is expressed in Genesis 3:17-19.  All work lies in the range between these two principles, and is a mixture of both.

Creation Work is a human privilege, dignity and responsibility, to develop the world under God
Fall Work is sweat to stay alive

If you have time, follow this link for the text of the leaflet.

Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ.

(Colossians 3:23)

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Follow this link >>> to more context for prayer: God's call to Christian believers.