B4Ters have asked, how can you find time to pray when there’s so much to do at work?
So what does it mean when Paul writes, pray continually? I don’t think he meant that we should spend all day in the prayer room, cause clearly God has called us to our jobs, our families, as well as other duties. I believe to pray continually means to involve God in everything we do throughout the day. We never cease interacting with Him, talking with Him as we move from task to task, and place to place. When we experience a blessing, we give Him praise. When we have a problem, we ask for His solution. When we have a question, we ask for His answer. When there’s a conflict we ask for His intervention. Paul writes to the Philippians, “But in every situation, by prayer and petition…present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) Note, every situation. Whatever we do we seek His wisdom. We invite Him to be involved in our lives so He may work through us.
For example, sometimes when we are traveling my wife and I will get on Skype, not to talk, but to just be with one another. We both may be at desks working–but thousands of miles away, or she’s getting ready for bed and I’m eating breakfast. Yet we’ll talk to each other over Skype, off and on. It’s not a steady conversation. Sometimes, like when we are together at home, there may be long periods of silence, yet we are aware the other is there, willing to listen, ready to talk, if needed.
Yes, work is busy and it’s easy to get distracted. So let me suggest four simple things you can do that will help you to pray without ceasing in your own life and work.
1. Take a break with God.
By “taking a break with God,” I mean you should set aside 5 to 10 minutes every morning and/or every afternoon and take a break with Jesus. You can go for a short walk, sit at your desk, or go down to the lobby. It’s a break to stop and ponder what we are doing at the moment and insure we are inviting His Spirit into that time of the day.
2. Drive with God.
May and I are both Type A personalities so we have been busy people all our lives. From the first week of our marriage we’ve made it a habit to pray when driving and we’ve kept this up for 36 years. And even when I am alone I’ll use my drives to talk to the Master. Turn off the radio, even the worship music, and talk to Jesus.
3. Wait with God.
How much time did you spend waiting this past week? Standing in lines, sitting on the bus; we all have periods of waiting, but we often aren’t prepared to do something constructive with that time. Personally, I keep both prayer requests and Bible verses that I wish to memorize on my phone. I can download prayer letters and other requests onto my phone and when I am waiting for something or someone I can readily pull those out and invest the time praying. Be prepared for when those unexpected and expected down times happen.
4. Make notes to yourself.
I have sticky notes on my desk, and on my computer to remind about things I need to be praying for. When people see the notes on my desk they assume it’s a reminder, they don’t realize it’s a prayer reminder. But if they ask, I tell them, “It’s a note to remind me to pray for Abdullah,” or “It’s a note to remind me to pray for our project, are you praying for it too?” This often leads into a spiritual conversation. Seeing these notes both at home and at work helps keep eyes and my heart, looking to the LORD and his strength; seeking his face always.” (1 Chronicles 16:11) One B4Ter has Bible verse poster on his cubical wall. Any kind of physical reminder is helpful.
Paul says that we are to pray continually. Those are just two simple words, and yet they carry a life-changing message—if we apply them.
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for other 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.