As we are constantly trying to emphasize the integration of faith and work, we want to do so at multiple levels—theological, philosophical, economical and practical. The things we discuss here are not only about us thinking rightly, but more importantly, it’s about doing rightly. Otherwise, this is all just an academic exercise.
“Doing rightly” can prove to be challenging. Tom Selleck in his role as Frank Reagan in the highly successful television drama, Blue Bloods, says often, “Doing the right thing is rarely easy.” Sometimes we do not lack the desire to make the virtuous choice, but our failure is in knowing what it is. While the complexities of our lives contribute to this, it more likely stems from the stranglehold that our secular mindset has upon us combined with our lethargic efforts directed towards building our spiritual muscles. Real strength and growth occur when certain foundational factors work together in a beautiful symbiotic relationship.
Think about a runner who wants to run a marathon. You do not just wake up one morning and decide to run 26.2 miles. Instead, you train physically and mentally. You do long runs and short runs. You may do some sort of yoga or Pilates to promote quicker muscle recovery and/or leaner muscles. Then of course there are the ideal shoes and other clothing options that are well suited for marathon running. All these things work together to protect the body from physical harm and to equip the runner to complete the course. If anyone of these is overlooked, then the race may be an utterly miserable experience, or worse, the runner cannot finish.
These principles apply to our spiritual lives as well, and it is only when we have made the effort and put in the time that we can then reap the fruit. Our fruit gives witness to our effort and ability to enjoy and live into all that the Lord freely offers. This fruit includes not only the desire to make the right choice but also the ability to recognize it and know what the next steps should be.
Our focus today is on prayer, and specifically, prayer concerning our work. We can easily be guilty of praying so generically for our work that it is not meaningful. The Global Faith & Work Initiative, in conjunction with Redeemer City to City, has recently published Prayers for Work. This should prove to be a valuable asset for all of us as we try to mature in how we pray about our work. It is an extensive group of prayers segmented by industry. Thinking back to the runner analogy, having the right tools (e.g. shoes, practice routines, exercises) will yield better results in running. This booklet is a tool that can enrich our prayer lives.
The Collaborative’s challenge for today is to find your industry in the Prayers for Work (see the link below) and use it to help you pray for your work for the next five consecutive days. Today’s blog post is intended to encourage you to look through the booklet and take a minute to pray now for your work.
As we build our spiritual fortitude, may the Lord grant us great grace to run the race He has set before us (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Crosland Stuart, of Crosland & Company, LLC, works with The Collaborative
on marketing, recruiting, and content creation. Additionally, she also works in the areas of
foundation consulting, communications, and literary representation.