Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Father, I come before you thankful that you have made work a part of life and given me the opportunity to glorify you in my work. Thank you that I can work hard and go to bed tired each day. Thank you for the good days and the difficult ones, and for the gifts you have given me to help this world be a better place through my work.
While I know work is good, I also know our work today isn’t what you intended and is often hard and frustrating. We all know sin’s consequences on work: toilsome labor, injustice, and trials; and also the pain of wanting work but not finding it. May these painful situations drive me to a deeper longing for the return of Christ and consummation of all things—including work.
May the gospel shape my work habits and attitude, helping me to avoid the dual dangers of not working enough (laziness) and working too much (making work an idol). Help me to be a humble, teachable, hardworking, and complaint-free employee, even when doing the mundane tasks I’d rather avoid. May I work in faith and be motivated by a love for you and a love for those whom my work benefits.
Establish the work of my hands by helping me to be productive, patient, focused, and insightful. Keep me from distractions and from technology hindering my work instead of helping it. May your Spirit lead me in my work and help me to be joyful, creative, and worshipful–constantly reminding me of your love and that you’re the reason I have breath in my lungs. Teach me to align my work, family, church life, and rest in a way that would maximize your glory and allow me to bear the most fruit for your kingdom.
Cause my work and attitude to adorn the gospel and shine the light of Christ into this dark and desperate world. Help me bless my workplace by living a salty, gospel-worthy life in front of my watching coworkers, and help me honor my boss as I honor you. Make my heart worship and enjoy you throughout the day, knowing that you are the reason for breath in my lungs and the One I am really serving.
And as I work, fix my eyes on Jesus and his finished work on the cross that gave me treasure I could not earn, rest that I could not otherwise experience, and a living hope that will fuel me to work for the glory of God. Amen.
Learn more about prayer by reading Kevin’s book When Prayer Is a Struggle: A Practical Guide for Overcoming Obstacles in Prayer (P&R 2021).