I was captivated recently by a story I read about Billy Graham in a book entitled “With” by Skye Jethani:
He arrived to do an interview for the Today show in 1982. As he entered the studio, one of the program’s producers informed Mr. Graham’s assistant that a private room had been set aside for the reverend to pray before the broadcast.
The assistant thanked him, but proceeded to tell him that he would not need the room and then stated why:
“Mr. Graham started praying when he got up this morning, he prayed while eating breakfast, he prayed on the way over, he prayed as he got out of the car, and he’ll probably be praying all the way through the interview.”
Work Without Prayer is Void of Meaning
Billy Graham understood that his life’s work was not just about working for God, but even more about working, with God.
From the beginning we were made by our maker to relate with Him. When God said, “Let us make mankind in our image.” He was extending an invitation to work in communion with the person and purposes of the Trinity.
Without constant communication with our maker, we will dig deep to find meaning in everything else and still come up dry.
Work Without Prayer is Bereft of Mission
“For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.” (John 12:49)
If Jesus relied on His connection with God the Father in order to fulfill His mission to provide redemption, how much more should we?
Work Without Prayer is Work Without Faith
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
At its core, prayer is an expression of our faith. It acknowledges that we want to find all sense of meaning in Him., and that we need His character and His power working in and through us.
What Does It Look Like to Commune With God During Our Work Day?
I certainly do not claim to have perfected this constant communion with God, but here are a few ways that I have helped me:
1. As I plan out my week and start my day
“Lord, this is your week. This is your day. How would you have me plan my time?” I ask, and then I listen. At times I’ve sensed Him laying a certain person on my heart to reach out to; sometimes a new idea, or a new direction. Responding to such promptings of the Spirit have brought an incredible sense of meaning and mission, as I see Him working.
2. As I go into a meeting
“God, let me represent you well in whatever transpires during this meeting. Help me not just to seek my own interests but also the interests of others; let any decisions be guided by you.”
3. As I make or answer a phone call; or as I send an email
“Father, what do you have in mind for this phone call? What is it that you want me to say in this message I am sending? Is there a work that you are stirring that you want me to pay attention to through this communication?”
4. While in a midst of a conflict
There are many times that I have been stabilized by the Lord’s peace and perspective by praying Paul’s instruction to his protégé, Timothy, in 2 Timothy 2:24. “Lord, let me be your servant in this situation by being kind to all, able to teach, and patient when wronged.”
I have gained strength and new understanding by asking: “Help me to bring you glory, learn how to serve others better, and grow personally.”
Which one of these suggestions is God prompting you to try this week?
“pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess. 5:17)
Are there other ways you try to remain in constant conversation with God in your work? What has been the result? I would love to hear from you!