There is a difference between a career and a calling. A person’s calling has priority over their career. As a Christian, we are all called to proclaim the gospel and Lordship of Christ to people. Our career is the work we do every day, whether it be as a doctor, engineer, teacher, banker, broker, etc. God gives us the career through which we can live out our calling. Through our career, we engage our mission field. Generally, a pastor or minister of a church is called a ‘pulpit minister’. We can therefore call Christians who are active in the marketplace ‘marketplace ministers’.
You can also see yourself as a tentmaker missionary. This is someone who provides for themselves in order to fulfil their calling. The Word teaches us that we have to earn our daily bread through hard work, while remembering that it is still God who is the Provider of all our needs. While we work diligently, we also have to pray Matthew 6:11, ‘Give us today our daily bread.’ The Lord also appointed us as priests in our communities with the primary responsibility to intercede for others.
What and how to pray at your place of work
1. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you in how to pray for the specific task that the Lord has entrusted to you in the workplace.
2. Do your work as for the Lord.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…(Ecclesiastes 9:10). Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. (Colossians 3:23). So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31).
3. Ask the Lord to help you have a humble, servant heart in the workplace, with a willingness to do what needs to be done according to the guidelines of your company.
4. Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill your heart with His creativity at work, giving you new ideas on how to do your work with more excellence, for His glory and to the advantage of your company.
“…And I will make you fishers of men.” – Jesus
5. Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to share the Gospel with your co-workers without fear or shame, and under the leading of the Holy Spirit.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19). I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17). So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. (2 Timothy 1:8).
6. Never stop to pray by name for the salvation of your co-workers and clients, as well as the management of the company.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9). “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32).
Ask the Lord to show you the people’s felt needs, their daily practical needs, challenges, hurt and emotional pain. Ask the Lord to help you pray for them in a disciplined way. Trust the Holy Spirit to show you when to pray with them for their needs.
7. Pray God’s blessings on your employer daily – for his/her family, health, physical and spiritual protection, and for wisdom to take the right decisions. Also pray God’s blessings on your colleagues and clients.
“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26). Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. (1 Chronicles 4:10).
Display the fruit of the Spirit.
8. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be a witness of His love, especially when treated unfairly, when things go wrong, or when facing frustrations.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23). Ask the Lord to help you to forgive those who behaved incorrectly towards you and also to ask for forgiveness when you are wrong. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15).
9. Pray for your protection from any sexual temptations, dishonesty, unethical behaviour, lack of love, a critical spirit and lying. It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.
‘…that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable’. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 4:25-5:5).
10. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you keep your focus on the Lord, and not put your work first at the cost of spending time with Him and your family.
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves. (Psalm 127:1-2).
Beware the love of money.
11. Ask the Lord to set you free from greed and to be content with what He gives you.
Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:28-31). But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:8-10).
12. Remember to tithe from your income to further the work of the Kingdom of God. Do not be stingy but give with a joyful heart. Know that He will bless you and take care of you.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10). And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever”. (2 Corinthians 9:8-9).
13. Ask the Lord to help you serve your co-workers in everything you do, even putting their interests before your own.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than ourselves. (Philippians 2:3).
14. Pray for signs and miracles and the powerful working of the Holy Spirit in your workplace as you seek the leading of the Holy Spirit in praying for the sick, those in trouble and facing difficulties.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12). “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. (Acts 4:29-31). God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:4). My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).