There is a difference between a career and a calling. Your calling has priority over your career. As a Christian, you are called to proclaim the gospel of the salvation and Lordship of Christ to people. Your career is the work you do every day, regardless of what it is. (E.g. doctor, engineer, teacher, banker, broker, etc.) God gives us a career through which we can live out our calling. Through your career, you meet people and those people are your mission field and your congregation. We can call a pastor or minister a “pulpit minister”. We may call a Christian in the market place a “market place minister”. The market place can be any of the following: The business sector, education, government, health services, sport and recreation, entertainment and art.
As spiritual worker (pastor/minister/missionary) in the market place, you are first called and appointed by God to bear spiritual fruit. Your career gives you a mission field or congregation in which you have to work.
You may also see yourself as a tentmaker missionary. See yourself as someone who provides for your own financial needs to enable you to live out your calling.
The Word teaches us that we have to earn our daily bread through hard work. However, we have to remember that it is still God who is the Provider of all our needs. While we work diligently, we also have to pray Matt.6:11: Give us today our daily bread. When I pray this prayer, I confess that ultimately God is the One who cares for me and provides in all of my needs.
The Lord appointed us as priests in our communities. One of the primary functions of a priest is to intercede for other people before the Lord.
What to pray as employer
- Take responsibility before God for the employees working for you and whom God entrusted to you. Pray and ask the Lord to show you who to pray for and what to pray for them.
- Ask the Lord to make you a fisher of men in your workplace and in the market place, a fearless witness of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ; someone who is not ashamed of the gospel. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt.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.” (Rom.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 Tim.1:8)
- Pray for the salvation of your employees and clients. 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 Pet.3:9) ‘I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’(Luk.5:32)
- Ask the Lord to reveal through the Holy Spirit the felt needs of people, their daily practical needs and necessities. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you when to pray with people for their needs. Pray God’s blessing on your employees and their families every day, pray for their health, for insight to make the correct decisions and for their physical and spiritual protection. “The LORD bless you and keeps 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.” (Num.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 Chron.4:10)
- Ask the Lord to enable you to be disciplined in taking time to spend with Him.
- Pray for self-control and gentleness when you are treated unfairly, when things go wrong in your business/workplace and when you have many 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.’(Gal.5:22-23) ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 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.’(Matt.6:13-15)
- Pray that the Lord will protect you from sexual temptation, dishonesty, unethical behaviour, loveless-ness, a critical spirit, lying, bossiness, manipulation and domineering people. ‘No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) ‘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 honourable, …’ (1 Thess.4:3-4)
- Pray that the Lord will protect you from making work your god and that you will not be a slave to your work. Ask Him to teach you the meaning of Ps.127:1-2 in your daily life: Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour 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. (Ps.127:1-2)
- 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 Tim.6:7,10)
- Ask the Lord to help you to be just and reasonable. Pay reasonable and fair salaries. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” (1 Tim.5:18)
- Give a tithe from your income, even more than a tithe for the work of the kingdom of God. Ask the Lord’s guidance to invest your money wisely in His kingdom. “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.” (Mal.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 Cor.9:8-9) Know that He will bless and care for you: “Test me…”
- Ask the Lord to give you the heart of a servant, to make you a servant leader. ‘The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.’(Matt.23:11-12) Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave. (Matt.20:26- 7)
- Ask the Lord to enable you to consider others better than yourself. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Phil.2:3)
- Ask the Lord to help you, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to put your discipleship into practice in the workplace, and to be a practical follower of Jesus there.
- Pray that the Lord will help you to treat others as you would like them to treat you. ‘One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.’ (Prov.11:24) Supply good service and a good product to people.
- Pray that God will, through the Holy Spirit, pour out His love into your heart to love unconditionally, to be strong in your inner person and to understand the fullness of God’s love for you. ‘I pray also…and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength’ (Eph.1:19) ‘I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.’ (Eph.3:16- 19) ‘And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.’ (Rom.5:5)
- Pray daily for the working of the Sevenfold Spirit of God in your heart. ‘The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.’ (Isa.11:2)
- Pray that God will help you to handle conflict between people—to know what to do and how to help people who are hurting.
- Pray for signs and miracles, and the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in your workplace. ‘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.’ (Heb.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 Cor.2:4-5)
- Pray daily for the establishing of the Kingdom of God in the market place. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what it means and what to pray for. This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt.6:9-10)