A Prayer for Rediscovering Joy in Your Work
By Amy Carroll
“Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” Proverbs 22:29 (NIV)
As I faced the heaviest workload of my life, I fretted. To-do lists multiplied, and details started to feel overwhelming. Each day, I worked from sunup to sundown, and lay awake at night thinking about what the next 24 hours held.
I was exhausted, discouraged and wondering if all my work meant anything.
Then two things happened that changed my perspective.
I remembered a prayer I’d prayed months before at the beginning of my gargantuan project. I prayed, “Lord, help me to do all that You call me to do in this season and not one thing more.”
The Lord also brought to mind a conversation that I had with my friend, Suzie, where she shared a new concept. Suzie had prayed God would convert her work to worship. What a beautiful idea! Each morning she spent time with God, reading her Bible and praying, and then she moved into her work, letting God’s presence flow seamlessly into each task.
As I reflected on the bad attitude I was starting to develop, I realized I had failed on both counts. I was overworking, and I was compartmentalizing my work as if it weren’t related to any other part of my life. Those two missteps were making me miserable by skewing my perspective about the labor of my hands.
Here’s what happens when we work with wrong beliefs:
1) We overwork
Instead of following my prayer “Lord, help me to do all that You call me to do in this season and not one thing more” by listening for direction, I just dove right into my tasks — where I ended up frustrated, feeling like I was on a never-ending treadmill.
Exhaustion is a sure indicator we need to consult God about our schedule. We need to ask Him questions such as: What do You want me to do? What do You want me to stop? What boundaries should I set on my work?
God is amazingly faithful, and I’ve experienced His provision over and over with my time. When I listen for His directions for work and rest, it all gets done within a timeframe that astounds me. Working within His plan reminds me that His good gifts include both joy in our work and fulfillment of the other needs of our souls — love, friendship, community and rest.
2) We compartmentalize our work
One of my most harmful misconceptions over the years is seeing my spiritual life as something separate from my “real life.”
As Proverbs 22:29 says, “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.”
Although we might never work for a person with a prestigious title, and regardless of whether our tasks are inside or outside the home, we still work for the King of Kings. An element of skill in our work is knowing who our true Boss is — and working for His pleasure. It’s seeking His direction so we’re working smarter, not harder. It’s following Him to find joy in what we’re accomplishing.
Our triune God has created us as fully integrated beings with a body, soul and spirit. God designed work as good — even in the Garden of Eden. Worship flows into the way we treat our bodies, which includes how we feed our minds and the plans we have for our work. Seeing our spiritual life connected to our workload helps us do everything as if we’re doing it for God, because whether we recognize it or not, we really are!
Making our work into worship gives it worth.
In truth, because God created us as spiritual beings, we’ll automatically worship while we work. The question is, Who are we worshipping? Are we worshipping ourselves by setting our own agendas and goals, or are we worshipping God by following His? The results are completely different.
Let’s worship God with our work so we can find joy and fulfillment again!
Dear Lord, I need to regain joy in my tasks. Help me to worship You as I work, doing it all for the King of Kings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s note: This content was adapted from the original devotional “How to Rediscover Joy in Your Work” from Encouragement for Today which can be read here.
Daily prayer for January 10. In any condition, or any situation we find ourselves, we should never forget that all things work together for those that love God, Christians.
Bible Verse for Today
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
This verse of the Bible was written by Paul, a man that has suffered from great tribulations. What can make him say this? That is because he trusts in God. What you faced in the past or what you are facing now doesn’t mean you can’t make it tomorrow. Job faced terrible times and he was still faithful to God even though he was asked to curse God. Joseph also faced terrible times but all things worked out well for him. He didn’t give up on God and follow Potiphar’s wife, and the end was great.
Don’t you know that sometimes, the situation you are going through God allows to make you strong and to prove to the world that you are trustworthy? The Prophet said in Isaiah 64:8 “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand”. If you have seen a potter making a pot from clay before, you will see that after making it, for it to stand strong, they put it in the fire. That’s exactly how we are, that situation might be to make us strong or to be the stepping stone to a greater height. So love God!
Love God Prayer for Today
Father, I worship you because you are the greatest. Thank you for today, I believe all will be well today because all things will work together to favor me today. Everything I do today, let them be successful. Teach me to love you more. I believe you have called me according to your purpose. Let I fulfill the purpose in my life Lord.
Do not let me be discouraged today Lord, even if I face frustration and disappointment. Make all disappointment turn into a blessing for me in Jesus name. Amen.
Also read: DAILY PRAYER: Be an Agent of Joy – Make People Happy. January 9
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
An entertaining a capella version of Gounod’s Ave Maria, by the talented Bobby McFerrin.
For a Christian Life
O Christ, you came so that we might have life, and have it more abundantly,
grant me, throughout this day, power in my love,
strength in my humility,
purity in my zeal,
kindness in my laughter,
and your peace in my heart at all times.
Thanks for the Animals of Creation
Oh God, I thank thee
for all the creatures you have made,
so perfect in their kind —
great animals like the elephant and rhinoceros,
humorous animals like the camel and the monkey,
friendly ones like the dog and the cat,
working ones like the horse and the ox,
timid ones like the squirrel and the rabbit,
majestic ones like the lion and the tiger,
for birds with their songs.
Oh Lord give me such love for your creation,
that love may cast out fear,
and all the creatures see in man
their priest and friend,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Holy God, I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This I pray in Christ’s name,
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you ’til we meet again.
Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, by Jan Vermeer, ca. 1655.
Proverbs 5:3-6 (The Message)
The lips of a seductive woman are oh so sweet,
her soft words are oh so smooth.
But it won’t be long before she’s gravel in your mouth,
a pain in your gut, a wound in your heart.
She’s dancing down the primrose path to Death;
she’s headed straight for Hell and taking you with her.
She hasn’t a clue about Real Life,
about who she is or where she’s going.
John 11:17-37 (ESV)
Jesus Comforts Martha and Mary about Lazarus’ Death
ow when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house.
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.
When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”
Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
Notes on the Scripture
There are so many women in the Bible named “Mary” that it is easy to confuse them; and actually, Bible scholars have spent centuries trying to get them straight. The two sisters of Bethany are important early worshippers and witnesses of Christ. They serve as characters in two of his lessons, one told only in Luke and another later one—today’s Scripture—in John. Moreover, they let us know that Jesus had actual friends, other than the disciples who traveled with him; just like a regular guy, he had friends outside “work,” with whom he had a human emotional bond.
It is Martha who leaves the house to meet Jesus, a rather bold move. She then gives the greatest witness to Christ that we have seen, at least since Simon Peter’s. Her faith in him is rock-solid. She announces out loud and in public her belief that Jesus is the Christ (or the Messiah). Although she grieves for her brother Lazarus, she has absolute faith that he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.
We are not told how she knows such concepts as the day of judgment and Christ’s second coming. In the Bible, we do not see them explained until later on. We are therefore reminded that the Bible is a synopsis. Jesus likely taught every day; a complete transcription of his words would fill an encyclopedia. Martha has heard ideas that John has not yet presented to us, and more important, she knows them well and believes them utterly. (We see an earlier encounter in Luke 10.)
Mary is presented as a more emotional person, and she brings out Jesus’ humanity as no other person in the Bible does. She does not go out to meet Jesus, but stays at home due to her grief. And Jesus responds, first, like a man; he weeps over the death of Lazarus and the pain of Lazarus’ sister, Mary. He is fully human. He loves just like any of us might. His friend has died, and the man’s sister—whom he also loves—is in deep sorrow. We are given a brief glimpse of Jesus, not as the son of God, but as a complete and emotional human.
Daily Inspiration “Worship: Beyond Thanksgiving”
Current Memory Verse Remember the BiblePrintable Format for Today’s Devotion
And, with all these, take up the great shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16, NEB
Lord our God, we long to come into your light, to live in your strength, that we may do what pleases you and furthers your kingdom on earth. Protect us from evil and do not let us be wounded by the flaming arrows of the evil one. Make paths for us whenever we do not know how to go forward. We always know you are our Father. Because you are our Father, we want to be courageous and persevere to the end so that you can make our lives bear fruit for you, to the glory of your name. Amen.
Grandparents Day is coming!
Treat your favorite grandparent with this gift.