40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Saturday, February 16, 2013
After the first morning hour [of prayer], the Christian’s day until evening belongs to work. “People go out to their work and to their labor until the evening” (Ps. 104:23). In most cases a community of Christians living together will separate for the duration of the working hours. Praying and working are two different things. Prayer should not be hindered by work, but neither should work be hindered by prayer. Just as it was God’s will that human beings should work six days and rest and celebrate before the face of God on the seventh, so it is also God’s will that every day should be marked for the Christian both by prayer and work. Prayer also requires its own time. But the longest part of the day belongs to work. The inseparable unity of both will become clear when work and prayer each receives its own undivided due.
Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23
Questions to Ponder
- In what ways might prayer be hindered by work?
- In what ways might work be hindered by prayer?
- How are prayer and work related to each other?
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands․
O prosper the work of our hands! Psalm 90:17
- Reflect on the work you do. Is it satisfying and meaningful? Is it work that reflects your values? Is it work that reflects your faith? Explain.
- In what ways does prayer support you in your work? In what ways does prayer help to shape your work and the way you do it?
- Besides the work you do for income, what other kinds of meaningful work do you do at home or in the community? How does prayer relate to that work?
Pray for your co-workers, that they might find real satisfaction and meaning in their work. Pray for your workplace relationships, particularly those where there may be conflict and tension. Pray that you and your co-workers would be mutually supportive and encouraging.
Prayer for Today
Lord, when I go out to work may I go joyfully and with enthusiasm for the tasks at hand. May my work be good for me and good for others.
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.