A few weeks ago, I was attending a prayer meeting held by a real estate company in Surabaya. By the end of the sermon, one of the managers moved to the front and gave the preacher a prayer list. The “prayer list” was actually a list of properties (houses and such) that had not been sold at that moment, and the company wished that the preacher would pray for the properties so that they can be sold soon.
There remains a debatable point among Christians whether we can pray to God on material things or not, whether we can pray a prayer such as “God, please help me sell this house by the end of this week”. Some people said that it is not good to pray like that, as God has His own plans and His own timing and He isn’t actually interested in our material or “worldly” interests. If we pray like that we will be forcing our own needs and timing to Him as if God is a genie in a bottle lamp. Still others held another perspective that God wants all of His children to be happy, successful and prosperous, thus we should petition all our requests to him (including, or rather, especially material ones).
Now while both viewpoints have their own merits, it is the prayer of this preacher that gave me insight upon a third, a new and fresh perspective on how we should pray for our jobs. In essence, he was praying for those properties to be the answer for those that seek it. What does it mean? I sat down with him after the prayer meeting and asked him about it. He told me that in this world, we cannot deny that people (even Christians) have material needs. Most of the time, we know what we need but we do not know how to fulfill it. We, as Christians, have a duty and an opportunity to be used by God to help out and give answers to these people who seek material fulfillment.
If you look at your occupation from this perspective, this fact is very true. I work in a shop that sells laptops, and most of the time, people came to my shop knowing what they need but they don’t know which one they need. They will tell me, “I have a $1,000 budget for a laptop and I need it for my work as a graphic designer, but I don’t know which one to choose. Can you help me find one that suits my needs best?”. After I know what he required, I will give him insights and present him with options and my personal recommendations. By the end of the day, he got what he needed and I got a feeling of happiness and enjoyment of being able to be used by God to help him and give a solution for his needs.
The same truth holds true no matter what your occupation is. You may be a car sales, a financial advisor, a marketing in a real estate company and everything else, but there is one Biblical truth that you must always hold true in your life, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily , as for the Lord rather than for men” (Collosians 3:23). In other words, whatever your occupation is, think of it as an opportunity the Lord has presented you to bless other people and be a part in God’s grace, care and providence through fulfilling others’ needs.
Think of every day as an opportunity and pray to God, “Lord, how will you use me to answer a person’s prayers today?”. A person might have prayed to God, “Lord, I am getting married soon and I only have $100,000 to buy a house. Will you open up a way for me?” or yet another might have prayed, “Lord, my daughter will study overseas and she have a problem with her illness. I need a health insurance, will you show me the right one to take?”. You never know that God might use YOU to be the answer to their prayers.
If you have never done it before, thank the Lord today for your occupation, for He is the one that gave you your present occupation and at the same time, by giving you an occupation, He is also giving you an opportunity to be of service to Him and for others. I pray that the Lord will instill on you the right perspective about work so that your life will be refreshed and renewed, and so that you will be able to experience joy in your workplace every day, knowing that God might just use you to be a blessing and answer someone’s prayers today.