Work hard, pray hard

Colossians 3:23 NASB

We can so often separate out the ideas of our own hard work, and God working in us, through us, or for us. The truth is, with the right mindset and prayer life, they should be the same thing. When you pray just as hard as you work, and vice versa, the game changes. Colossians 3:23 tells us ‘whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord’ (NIV). That focus is only possible with time dedicated to finding equilibrium in God. The balance between work, rest, and a relationship with God is so easy to miss nowadays.

Saint Benedict wrote a book of instructions for monks, and his message of ‘pray and work’ still stands in so many monasteries today. Benedictine tradition often follows a rule of ‘thirds’, with monks spending eight hours sleeping, eight hours working, and eight hours praying.

Our relationship with God must lead to action, but action has to be completely anchored in our relationship with God. One without the other won’t make the kind of difference to the world that God is calling us to. We have to make sure that our work gets done in a Godly way, because our tasks here on earth bring God’s heavenly glory into the world.

One of the last prayers that Jesus prayed was, ‘I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do’ (John 17:4 NIV). We can follow His example in prayerfully chasing God’s tasks for us and completing them for His glory.

From the biggest calling on our life right through to the simplest every day task, our to-do lists can bring praise to God when we root them in prayer and worship.

2 Sam 20:1-22:30; John 5:1-15; Ps 15; Prov 24:7