work (4)

Prayer Requests - October 25, 2017
PTAP is joining WIN1040 ( this month in praying for unreached countries of the world. October 25 is the day to pray for Oman. Let's continue to lift up Oman with thousands of people around the world that God would build the local church there.

Praise Report
Praise God that the government of Oman wants to see more Omanis join the work force and is trying to help educate and employ them to be successful (The Bible, Psalm 111:6). ...

Prayer Request
Pray for more Omanis to be willing to work in the low and mid-level job positions. These are not as attractive but are key to the countries growth (The Bible, Proverbs 14:23).

Transformational Prayer
Pray for the Omani people to be transformed from a proud people blessed by oil wealth to those humbly seeking to find Jesus (The Bible, Matthew 19:26).

Call to Salvation
Pray that the very few believers in the Lord Jesus will not be ashamed of the Gospel but will tell their families and friends about His saving power. (The Bible, Romans 1:16).

Source: More expats than Omanis hired last year: Central Bank of Oman

Continue to Pray for Sohar
In fact, earlier this month, you received prayer points about Sohar--a city in Oman. Please continue to pray for Sohar as you watch the following video.

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PTAP: The Lord is my Inheritance

There is a whole category of people who are called to Christ and have a passion for the nations & for the weak & marginal and have sought to go with a variety of service groups and who are repeatedly told no, don't go, be quiet, just settle down young man.

The reality is that if I were to go to my field of focus, I would probably die in short order because I would of my zeal or I would be disregarded as a lunatic because I would lose all my sleep because the medicines that help me relax & sleep sometimes would be unavailable.

Instead I pray.

I dare say that often my prayer lacks impact that I am aware of. I tend to pick certain countries & prayer goals and remember them as reminded, so I make lists.

Is this unfocussed? No, usually the only times I have observed the impact are when I stop praying and problems happen.

In retrospect, I have however seen the Lord start movements in various peoples that I prayed for and the timing was impossibly too neat to correlate due to chance. God uses our prayers for movements. Over and over, I find that God works far more in my absence than in my presence. He is a big God, and he wants us to pray big, foundation-laying prayers.

If the leaves of the tree in the Revelation of Jesus given to John are for the healing of the nations, then we must plead for that salve to be applied for the salvation of the souls of societies.

Praying requires a whole different category of action, it elevates us to the heavenlies, for we read the divine counsel in the Word and render judgements according to Psalm 2:8: the Son will have the inheritance that is His! HE shall possess the earth. HE is waiting for us to ask. He knows exactly what He plans to do and He is always on the right side of history.

Politicians will fail us.
Disasters are unpredictable.
The devil is dangerous.
The nations are too large for us to reach them in our own power.

But every time we kneel in prayer and cry out for help, God hears and acts. Every time we stand on His promises, the Lord proves His faithfulness. Every time we sit in His presence and ask for the nations, the Lord God sends forth His angel armies to intervene. Every time we fall flat on our faces and humble ourselves before the King of the Universe, the Lord God Almighty rejoices over us with singing and stands in the gaps that we cannot fill.

We cannot fill the gaps for we are sinners,
I am the worst
But He is perfect
We fail. He is faultless.
The Lord will succeed in every intervention He begins.

Our actions, our giving, our prayers, our sacrifices all must flow from our lives guided by the Word of God for them to be effective.
This is why years in prayer are often needed to accomplish what may take a season of actual service.
Then, when the doors close behind us after our work is finished, then the Lord Spirit goes to work most earnestly, with greater freedom than we could ever have.
This is the story of China.
This is the story of Iran.
This is the story of all who are bathed in prayer,
This is the story of all who are bathed in the Spirit.

This is why statistics lie about the future.
Statistics are based on what man sees.
Faith is about what God has promised.
Hope is the certainty that God will keep His promises to the end.
Love is behaving according to this confidence that God is love.

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As we go about our work day, we might learn from an uneducated worker named Brother Lawrence. When Brother Lawrence joined a monastery in Paris in the 1600’s, he wasn’t educated enough to become an official clergyman, so he went about serving in the monastery. For the rest of his life, he worked in the kitchen and repaired sandals. But it washow he went about his work that was remarkable.

Brother Lawrence had an extraordinary peace about him, which blanketed him with otherworldly wisdom, and as a result, people came to the monastery to meet with him, the lowly kitchen help. “How to have such lasting peace?” they would ask.

Eventually the letters he wrote to seekers and the conversations he had with them, made their way into a book, which was compiled by the vicar general to the Archbishop of Paris. Later, influential leaders like John Wesley and A.W. Tozer recommended it, and “The Practice Presence of the Presence of God” became a classic in Christian literature.

So what set Brother Lawrence apart from his fellow clergymen and planted within him such riches that even poor and uneducated as he was, he soared to heights seen by but a few men, and became a sage to generations?

Brother Lawrence learned how to practice the presence of God.


He writes,

It was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times.

In other words, there are no strict times of prayer and strict times of work. We do not exit one activity and resume another. Prayer and work should happen concurrently, are inseparable, one the dance step and the other the music. Prayer and work belong together. Brother Lawrence prayed as he worked, or was it that he worked as he prayed? It doesn’t matter…he didn’t separate his life into categories that we so often and easily do.

I wonder if the separations we make, actually separate us from God, when all along God wants to tear down those walls, the walls we build between prayer and work, God and work, God’s work in us and our work for God. How can we be friends of God if we’ve erected such barricades?

There was a moment in Jesus’ ministry when he told his disciples,

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)

The disciples weren’t servants anymore; they had become friends. How? By spending enough time with Jesus that he taught them everything he had learned from his Father. How did they spend enough time with him? By going with Jesus from town to town.

The disciples were around for the big ministry moments—the preaching to the crowds, the healing of infirmities, the raising of the dead. But spending time with Jesus was not all crusades and miracles. It included some very common moments—walking from town to town, eating quiet and lowly meals, the minutes before falling asleep with no place to lay your head. Working together.

So what if you connected with God at work? What if you practiced the presence of God at your workplace, and instead of starting prayer and stopping prayer and starting work and stopping work, your works and your prayers were all twisted up in a big ball of twine so that neither could be separated from the other? Would you be a friend of God then?

Just like a lowly kitchen worker from Paris was.

P.S. I write about this type of prayer in Made To Pray.

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The First Thing I Do At Work

I start my work day the same way every day–I pray. And not just any prayer. I pray the same thing every day.

It hasn’t always been like this. Before I would switch on my computer, look at my calendar, check my emails, and do whatever came next. But now I pray to start my day. And I’m so glad I do.

Before I share the prayer, let me mention the difference it’s made for me.


First Allegiance

Beginning work with prayer reminds me of my first allegiance. One can feel pulled in many directions at work. There can be many people to please. You can feel like you’re losing yourself. But when I pray to start the day, it settles my soul. I know who I belong to. I know who I’m serving. It feels right to give my work day to Christ.

Receiving from God

Starting with prayer also positions me to receive from God. I don’t have to solve problems and save the world all by myself. Prayer enlists heavenly resources. I believe I’m a better employee when I ask God for help. It’s kind of foolish not to. I mean, God created the universe, why not ask God for help? That’s leaving a lot of resources at the door.

Full-time Faith

It also unites my faith with my work. How often am I a Christian? 100% of the time. Praying at work is a way for me to remain active in my faith all the time. But if I left Christ at the door, consider this. A 40-hour work week is about 50% of my waking hours. So if I slough off faith at work, that’s 50% of my week.

Starting my work day with prayer connects me with Christ and invigorates me to tackle anything that comes my way. It’s become a habit I can’t work without.

Here’s my daily prayer to start the work day, which takes 1-2 minutes to pray, but reaps great rewards:

"Jesus, thank you for this work day. There are many people without work, and I count it as your favor that you’ve blessed me with this job. Today I want to honor you at my workplace. Give me a clear mind and solid understanding to make wise decisions. Thank you for the people I’ll interact with today. Help me to love them as you love them and see them through your eyes.

“I want to be a good steward of my time. Help me to be productive and remember that if no one else is watching me, you still are. Thank you for the measure of responsibility and influence you’ve given me at work. Help me to use it for your purposes. Thank you for my authorities, who are trusting me with this job. Bless them, grant them guidance, and keep them safe.

“I want to be a peacemaker today, not causing division, strife, or gossip. Help me to walk in peace with others, myself, and you. Instead of becoming anxious about challenges, help me to see them as opportunities to go to you and grow in you. As I work today, may I continue to abide in you. Don’t let my abilities or resources keep me from you because truly apart from you I can do nothing.

Jesus, now to you be all glory and power today and forever, in your name I pray.”

I encourage you to start your work day with prayer. If you want to use this prayer, you can download it now.

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