…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8 (NIV)
I was up most of the night working on a project due that morning. My family and I were in the midst of a long and difficult season. The weight of life and the frustration from a lack of progress dragged me down.
As my husband and I stood together that morning to pray for our day and our family, my head began to ache from a lack of sleep. All I could think to pray was, “Lord, you know our situation. You know our needs best. We ask for help. We ask that your will be done through those whom you will send to us.”
Before I reached my appointment, I received an email from a friend. I had not seen her in years, but had recently caught up with her over a cup of coffee. In her email to me that morning she simply said that she wanted to bring us dinner that night. Yes, that is what we needed most.
God sent her to help us in our time of need. But the reality is, his plan was already in motion before we asked. She had already decided to bring us dinner and had made it the night before we prayed for God’s help. …for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8 (NIV)
As believers in the marketplace, we tend to turn to the Lord when the answer to a situation eludes us—like determining if we have a viable business model or how to meet an increased workload after the last layoff or how to make money in a market with decreasing customers and profitability. When everything seems under control, it’s a challenge to remember to seek God. But he asks to cast ALL our cares upon him, not just those we can’t figure out (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7). We all have decisions we made that seemed so right in the moment but in hindsight we see that it was really a bad idea. Would seeking God have made a difference?
As young children we may have learned to be self-reliant, the old “if it’s to be, it’s up to me” attitude. Or maybe because of our competence and capabilities we are self sufficient and confident. Or maybe we tend to wait until we have it all together before we offer an idea or ask someone for help.
God wants us to know he designed us to work in community, both with others and with him:
- Don’t try to figure it all out by yourself.
For in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:2-3) and God alone will lead you into triumphal procession in Christ and through you spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him (2 Corinthians 2:14). God is the author of all creativity and innovation (Genesis 1:1).
But God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6) and the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion (Isaiah 30:18).
2. Look for help
The earth and everything in it, including your work, belongs to the Lord (Deut 10:14), there is nothing outside of his care or concern (Matthew 10:30). So pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). In order to follow the Lord’s direction at work we must listen for and know his voice and then follow him (John 10:27).
3. Look to give help
Like my friend was for me, you may be the help your co-worker needs. The Lord searches the heart and examines the mind, (Jeremiah 17:10) so ask him who you can help today. As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10 NIV)
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
Lamentations 3:25 (NIV)
Until next week...
As you look back on last week, how much of your work was done with help from the Lord and help from others? Why is it so hard to ask for and receive help?
How can you help your employer and co-workers this week?
To discern the Lord’s leading, even in minor matters, we must be connected to him daily. This is not a burden, but a privilege. God speaks to us through his Word. Prayer is just an opportunity to enter into his presence. How can your small group support one another to seek God’s will at work?