“A man can do nothing better than eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This to, I see is from the hand of God” (Ecclesiastes 2:24).
Have you considered your work as a way of serving, even praising, God? Several biblical passages address how work functions as service to God. The writer of Ecclesiastes attributed the ability to find satisfaction in one’s work to God. The apostle Paul counseled workers, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men;, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24). He spoke primarily to slaves in that passage, but his thought applies to all who work for a living, especially those who are employed by another. The apostle prefaced those remarks by noting that the worker should work hard at all times, not just when being watched by the employer. Work should be done with “sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord” (Colossians 3:22).
How does this relate to calling for fire in prayer? Sometimes we do not find satisfaction in our work. One may work for a “toxic” supervisor, or be “under-employed” at a task that does not challenge his or her abilities. Many today search for meaningful employment; some have searched so long that they have given up hope. All these need to pray – for sustaining hope, for courage in addressing problems, for opportunity to work. Thank God for the opportunity to work, and pray that you will glorify him through your service. Pray for those who cannot work because of illness or injury, and for those who have not found work yet.
O God, thank you for giving us strength and skill so that we may work. That work helps us provide food, shelter, and clothing for our families. We pray also for employers, that they may listen, that they may care, that they may encourage. Remind us that when we work at honorable occupations, we praise you, who created us with this potential. We pray for those who suffer financially or emotionally because they have no work. Grant them relief from their pain, and return them to work they will enjoy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.