Pray first, then work.
One commitment I made when writing devotionals for Freedom Fighter is I would be real and honest… hopefully you’ll take some of these real stories from my life and learn from my mistakes in your own.
A few days ago I came into work early to finish up a mailing project. I had volunteers coming in at 8am and I needed to run a thousand envelopes before then. As I began to load our addressing machine, every other envelope began to jam… for every two envelopes that went through, it jammed. Needless to say, my temper began to rise.
The more I adjusted the more the machine seemed to jam and the more in jammed the louder my yelling became. Looking back, I’m happy that it was so early in the morning so none of the men in the Colony of Mercy program heard me yelling (ouch, not a good testimony).
As I hit the tipping point of my frustration, I sat back on a stool and took a deep breath. I remembered a sign hanging above my office door that says, “PRAY first, then work.” You see, that morning because I was in such a rush, I didn’t take any time to set the day before the Lord, and it showed.
One of the best examples of how to do this whole “prayer before work” thing is Jesus. In Mark 1:35 is says “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Every time I read this verse I think to myself “If Christ needed to start his day with prayer, who am I not too?” We can easily see in scripture that not only did Christ pray in the morning but also he had a prayer lifestyle. Every morning, afternoon and evening Jesus was bringing himself and others before the Father in prayer. If this was something important to Jesus, I think I’d better listen.
I know for a fact that if I had started this particular day off with prayer, my attitude would had better reflected someone who is striving to be everything my God has called me to be, and a man of anger is not one of them.
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. ~James 1:19-20
Today’s encouragement is this. As Christian men we should always be striving to be more and more like Christ. We can see in scripture that prayer was something very important to Jesus, and it turn, it should be important to us. Our lives can throw many challenges and struggles our way but if we are “praying first, then working” we will be far better prepared to handle our lives with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
If any of you should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say that it is in one word – prayer. Live and die without prayer, and you will pray long enough when you get to hell. ~Charles Spurgeon — Graeme Wilson, Director of Marketing at America’s Keswick | firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily Bible Reading: Proverbs 22-24; Hebrews 2
Think About This: The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer but unoffered prayer. F.B. Meyer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands. Psalm 78:72