Do you prepare your heart before you start your work day?
Five months ago I wrote an article about the ways God's Spirit helps us to be salt and light in our places of work. I've recently started a new job and have been considering afresh the opportunity Christians have to reflect Jesus in their places of work.
Becoming like Jesus
God has taught me the importance of preparing my heart each morning. He showed me there is great wisdom in spending time with Him, because if I wanted to become more like Jesus then I had to spend more time with Him.
Jesus had a pure heart, a servant heart and was all about communing with the Father and doing the Father's will. There was good fruit from all that Jesus did. If you think about the fruit of the Spirit, it is really needed to be a good teacher—especially patience.
I found my daily devotion time in the morning was not quite enough time with God to prepare me for work: we don't just want to be on the defence, but we want to be on the offence.
Spending quality time with the Lord in His word readies the soul to take spiritual ground in the workplaces, rather than just cruising through the day. Worship on my way to work became spiritual warfare. I quickly found worship cushioned me against whatever challenges my day would bring.
This initial time with God in the early morning causes His word to remain in me all day, and I often pray using Bible verses. The Holy Spirit also prompts me to pray for the children I care for each day. One of my favourite scriptures is Colossians chapter 3, verse 23: 'Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than people'.
Pray as you work
Simple, childlike prayers are usually what comes out, which is what God loves to hear. God is with us continually, and he loves partnering with us each day.
Allow God to grow in you a heart for your work colleagues. On one occasion I was stirred to pray for a colleague and had an opportunity to share my faith, planting good seeds.
Pray for your physical place of work. One night when I was praying, I saw a picture of the corridors and rooms of my workplace. I prayed God's Spirit would be released in the childcare centre. Allow God to guide your heart as your pray in His Spirit.
Fasting and opportunities
The next day I felt God prompting me to fast from food for the day, and to prepare my heart again for work. I was nervous about how I would work all day without food because I sure love to eat! So, I went to work and four hours in, I felt Holy Spirit tingles on my hands and lips, which was amazing and I had the sense that something was about to happen.
I was given a rare opportunity to be in the toddler sleep room to pat them to sleep and I felt the Lord prompt me to go and bless each child that was asleep, in Jesus's name. I laid hands gently on each child and blessed them to know God's love and goodness and have a blessed life, in Jesus's name. It was such a special time and I felt so honoured that God gave me the opportunity.
Another opportunity the Lord gave me was to sing my own prophetic psalms. The children flocked to me and some started dancing. One little boy who God had particularly placed on my heart climbed right up on my lap and wanted to be right near the heavenly music! God is so, so faithful!
When I felt that it was time to resign from my previous role, God gave me a real peace that he would continue to watch over the centre and the children. God showed me the scripture I had declared with my lips, the worship and prayer was not in vain but was pregnant with the Lord's will coming to pass.
Salt and light
Interestingly, many Christians I have met and talked to seem to just be going through the motions of going to work, without seeing the opportunity to be a prayerful presence of salt and light in their workplaces. We are not weak but strong, we have the Lion of Judah in us. Jesus lives in us and He has conquered the enemy and all darkness.
Even if we feel fearful or weak about sharing about our faith or praying for someone, God promises to be our strength and reminds us that He is perfected in us as the strong one. Never be discouraged if you don't see big changes because God works many good things behind the scenes in the spiritual realm, which we can't see. Some prayers are like seeds just needing watering by the Lord in His perfect timing.
Nothing is too hard for the Lord as it says in Genesis chapter 18 verse 14, so go on, believe that He can use you in your workplace and everywhere he has planted you, for He is faithful. This now is my reality in this new position, I thank God for the opportunity to share his light and life with another childcare centre.
Liana Monaghan lives in Goolwa, South Australia and currently is writing songs and prophetic psalms for the Lord before returning to part time teaching. Liana and her husband who is a prophetic artist run a creative home fellowship.
Liana Monaghan's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/liana-monaghan.html