Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On the Job Praying

UPS LoadingFor 17 years I worked part-time at UPS in addition to being pastor of a small church in Kansas. I would get up at 3:00am and be to work by 4:00am. The work was physically and mentally challenging. The schedule was tight every morning. Within a span of three and a half to four hours our team had to unload, scan, label, sort, and sequentially load about 40,000 packages. Tempers often flared under exhaustion and the time constraints.

It was not always easy to maintain a joyful spirit and a winsome Christian attitude during those stressful hours. There were days when I blew it.

But there were also days when the Lord shone through me in spite of my failings. Many of those days had this in common: I started them by praying and continued them in praying. Here are some “best practices” for on-the-job praying.

  1. Get up early enough to have a quiet time with God. Read your Bible and spend some time alone with Him in prayer.
  2. Listen to inspirational music or Christian radio on the way to work. It might even help with your attitude toward those other drivers.
  3. Prayer walk your work place. Get to work a little earlier than most, walk by each person’s work space. Pray specifically for that person and the needs you know he or she has. (By the way this might require you to get to know your co-workers.)
  4. Show compassion. Ask God to make you sensitive to others’ needs as you interact with them.
  5. Do a prayer review. At the end of the work day pray over what happened that day. Ask forgiveness for when you blew it. Rejoice in the Lord for when you were faithful.

You might just find that God will make those days at work some of the most productive for the Kingdom of God. Other posts that might help your prayer are:

The Altar, Worship Is Not Just for Sundays, Sword Training

Can you think of other prayer practices for work?

What has worked for you?


  1. All of your suggestions are great ones. All of these seem to be praying alone which is definitely needed.

    I would add a prayer right before shift began. Invite co-workers to join you in a short and simple prayer for the day's work and all the people and even the business that employees you. If you're feeling really prayerful, you can pray for you boss. :)

    If they choose not to join you, that's fine. But they know that you are praying for them and everyone else. Sooner or later, I bet they would join.

    Thanks for gettin' my worn out brain workin' again this morning and focusin' on God.

  2. Something else that would be easy would be to set a phone alarm or something to go off every hour or every hour and half that would remind us to send up a quick prayer. Keeping a prayerful attitude while at work can make a huge difference not just in being a light, but also in keeping our own sanity.

  3. I like your suggestions and the others made in the comments. Prayer doesn't have to be long winded. It just needs to be a consistent pattern in our lives.

  4. Kevin, Great suggestion on group prayer. I never had that at UPS but I did have a group that met and prayed together in the office when I was in the Air Force. It really helped. --Richard

  5. Seiji, We all need reminders like that. Post-it notes in strategic places in your work space with your Bible verse of the week might be another good reminder. --Richard

  6. Larry, I agree. I hope these suggetions and the ones from the comments help us to be more consistent in our praying. I also hope it will make a difference in us and in our places of work. --Richard

  7. Richard...great reminders! I have witnessed #3 brining much needed peace into a work environment. I often encourage others to "dismount" at the end of their work day, so they can mentally and emotionally leave work at work. Adding #5 will have an added benefit to closing the work day. Thanks!

  8. LaShorne, I like the "dismount" image. So many of us carry it all home with us, and worry about it. I want to be a prayer warrior, not a prayer worrier. --Richard

  9. Thanks Richard for your suggestions. I find that I start out good and fizzle out as the day wears on. Perhaps if I stayed in tune with prayer, my day would finish better!! I really like the idea of stopping at each desk, office, work space and saying a little prayer for the individual coworkers.

  10. Donna, I know that your workplace is a real ministry for you. I thank God He uses you there. Glad my suggestions could help. --Richard


Thank you for commenting. I appreciate your thoughts and opinions on this post.