August 7, 2017 – Monday
John 14:14 [NLT] Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
2 Corinthians 12:8-9(a) [NLT] Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
James 4:3 [NLT] And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
Hebrews 11:6(a) [NLT] And it is impossible to please God without faith.
I’ve known coworkers to bring a lot of concerns to the workplace: fears about health issues; problems about family; needs for salary raises; desires for peace in the workplace, or a new job, or an old job, or a promotion in the current job. Some even want “ungodly” things, like to block a competing project, humiliate another coworker, or the failure of an unwanted supervisor. Many pray and seek prayer warriors at the workplace to help God hear their cries. Each time something goes “right,” we proclaim that God answers prayers – all of them – if you ask through Christ. Yet each time the prayer request heads south, we lament that God did not hear anyone pray.
You know, over half the prayers sought in the Bible were not answered in the affirmative. Even Paul’s prayer for health relief was denied on three different occasions. And there are a lot of reasons why prayer requests are denied: our selfishness; to keep us weak; to keep us humble like Paul; to reject our wrong motives; or because God may have other plans for you and me.
When you pray at work, or when you invite coworkers to be prayer warriors on your behalf, remember God really does answer all prayers – even those that seem to head south – if asked through Christ. But it is God’s answer, not yours. And His answer will come from His unfathomable wisdom, not your simple rationalization.
So, whether you are praying about health or that new job or that project, remember to pray humbly and with the right motives. Yet still, the answer may not be to your liking. But know, it will be God’s answer, not yours. And that must be OK with you – if you claim faith in His son.
Father, on this workday and all workdays, I pray for Your answers, not mine. I claim faith in Your son. It is in His name, I pray – always. Amen.
James D. Slack, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Department of Public Policy and Administration
Jackson State University
Jackson, Mississippi USA