It's often said that time is our most precious commodity. Why then, in many offices around the City, do groups of Christians meet together week by week to pray? Is it all a waste of time? Couldn't the time be better used completing work and finishing earlier? We asked Fred, who works in the City in insurance, to tell us why he thinks it is a good idead to get involved with a workplace prayer group.
At least two good reasons immediately pop to mind when I consider the positives of meeting with Christians at work.
1. Encouraging other Christians
2. Praying for non-Christian colleagues
Romans 12:2 (ESV) states: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”.
The workplace can sometimes be a discouraging place for Christians. Knowingly or unknowingly, colleagues can apply pressure on one another to conform to the expectations of society which, for the Christian, can be contrary to the way we’ve been called to live. Christian meetings at the workplace can be a great place for Christians to encourage each other to stand out for Christ within the teams they work in. By encouraging one another, Christians are more empowered to live for Jesus and make decisions in light of God’s word and not the opinions of society.
An obvious example is Friday nights out. A few too many drinks can result in crude remarks and a quick descent into rowdy behaviour if one takes their lead from society and not the Bible. Being sociable with colleagues is a good thing but not at the expense of obeying the commands of God.
Even without blatant peer pressure from colleagues; deadlines, meetings, appraisals, team builds and the like can consume our focus. Meeting with Christians regularly can help ensure that the priorities of God remain at the forefront and are not overshadowed by workplace activities. Pondering on the love Jesus demonstrated on the cross, helps to remind Christians that displaying the love of Christ is of utmost importance. Encouraging one another from the God’s word, in the workplace, reminds us that we must continually allow God to shape us and not the world and its values.
In 2 Timothy 2:4 (ESV) Paul encourages Timothy with the words: “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him”
As Christians we should work as if we are working for the Lord, and hence aim to do a good job in all that is under our care. However, whilst in the workplace we should not forget our Lord Jesus who has enlisted us to share in His work of telling others of His saving grace. Christian meetings can be a great place to pray and ask God to help us fulfil this call.
Our offices are filled with Actuaries, Accountants, Lawyers, administration staff and others. People who have worked hard for titles they so proudly wear, but titles that nonetheless will not save. Meeting with other Christians in the office is a good opportunity to remind ourselves and each other that Jesus’ death and resurrection won for us our most important title “Christian”; a title which signifies right standing with God. This should result in a heart of gratitude for Jesus and an understanding that our colleagues, whoever they are, need prayer and the gospel.
In 1 Corinthians 9:19–22 (ESV) Paul writes:
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”
“For freedom Christ has set us free”, And in Christian meetings we can encourage and pray for one another to use our freedom to serve our colleagues be they the CEO or the janitor, in the hope that Christ may use us to save them.