I am not a good singer. In fact when I am in church with my children they can at times tell me to not sing too loudly as its embarrassing and might put others off! However, the following song is a prayer I have found so helpful to meditate and reflect upon in the morning before going to work. I share it to encourage you in whatever challenges you may be facing in your work situation.

The words are from a song by Keith and Kristyn Getty. I have found its content deeply meaningful. The song is under 4 minutes and well worth the investment of your time and attention.

A prayer to commit yourself to work

What do I find so helpful about this song?

When I start my day it helps me to remember that what I do is firstly an offering to God. Everything I do and have comes firstly because of what God has already done for me. My life is a response to a His goodness, love and care – the day that lies before me, the health and strength I enjoy, the skills He has given me and the opportunities to serve Him through other people. I cannot and must not take them for granted as they are all manifestations of His abundant grace. (For more on this see 4 Personal Implications of the Resurrection).

At the same time life and work has its challenges, problems and difficulties. It is easy to think that life would be better with no challenges and yet it is the problems and difficulties that build grit and resilience into us. Hence  I need, as the second verse of the song says, patience and peace to shape my labour – to not allow frustrations to destroy my own peace of mind and security in God. Maybe things are not going the way I want; maybe there are difficult colleagues and challenging situations, but I believe that they are part of God’s plans for refining and developing me. (For a wider and broader discussion on this do see Why Does A Loving God Allow Pain and Suffering?)

Finally whatever we do we want to know that it has been meaningful and worthwhile. We want to know that what we do, while not necessarily glamorous, or dramatic has made a difference in some way. We want to have something meaningful to do with our lives that on many levels can seem rather mundane and ordinary. Here is how Martin Luther King put it:

“If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music … Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”

Here are the words of the song below. In many ways they are far more meaningful than just a boost in self-esteem:

Before You I kneel, my Master and Maker
To offer the work of my hands.
For this is the day You’ve given Your servant;
I will rejoice and be glad
For the strength I have to live and breathe;
For each skill Your grace has given me;
For the needs and opportunities
That will glorify your great name.

Before You I kneel and ask for Your goodness
To cover the work of my hands.
For patience and peace to shape all my labor,
Your grace for thorns in my path.
Flow within me like a living stream,
Wear away the stones of pride and greed
‘till Your ways are dwelling deep in me
And a harvest of life is grown

Before You we kneel, Our Master and Maker;
Establish the work of our hands.
And order our steps to seek first Your kingdom
In every small and great task.
May we live the gospel of Your grace,
Serve Your purpose in our fleeting days,
Then our lives will bring eternal praise
And all glory to Your Name.

How about making this your own personal prayer as you venture out to work with all the unknown challenges and opportunities that lie ahead?

For further reflections on work also see:

Do you work to live or live to work?

You may also find of interest the post on Discovering Silence and Solitude.

What questions and thoughts do the song and this blog post raise for you?