You work with them almost every day. In fact, if you work full-time, you probably spend more time with your coworkers than you do with your own family. You collaborate, interact, brainstorm, and make money together. Your job success depends upon each other’s competency and efficiency.
But how well do you actually know your coworkers?
You spend 8 hours a day together — sometimes less — then head home to your “real life.” Unless you’re an unusually close-knit team, or you work for a family member, you don’t know your coworkers outside those 8 hours a day. And that’s just for traditional office jobs!
Those who work on a virtual team (like I do), serve in the medical community, or work as law enforcement (just to name a few) don’t really interact with their work-peers on a daily basis. Unless something big happens in someone’s life (weddings, babies, retirement parties), you don’t really know what’s happening in the day-to-day.
So how can you pray for your coworkers effectively?
First, remember why you are praying for them. Not just so your company — and your job — will flourish and succeed, but so that people will see God’s glory, love, and truth through your service. You should pray for your coworkers because they need the truth and light of the gospel. You should pray for them because they are souls for whom Christ died. You should pray for them because they are finite, fallible, and probably frustrated! As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said: “He who denies his neighbor the service of praying for him denies him the service of a Christian.”
Second, remember whom you are praying to. You may not know the details of their lives, but God does. Nothing is hidden from His eyes. He knows, because He has allowed every circumstance they face. Trust in His sovereign knowledge and wisdom. It’s not your job to know all the details, it’s to intercede with the One who wrote the details. tweet this
Third, remember whom you are praying for. Mention each coworker by name, especially the ones you have trouble connecting with! Remember they are broken human beings with problems and frustrations, just like you. Remember they have bad days too, and they need encouragement too.
Finally, mention specific needs for each individual and for your team as a whole:
1. Pray for focus. Pray for each person to be mentally alert, and to have the power of concentration necessary to do work quickly and competently.
2. Pray for sufficient coffee. Or at least pray for sufficient energy to work diligently throughout the day, and mental clarity to process each task well.
3. Pray for good physical health and strength. Pray for protection from injury or illness that might interfere anyone’s ability to do their job. Pray for each coworker to rest well every night, to have refreshing time away on their days off, and to have the physical strength necessary to maintain mental alertness.
4. Pray for good time management. Pray that each worker would make the job a priority during work hours, rather than allowing themselves to be distracted by external circumstances. Pray that each person would be able to order their day and tasks efficiently, to get the most out of the time they spend working.
5. Pray for empathy and understanding. Pray for sensitivity to nonverbal cues of needs or concerns. Pray that each person would be considerate toward coworkers and clients, and what they may be going through, and give each other the benefit of the doubt.
6. Pray for patience with those who you serve. Pray that each worker would cheerfully serve each customer, Pray that you all would work graciously together as a team, generously sharing time and effort for each other’s benefit.
7. Pray for a sense of humor. Pray for lighthearted moments with each other that would strengthen camaraderie and build a good team support system.
8. Pray for positivity. Pray that each person would handle stressful situations with grace and optimism — even the glass-half-empty types. Pray for coworkers to encourage one another and strengthen each other’s spirits.
9. Pray for the furtherance of the gospel. Pray for each Christian coworker to think, speak, and act in a way that points clearly to Christ. Pray for God to work in the hearts of unbelieving coworkers, to show them their need of salvation and make them receptive towards His Word. Pray for opportunities to speak about the works and character of God with your coworkers – and perhaps even your clients or customers.
What else would you add? How else do you pray for your coworkers – or what do you wish your coworkers would pray for you?
photo credit: mark sebastian