Should you pray about your job? Someone I know recently asked if we should pray about our jobs and the work we’re doing. His reasoning was that we shouldn’t bother God, but instead we should rely on our experience, training, logic and intellects. I answered my friend using the discoveries I have made during my long technical career about the vital part prayer can play on the job.
1. Pray that God will show you any courses or classes that might help you gain more skills and expertise.
A key to praying about your job is being aware of what you don’t know and where the gaps are in your training and experience. Asking God what your gaps are and how to fill them is key to a successful career.
When I started working on complex computer systems in 1967 I really knew there was so much I didn’t know. I only had an associate EE degree from Southern Tech which was mostly about vacuum tube systems. So I took some home study courses in digital design and programming plus got info from mfg of the system on machine language programming (entered programs in hex thru switches).
Prayer: Dear Lord, show me the important things that I don’t currently know in my field of work. Show me where to go to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. Amen.
Sometimes on the job we’re afraid to volunteer to try out something new because we don’t know if we will succeed. Praying can help you make a leap of faith to step up and try.
When I was an Engineering Technician for Lockheed we were having problems with the new Wind Tunnel’s computer controlled data acquisition system Lockheed had purchased. It was shutting down 8 or 10 times a day and had to be rebooted, which caused lots of lost testing time. The first company that designed and installed the entire system said the problem was the computer they got from a second company. The second company swapped out the computer and when that didn’t change the problem they said it was not their problem. Lockheed sued the first company and they in turn sued the second company and we were falling behind on our schedule to develop the C5A aircraft.
I pray for God’s guidance every morning and for some reason my faith in God prompted me to jump in way over my head and told my boss I could fix the problems. My boss said he don’t believe I could fix it and put in a request to hire an expert engineer with digital system experience. But he told me to see what I could do while he was trying to hire someone.
Prayer: Dear Lord, There’s something that’s been on my mind that I think that I could do on the job if given the chance. Help me to take a leap of faith and try believing that you will help me succeed. Amen.
There are plenty of reasons to get discouraged and lose momentum when you’re in the middle of a long term on the job project. Prayer plays an important role of keeping up your energy levels and your ability to keep on working when progress seems slow.
I went on the night shift by myself trying to fix the system since that was the only time I could tinker with the Wind Tunnel since it was being used on the day shift. My boss told me that one requirement I absolutely had to meet was that I must have it up and working again every morning. A few mornings I just got it working when they came in at 7am.
Prayer: Dear Lord, give me perseverance and the ability to find a way to get things done when I’m facing a big challenge on the job. Amen.
4. Pray for guidance.
Praying for guidance is another key prayer that everyone needs to make on the job. Prayer opens up your mind to consider alternatives and helps you think more logically when you have a strong bias about doing or not doing something. Plus everyone needs a little divine insight every once in a while.
Long story short, for a couple of months God told me to study the system documentation, and use an oscilloscope to look at and understand all the hundreds of signals in the system, while the computer was running small test programs that I wrote to exercise each function. I found the problem was that some of the logic cards had the wrong resistors causing marginal digital signal levels in the direct memory controller address register. Small noise was causing it to sometimes overwrite the program with data. Fix was replacing a few $0.05 resistors with the correct values.
They canceled the request for a Senior Engineer, named me Engineer of the month, wrote up my accomplishment in the Lockheed Newsletter, and treated me to a ride on one of the Jetstar test flights.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I lay all of the alternative ways to solve this work problem before you. Show me the best alternative or guide me to another alternative that I have yet to consider. Amen.
Prayer is necessary when you might miss out on an opportunity for a promotion or greater job responsibilities because you lack the required credentials or degrees. Pursuing a degree or further credentials while working full time is a big undertaking, and prayer can help you learn how to balance your time in order to move steadily toward your goal.
Even though I had demonstrated my skills, they would not promote me to Engineer until I got my Bachelors degree a few years later, however they did start giving me Engineering level jobs that were the most complex control system problem that came up. When I got my BSEET degree in night school they promoted me to Senior Engineer (skipping over 2 levels of Engineering Promotion).
Prayer: Dear Lord, I feel I have more potential on the job that I could attain with the right credentials. Please enable me to pursue these credentials while balancing it with my job and the rest of my life. Amen.
6. Depend on the help of the Holy Spirit for the knowledge you need.
An open attitude of prayerfulness as you go about your daily work brings the power of God’s knowledge and wisdom to you as you work.
In Proverbs it says “all knowledge comes from the Lord” and I have clearly seen that in my 71 years on this earth. (See Proverbs 2:6) Another thing I believe is that when Jesus said “God has sent the Holy Spirit to be within us”, it means that the Holy Spirit lives in our subconscious minds and we can communicate with that Spirit 24 hours a day for all our decisions work, play, family, Church. (See John 15:26) We must be careful because the evil one also communicates thru our subconscious mind. So we must ask “is that really what Jesus would have me do?” at all our thoughts.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I believe that all knowledge comes from you and that your Holy Spirit is with me always. May my mind be constantly open to the knowledge of the Holy Spirit throughout my work day. Amen.
7. Ask God to prioritize your daily “to do” list.
Prayer can help you be successful on the job by helping you maximize your time by prioritizing what needs doing most.
At start of every work day I edit a list of possible things I can work on and ask God to help me modify the list and set priorities. Also when a new problem arises, I say a short prayer and add it to the list. When I get an idea from my subconscious mind that I am sure is from God, I write it down and change my prioritized lists.
When I was a lead Engineer on the (100+ million dollar) F-22 Air Combat Simulation System project my list got up to 400+ items I could work on or delegate to other Engineers. I started out as a country boy from a farm in Alpharetta with a 2 year EE degree and God lead me to be a “Rocket Scientist” in charge of 100+ million dollar project with me continually asking him “God what should I do next?”
Prayer: Dear Lord, here is a list of the things that need doing. Please guide me to prioritize them in light of the bigger picture of my task. Amen.