The first two weeks of the Trump administration have been full of fireworks. Regardless of your personal beliefs or policy preferences, it is clear that we are experiencing a heavy and difficult collective tension across our nation.
However, I think these times put into focus a battle that is always raging. We are just usually unaware, sedated with netflix, sports and the normal, mundane daily duties.
But the tension is real, the battle is real, and there is an opportunity for the right response: to pray.
To pray, and then act.
Our political climate affects us, and it affects the workplace in at least two major ways. I am challenged, and I want to challenge you, to pray consistently about both.
First, we need to pray for the people who hold the jobs we’re reading about in the news. Everything that happens, happens through someone’s vocation. The ticketing agent who has to turn away a family while carrying out an executive order? Someone’s job. The reporter who is trying to figure out how to evenhandedly craft a news story? Someone’s job. The legislator who has to figure out how to cut through complexity and competing interests to make a good decision? Someone’s job. And we need to pray for them.
Every news story that grabs our hearts or touches a nerve should drive us to our knees. Make it a practice to hear the news and then pray for the people in those jobs.
Second, we need to pray for our associates at work. You and your team are bringing your whole selves to work. There is a collective confusion, divisiveness and uncertainty (even fear) like we haven’t seen in some time, and that is eating up some of your employees’ and teammates’ brain capacity. It just is.
Pray for your team, for God to open your eyes to the emotional needs around you, that you would be available to listen (not debate) and care (not combat). Remember that Jesus has already won. You don’t have to. You’re free to serve your teammates by listening well.
I am not recommending prayer at the exclusion of action. Far from it. But action must follow prayer, not precede it.
Prayer aligns our motives with God’s. Prayer reminds us of our ultimate security and trust in the past and future work of Jesus. And prayer releases the burden of outcomes to God.
We are in the best position to truly act appropriately if action follows prayer.
As you pray, remember that God is not freaked out. He is not wondering what to do next to ensure that His kingdom continues to proceed. He is not any more deterred by a particular policy than He is helped by another. There is nothing that happens that isn’t under His sovereignty.
But He does care about us, intimately and personally, and He does command us to be part of His work of restoration and renewal. The weight of that mission has always been true. The current tension elevates our sense of urgency to that mission. And the best way for us to know how to live that mission, to engage a confused and hurting world and workplace, is through prayer.
Director of Operations