Prayer for the City

Corporate World

This devotional is written by Luke Johnson. After being a full-time parent for 6m in 1H21, Luke needed a break so went back to work in the City. Married to Marina and papa to Elsa and Raphaël, Luke works in commodity markets during the week and can be seen masquerading as Church Warden at St Marys at the weekend.

Genesis 2:2-3

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Reflection

I work in the corporate world, in the world of business. Busy-ness. Did you know that the etymology of the word business is the same as anxiety? In the Biblical narrative, the market concept of scarcity and the anxiety/business it produces is born in Egypt under Pharaoh. The pyramid epitomises this, with one person at the top and many underneath anxiously working to keep the system going. This is at the heart of the corporate endeavour.

 The Christian story however is one of abundance, it is a story of covenant. A loving creator who provides abundantly, who is so trustworthy that they encourage us to rest one day a week to know its not by our efforts that the world keeps going. Note the seventh day is mankind's first day. How do we reconcile the two? As Christians the dual weapons of taking regular rest and making space to pray are there to be used in resistance to corporate culture. Jesus for instance consciously sought to escape the crowds, the business (see what I did there?) of life to make space to pray.

The problem is that prayer is hard. Wilderness in the verse above can just as easily be translated "lonely place". Prayer is hard as we have to go to that lonely place: it's just us, our thoughts and God. When Jesus went to the lonely place, who did he meet? The Devil knows the power of prayer, and he desperately wants to stop us doing it. Ever wonder why when you sit down to pray you immediately think of 7 million other things you need to do, or feel super distracted, or tempted to do something else? Its not a coincidence. It's a battle, it's a fight, but we believe in a God who has already won this battle and has covenanted with us to provide for all our needs. So rest, take a break from the business of life and spend some time in prayer.

Pray today those of us in the corporate world would take a step away from the anxiety of busy-ness to pray for our workplaces, pray we would be a witness to a different worldview to those around us today.


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