Prosper The Work Of Our Hands!

At the end of Psalm 90, there is a beautiful cry to the Lord:

Fill us at daybreak with your mercy,
that all our days we may sing for joy.
Make us glad as many days as you humbled us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
Show your deeds to your servants,
your glory to their children.
May the favor of the Lord our God be ours.
Prosper the work of our hands!
Prosper the work of our hands!

It is easy to leave God out of our professional life. Some of us may think that our faith and our work don’t really have much to do with each other; what does driving a truck have to do with being a faithful Catholic, for instance? Maybe we work somewhere that has strict rules about displaying religious signs or affiliations – a government job, perhaps. Or maybe you just think that all the “holy roller stuff” is for Sunday mornings and not for work. All that Jesus talk is best left to Father, not me.

If you work full-time, you spend at least 40 hours a week, or 2,400 minutes a week working. That does not take into account the time any of us spend working on chores at home: mowing the lawn, doing laundry, preparing meals. If we leave God out of this time because we’re not sure He belongs there, that means the majority of our lives is spent without Him. He simply becomes someone we think about for about an hour or so once a week.

How much time do you spend chatting with a co-worker or customers? When you’re home, do you take time from your family to complete projects from your job? All of this is common and sometimes necessary. But how often do you talk to God during your work day? Have you invited Him into your cubicle, your office, the factory floor, the hospital rooms? Do you begin your day asking Him to bless your work that day with His presence?

“Prosper the work of our hands!” This is not about asking God to make us rich. No, it is about reminding ourselves that first and foremost, we serve God. Everything else in our lives springs from that.

“Prosper the work of our hands!” St. John Paul II, in his encyclical Laborem Exercens (Through Work), wrote:

[T]he basis for determining the value of human work is not primarily the kind of work being done but the fact that the one who is doing it is a person. The sources of the dignity of work are to be sought primarily in the subjective dimension, not in the objective one. . . . [T]he whole labor process must be organized and adapted in such a way as to respect the requirements of the person and his or her forms of life, above all life in the home.

God gives our work dignity, because He gives us dignity. No matter the task at hand, no matter our job or career, God wishes for us to invite Him in.

“Prosper the work of our hands!” Today, give over your work to God. Allow Him into your work, paid or unpaid, serving a boss, a company or your family. Remember Him throughout your day. Whatever your task your hands are busy with, ask God to prosper their work.