: “Our Commissioning Prayers are a part of a series of our Mission Highlights where once a month, we pray for those working in a specific industry, recognizing that all followers of Jesus are sent wherever we go (John 20:21, John 17:18), including the workplace.”
This week Irene shared about the spiritual challenges and opportunities in the Advocacy, Non Profit and Social Services Fields, drawing from other members in our congregation who work in the vastly different roles in this field.
She shared how people who choose this work are drawn by the opportunity to serve, the purposeful and meaningful work to strive to give a voice to those who are unseen and forgotten. However it can be overwhelming to think about people caught in complex webs of poverty, illness and injustice, where resources are so often limited by funding, staffing and services. It can be hard to remember they are not a savior but a humble servant.
Here are the challenges of Mind, Body and Spirit:
- Maintaining Hope: It’s tempting to become cynical and feel like change will never happen and to feel helpless
- There’s a danger of either depression or numbness because the stories of human suffering are too much and what is out there seems never enough—that we as helpers are never enough
- There is physical safety to be ever conscious of, burnout/exhaustion. Things are never finished or wrapped up. There is always the next person or situation. While there are successes that unfold over long periods of time, there are also failures
Spiritual Temptations include:
- Helping others, even being thanked, can swell us with pride—we can believe we are “doing good works” and buying favor from God or those in our personal inner circle. We can so easily forget God is at work here
- There are also days when the work can feel meaningless and there can be a spiritual numbness. We can doubt that God is even out there or be angry and blaming because things don’t change, people don’t change fast enough.
- We must always It becomes take to heart God’s promises, but it can be so hard to remember them
As for The Opportunities--
they are rich and nuanced. In our many different kinds of work places, our fellow co-workers and the people from different agencies we coordinate with—they may not be believers, but the work we do every day is profoundly Christ-like. Regardless of world view, we have an opportunity to share about how God is deeply at the heart of this. The work is humbling. We can embrace the brokenness of each client/patient as well as our own brokenness, knowing deeply that God values all of us.
Then Seng prayed for those in this field, praying a Commissioning Prayer over them. He thanked God for those who speak up for the overlooked and insecure. He prayed for the frustrations they face, asking God to remember his own heart for the weak and those who serve the weak, and his own leaving heaven to come to earth to keep company with and serve the lowly, and his identification to the least of these. He prayed against temptations and asked for sustained hope in his promise to make all things new and that every tear will be wiped away, that in their weakness his power is made complete. He asked for strength and grace, sending out those in this field in the name of Christ.
Please feel free to listen to the audio recording here