An old latin saying states “ laborare est orare, orare est laborare.” What that means is to work is to pray, to pray is to work. Prayer is not separate from work and work is not different from prayer. They are both ends of the same stick. In fact, both work and prayer have the same objective i.e. manifestation for God’s glory.
It doesn’t matter whether it is manifestation of God’s power, material things, healing or success. Since labor and prayer are the same and could be done at the same time, there are people who do not have set times of prayer anymore. They are praying every hour, every minute and every second of their lives, even in the hustling hours in theworkplace. In short, they pray in every waking moment of their lives. Hence, they pray unceasingly.
In the Jewish tradition, 3:00pm is the time of prayer (Acts 3:1) . In the medieval period, monks pray seven times a day, which is called canonical hours, following David’s pattern of prayer of praising God seven times a day (Psalm 119:164). Moslems pray five times a day. In my religious tradition, we have “devotional prayers” or “vow prayers.” They are all great. There is no judgment that other prayers are better.
So why are there set times of prayer? Because people are distracted on mundane things and we tend to forget to pray. Hence, schedules of prayers are more like of a traffic light that tells you when to stop and pray. Nevertheless, Apostle Paul was talking of unceasing prayer (I Thess. 5:17) How can you pray unceasingly or without stopping when you have a 8-5 work. That’s where integration of prayer and labor come in. Prayer is to work and to work is to pray.
Brother Lawrence was a 14th century monk. His work was in the kitchen as a cook for the monastery. He called himself as the “lord of pans and pots.” In his daily work, he would always stand in the presence of God praying the whole day. He didn’t have to stop and go to his kneeler. He would be praying while he was working. You probably have experienced that too. I have talked with people who would be praying as they drive from home to work.
So whether you were a surgeon, a lawyer, an uber driver, an office worker or an entrepreneur, practice of the presence of God in your workplace. Difficult? You bet. Doable? Yes. Of course, start with baby steps. You can’t run a marathon tomorrow, if you are just an occasional jogger. That would be crazy. But it is just a matter of practice (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtZswB9GP4Y) . Frank Laubach, an American missionary in Mindanao did it through his Games with Minutes, in which he sought to see how many minutes in a day he could become conscious of God’s presence. I
However, we warn you of some serious side effects: You will be more peaceful, calmer, more centered, and serene. Not bad, is it?