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Our Daily Labor

Today’s Reflection

OUR LENTEN JOURNEY brings us to the time when Jesus faces betrayal, arrest, desertion, trial, and crucifixion. Disciples and followers travel with Jesus for a period of time. They see his miracles and witness his healings. They listen as he talks about the kingdom of God, and they hear new teachings. Some of these followers he names as friends, but these friends desert Jesus when the Romans arrest him. They run and hide in fear. The disciples’ actions during Holy Week do not serve as strong role models for discipleship today.

As we near the end of the journey and approach Jesus’ resurrection, let us consider a hymn that does not relate directly to Lent or Easter; it is, instead, a hymn of daily life, written by Charles Wesley and published in 1749. We sing the hymn, set to the tune “Duke Street,” infrequently.

Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labor to pursue; thee, only thee.
Resolved to know in all I think or speak or do.

What is your daily labor? You and I share at least one task in common: prayer. Jesus Christ calls us to pray. Our prayers cast out fear and open us to hospitality and friendship. Our prayers give us wisdom and courage to initiate relationships, to extend grace to strangers, and to entertain angels unaware. Our daily labor in prayer encourages us to fast from apathy, to serve others, feed the hungry, challenge injustice, and be the body of Christ in the world.

– George Hovaness Donigian
A World Worth Saving

From pages 104-105 of A World Worth Saving: Lenten Spiritual Practices for Action by George Hovaness Donigian. Copyright © 2013 by George Hovaness Donigian. All rights reserved Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What does it mean to you to think of prayer as your daily labor? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

John 13:21, NRSV

This Week: pray for people observing Holy Week and celebrating Easter around the world. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Clara Barton (April 12).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Jill April 12, 2017, 3:49 am

    Prayer should be part of our daily life, as much as a job is during our working years. It is essential, a requirement in order to stay closely linked to our Source. Communication is key to relationship – and how Our Father treasures relationship with us.
    Grateful for 2 days in the books this week, and 2 remaining. Grateful to get some appointments lined up for next week – to get estimates on roof replacement. I am bracing myself for the cost. One roofer that I spoke with said I may be able to claim it on my insurance, since some of the shingles came off during a high wind storm. That would be unexpected, but very welcome.
    Prayers for those who visit here today, may you be wrapped in Our Father’s arms.

  • robert moeller April 12, 2017, 4:36 am

    Thankful that the attic insulation has been installed. Our tenants, Joe and Sharon, returned yesterday after Joe’s successful open heart surgery. His sisters came and cleaned the apartment for them. Thankful that Anneliese
    had a good day and was able to work in the small patio garden. Lots of emails from my son and soon he’ll have the help he needs.

    Yes, prayer is our spiritual daily labor. How encouraging it is that God wants to hear from us! With such good news, why is prayer often so difficult? God knows our thoughts before we think them and yet wants to hear from us. Thank You, Lord. Help us Lord to develop and maintain a healthy prayer life.

    Prayers and blessings as we approach Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Saturday, and joyous Easter. May this be a holy time for you.

  • Rusty April 12, 2017, 6:42 am

    As I contemplate today’s reading my mind goes to “daily labor . . . daily bread”. The two seem related to me. Prayer and provision. Providence . . . and peace.

  • Betsy April 12, 2017, 7:09 am

    I’ve not thought of prayer as “daily labor”, but it makes sense that we work to get our relationship with the Lord through our conversations with Him. My daily prayers lately have been filled with those suffering with sicknesses of many kinds, especially cancer. I feel as if sickness and brokenness is all around. Does God see this? My prayers are sometimes more pleas than talking. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12. I lean on those words.
    I pray for this body of believers gathered here as we continue the journey through Holy Week. Looking toward Maundy Thursday service as we will gather at His table.

  • Gail Churchill April 12, 2017, 7:40 am

    God is invisible. But we can hear him. Even in darkness. “who walks in darkness and has no light, yet trusts in the name of the LORD and relies upon his God” Isaiah 50:10
    The work of prayer is to listen, and to obey the voice of “his servant.” Jesus listened to his Father.
    Thank you all for your comments. I love to read them every morning.

  • Julie April 12, 2017, 7:59 am

    I also thank all who post here – you are my mentors
    I never thought of prayer as ork – to me it is sustenance and a source of connection to th Lord and to my fellow christians throughout the world
    blessings to all who stop here

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