Bonhoeffer on Work and Prayer

After the first morning hour [of prayer], the Christian’s day until evening belongs to work. “People go out to their work and to their labor until the evening” (Ps. 104:23). In most cases a community of Christians living together will separate for the duration of the working hours. Praying and working are two different things. Prayer should not be hindered by work, but neither should work be hindered by prayer. Just as it was God’s will that human beings should work six days and rest and celebrate before the face of God on the seventh, so it is also God’s will that every day should be marked for the Christian both by prayer and work. Prayer also requires its own time. But the longest part of the day belongs to work. The inseparable unity of both will become clear when work and prayer each receives its own undivided due.

This is a hard lesson for me.  It seems straightforward, but it is difficult  for me to keep prayer and work in balance.  Either I am distracted from my work, or I leave my prayer behind when I get overly engrossed in a work project.   Still, I find that prayer is best when it is part of my saily life.

I am just starting a study of Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible .  He wrote Life Together in 1938. The treatise contains Bonhoeffer’s thoughts about the nature of Christian community based on the common life that he and his seminarians experienced at the seminary and in the “Brother’s House” there. Bonhoeffer completed the writing of Life Together in 1938.  It is opening my eyes in some ne ways for me.

Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23

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About Tom Bolton

I'm a Husband and Dad, an Enterprise Systems Manager at the City of Milwaukee, and a Disciple and Lay Servant at First United Methodist of West Allis. I love working beside young people. As I study the Bible, sometimes I feel moved to work through my understanding by writing poetry. I also am going through a process to discern my calling, and to learn more about Christian Leadership. Sometimes I just feel like writing about something that grabs my attention too.
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2 Responses to Bonhoeffer on Work and Prayer

  1. Noel Williams (prhayz) www.prhayz.com says:

    Mr. Bonhoeffer was a practical man. He understood the phrase, “There is a time for everything under the sun. Hence, there is a time to work and a time to pray.

  2. PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER says:

    Very good work here my friend, thank you for sharing.

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