“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us, establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17
‘Work’ has a lot of different looks nowadays. Whether you’re working in an office, working remotely (in your sweatpants), or juggling multiple responsibilities as a stay-at-home parent, it’s estimated that we spend nearly a third of our lives working. That’s approximately 90,000 hours!
Sadly, we often neglect to invite the Lord’s presence into the whirlwind of our work activity. (Even I struggle at this and I’m in full-time ministry!)
What do you think happens when we work this way – with little or no thought about the Lord?
We essentially remove Him from a large portion of our lives.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Now, let’s take a deeper look at the prayer of Moses to see how it can help eject us out of this negligence.
To understand the heart of the prayer, we need to examine the framework surrounding Moses’ words.
Psalm 90 proclaims the eternal nature of God and the frailty of man. The Lord is from “everlasting to everlasting” and a “thousand years in His sight are like a day that has gone by.” (vs.2,4). In contrast, man is likened to “dust” and his days “quickly pass” (vs. 5,10).
Moses prays in response to these magnificent truths. He asks for a revelation of the “favor of the Lord.” In other words, Moses can’t imagine how the Lord’s people could be working apart from His presence.
Unless the Lord “establishes the work of their hands,” their work won’t really amount to much. The word for “establish” means to “make firm” or “cause to endure.” Moses wants their work to be effective, but in light of the fleeting brevity of life, his desire is to bring glory to the eternal God.
So…what would it look like for this ancient prayer to impact our work in 2021?
No matter our current occupation, the “work of our hands” matters to God, as does the manner and spirit in which it’s performed. The “work of our hands” encompasses any number of tasks, from what we might consider the most mundane to the most meaningful. The Apostle Paul echoes this thought when he writes, “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of Jesus…work with your heart, as working for the Lord.” (Colossians 3:17,23).
Moses’ prayer erases our pre-conceived distinctions between what is sacred and what is secular. Pastor and author, AW Tozer says, “It is not what a man does that makes a man’s work sacred or secular, but why he does it.” With the proper mindset and posture of heart, every “work of our hands” becomes an act of worship.
Whether you’re about to head into work, in the middle of your hectic day, or winding down in the evening, allow Moses’ prayer to rouse you from your negligence. Ask the Lord’s presence to pervade your workspace. You need the Lord to bless, guide, and empower your work just as much as Moses. Humbly ask Him to “establish the work of your hands” for His glory.
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, Right From The Heart