Praying Without Words

February 8, 2003
by Garnet Schenk

2 Samuel 6:14 – David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might. (NIV)

Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. (NIV)

Three years ago I retired from the active work force and accepted retirement as a change of lifestyle. One thing soon became apparent to me. I had, in my working life, placed a separation between my faith in God and everyday tasks. Retirement taught me with a new clarity that work, be it work in the garden, caring for the lawn, refinishing furniture or making wooden spoons, is activity that should be offered to God as an act of praise and prayer. The spiritual and the physical are by no means opposed in human life; according to Scripture they are complementary.

This taught me a lesson that I should have understood years earlier as a believer. I realized that work, leisure, hobbies, and volunteer work are really things I do in the company of God, if I acknowledge His Lordship over all areas of my life. It seems like a radical idea to use our life, our work, and our leisure to glorify God. In today's scripture from Samuel, we are told that David danced before the Lord with all his might while the ark was being brought to the city of David. David was totally involved in the activity at hand; he was honouring God with his actions.

The discipline of acknowledging God's presence taught me that there is a link between body and spirit. What we do and how we do it honour God as much as the praise of lips. My hobbies, my gardening, and my leisure, carried out in the company of God, have merged my faith with what I do in everyday life. There is something honourable and beautiful in both work and leisure if they are well done. They become a participation in an activity of God, who makes all things well and wise and beautiful in detail.

God is not limited to Bible study and church attendance. Planting flowers, weeding the garden, and making wooden spoons can all be done to the glory of God. In that sense, our bodies become instruments of praise to our God and Creator. We too can become totally involved in honouring God with our activity.

Prayer: O heavenly Father, we thank You for life and for the opportunity to glorify Your name. Forgive us, O Lord, for our indifference toward our responsibilities to You in the way we live and work. We pray that You will be present with us and guide us, so that our bodies will be living sacrifices, holy and pleasing in Your eyes. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Garnet Schenk <gschenk@cogeco.ca>
Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada

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