I’m going to start things off with a big helping of honesty and reflection: throughout my first few weeks as a practicing occupational therapist, I prayed about my job performance maybe twice. I just put my head down and powered through, relying on myself to get the job done. While this wasn’t a complete failure exteriorly (at least from what I could tell), it took a toll spiritually and emotionally. And of course, it left me open and vulnerable to spiritual attack, which I felt as soon as I attempted to actively pray about my new job.
Each time I took a moment to step back and really talk with God about my work life, I drew a blank. My thoughts became jumbled; I’d start to think about other things. The prayers just wouldn’t come together.
Maybe I’m the only one out there who has experienced this, and unfortunately for me it tends to be a reoccurring experience. But if you’re anything like me, my first advice would be don’t give up. Keep praying. Keep trying. Keep taking moments to just sit with God even if you don’t say anything. Allow the prayers to come. For me, this worked wonderfully well in spite of my frustrations.
In the waiting, a subtle thought emerged that changed everything. Pray for a prayer. I mean literally, “Lord, give me a prayer to pray because I don’t know what the heck I’m doing right now”.
I don’t have any science or research to back this up, but if I had to guess, most of the prayers that we read in the Bible were not man-written prayers. They were prayers that God placed in the hearts of men and women that have since changed the lives of believers through the ages. And if He gave prayers to the people of the Bible, He can certainly give prayers to us.
Over the past few weeks, this idea has played out beautifully in my own prayer life. God has been challenging me to really take the time to reflect on who I want to be as a practitioner.
So I decided to write down a list of characteristics that I consider appropriately descriptive of a Godly occupational therapist, with the intent of turning that list into an active and ongoing prayer.
Simple yet effective, this concept could apply to literally any role in just about any context: in school, in business, in ministry, in work, at home. Take the time to really think about who you want to be in light of who God designed you to be, with the intent of being specific and purposeful. The words will come.