Do you prepare your heart before you start your work-day? When I taught young children at a children's centre God taught me the importance of preparing my heart each morning. He showed me that there is great wisdom in spending time with Him, because if I wanted to become more like Jesus then I had to spend more time with Him.
Jesus had a pure heart, a servant heart and was all about communing with the Father and doing the Father's will. There was good fruit from all that Jesus did. If you think about the fruits of the Spirit, they are really needed to be a good teacher, especially patience.
I found my daily devotion time in the morning was not quite enough time with God to prepare me for work. You see, we don't just want to be on the defence but we want to be on the offence, meaning that by spending quality time with the Lord and in His word we become ready and armed to take spiritual ground in our workplaces, rather than just cruising through the day. Worship on my way to work became spiritual warfare worship and I quickly found that worship cushioned me against whatever challenges my day would bring.
Often I would thank God for His protection over me and declare particular scriptures over my day, usually Psalms about God being my strong-tower, my refuge, my help and my peace. Sometimes I would feel the Holy Spirit prompt me to cover particular children in prayer before I got to the Centre. Other times I would feel to pray for children on my way home in preparation for the next day. I prayed with the belief that God knew His children better than I could so He would have the best strategies and ideas of how to connect with them and meet their needs.
One of my favourite scriptures during this season was Colossians 3:23; 'Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than people.' There was also a real conviction in my heart that I was placed in that centre 'for such a time as this' and like when Esther became Queen, the question came to me what was I going to do with the opportunity?
I found a few gems of truth during this time. While working we can be also praying at the same time. Simple, childlike prayers are usually what comes out which is what God loves to hear. God is with us continually, and he loves partnering with us each day. Second, I learnt that God who lives within me actually wants to be released. It makes me think of a line in a song: 'so blessed, I can't contain it, so blessed I gotta give it away'. I believe that God is wanting us to share His love and goodness and holiness with those in the world. Third, God is really longing for His lost sheep. I felt God grow a heart in me for my work colleagues and I started praying that they would come to know the Lord. Many were into New Age beliefs and practices and I was stirred by God to share my faith and pray with one of them, which I believe has planted good seeds.
One night when I was praying, I saw a picture of the corridors and rooms of my workplace and felt the Lord speak into my heart, instructing me to pray His presence into every square inch of the place. Holy Spirit led me through the whole centre and as he did I released God's presence, love and grace upon the Centre.
Fasting and opportunities
The next day I felt God speak again, and ask me to fast food for the day and to prepare my heart again for work. Fasting was a big thing, having never done it before. I had heard people preach on how fasting from fleshly desires such as food will heighten your spiritual awareness and help you hear God's voice. However, I was still nervous about how I would work all day without food because I sure love to eat! So, I went to work and four hours in, I felt Holy Spirit tingles on my hands and lips, which was amazing and I had the sense that something was about to happen.
I was given a rare opportunity to be in the toddler sleep room to pat them to sleep and I felt the Lord prompt me to go and bless each child that was asleep, in Jesus name. I laid hands gently on each child and blessed them to know God's love and goodness and have a blessed life, in Jesus name. It was such a special time and I felt so honoured that God gave me the opportunity.
Another opportunity the Lord gave me was during my last week there. I was the sole teacher outside which is rare and I felt inspired to start drumming on old water containers and singing my own prophetic psalms. The children flocked to me and some started dancing. One little boy who God had particularly placed on my heart climbed right up on my lap and wanted to be right near the heavenly music that I was releasing! God is so, so faithful when we step out in faith for Him!
When I felt that it was time to resign, God gave me a real peace that he would continue to watch over the Centre and all the children. He gave me a scripture, Isaiah 55:11 which says 'It is the same with my word. I sent it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I sent it.'
I believe that the Lord was encouraging me by saying that all His scriptures that I had declared with my lips and all the worship and prayer that I had released into the atmosphere was not in vain but was pregnant with the Lord's will coming to pass.
Interestingly, many Christians I have met and talked to seem to just be going through the motions of going to work, without seeing the opportunity to be a prayer presence and be salt and light in their workplaces. We are not weak but strong, we have the Lion of Judah in us because Jesus lives in us and He has conquered the enemy and all darkness.
Even if we feel fearful or weak about sharing about our faith or praying for someone, God promises to be our strength and that He is perfected in us as the strong one. Never be discouraged if you don't see big changes because God works many good things behind the scenes in the spiritual realm, which we can't see. Some prayers that we pray are like seeds just needing watering by the Lord in His perfect timing.
Nothing is too hard for the Lord as it says in Genesis 18:14, so go on, believe that He can use you in your workplace and everywhere he has planted you, for He is faithful.
Liana Monaghan lives in Goolwa, South Australia and currently is writing songs and prophetic psalms for the Lord before returning to part time teaching. Liana and her husband who is a prophetic artist run a creative home fellowship.
Liana Monaghan's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/liana-monaghan.html