Workday Prayers: The Rewards of Walking with God at Work

By Mark D. Roberts

June 9, 2023

Scripture — Psalm 128:1-2 (NRSV)

Happy is everyone who fears the LORD,
    who walks in his ways.
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
    you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.


Sometimes we think our faith is relevant only to our personal life, to matters of family, friendship, personal devotions, and private morality. Psalm 128 reminds us that our relationship with God has implications for all of life, including our daily work. If we want to enjoy the benefits of our work, we should honor God in all we do at work, and seek to walk in God’s ways.


Psalm 128 makes a strong connection between our relationship with God and our work. This psalm promises that if we fear God and walk in God’s ways, we will “eat the fruit of the labor of [our] hands” (128:2). Our work, therefore, isn’t somehow removed from God and God’s guidance. Rather, it is a primary setting for us to express our reverence for God and to put God’s righteousness into practice.

Psalm 128 offers a simple promise that is profoundly true, yet not always experienced in obvious ways by many workers. In biblical times and in our world today, millions of workers are victims of injustice. Many are enslaved so that they do not enjoy the fruit of their labor. The Bible is well aware of situations like these. Psalm 10, for example, recognizes that the wicked “persecute the poor” as “their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression” (Psalm 10:2, 7). For this reason, the psalm writer cries out to the Lord “to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that those from earth may strike terror nor more” (10:18). When God’s justice prevails, then the truth of Psalm 128 may be realized. Then those who fear and obey the Lord will be able to enjoy the fruit of their work.


Gracious God, I would like to be happy, not in a superficial way, but in a deep way that follows your blessing. I would like to eat the fruit of my labor, to enjoy the benefits of my daily work. I would like my life to go well.

Psalm 128 reminds me that these rewards aren’t something I produce mainly through my hard work. Yes, my work matters to you and to my neighbor. And it matters to me! But if I’m going to enjoy the rewards of my work, I must remember you. I must work in a way that expresses my reverence for you. I must walk in your ways, guided by your truth and teaching.

Help me, I pray, not to leave my faith behind when I’m working. Sometimes it’s hard for me to know how I might follow you in the practical challenges I face each day. So, dear Lord, I ask for wisdom. I ask for the guidance of your Spirit. May my heart continually seek you.

As I pray for the chance to enjoy the fruit of my labor today, I pray for those whose work is oppressive and twisted by injustice. I think of millions throughout the world who are grossly underpaid. I remember those who work in harsh and dangerous conditions. I call to mind those who are caught in human trafficking. O Lord, deliver them from their bondage. “Do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,” O God, “so that those from earth may strike terror no more.” And, I might add, so that all who work in this world might eat the fruit of their labors. Amen.

Ponder Throughout the Day

If you want to enjoy the benefits of your work, focus on fearing the Lord and walking in God’s ways.

For Further Reflection

You may wish to read all of Psalm 128.

Also, I’d encourage you to read all of Psalm 10.

Banner image by Joris Beugels on Unsplash.

Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project’s online commentary. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: The Work of Marriage, Raising Children, and Caring for Parents (Psalm 127, 128, 139).

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Mark D. Roberts

Senior Strategist

Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders,...

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