Opening Prayers about Work

Worship / Produced by partner of TOW

These Opening Prayers are part of "Work in Worship," a collection of material for work-themed services compiled by David Welbourn. The aim of this book is to provide material which will assist clergy and others in the task of compiling work theme church services.

What Is Worship?

In its essence, worship is about praise and adoration of God.

Worship is recognition of what God is.

Worship calls attention to God's purpose for us and for the world.

What Does Work Have to Do with Worship?

While worship often happens on Sunday, its benefits aren't limited to the weekend.

Worship helps Christians orient themselves with God's purpose.

Worship equips people to be more effective agents in carrying that purpose out.

Christians can and should carry out God's purposes at the place where they spend the majority of their waking hourse: the workplace.

Churches that incorporate work-themed prayers into their Sunday services help working Christians bridge the gap between Sunday worship and Monday work.

What follows are a variety of Opening Prayers about work. These can be inserted at the beginning of a church service.

We Have Gathered Here to Praise God for Our Work (Prayer)

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We have gathered here this day to give thanks and praise to Almighty God for his love and gifts given to us day by day. We praise him for the gifts of creation and the work we are called to do, and we offer in thanksgiving all the work of our County.

We remember those without work; and it is our hope for them that, in God's love and in our dedication and service, they may find support and opportunity to use their skills.

So as we give our thanks and praise, we join in the prayer our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ taught us saying: Our Father...

We Are Here to Thank God for Commerce and Industry (Prayer)

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Human enterprise is not simply an end in itself; it is the means and the medium through which people fulfil their ultimate destiny.

We are here today to give thanks to God for all that Commerce and Industry mean to our country, our economy and our lives.

We thank God for the value that our businesses create, which can secure the public services we and our families need.

We thank God for the network of international contacts that mean that never again will Europe be devastated by war. The new Europe is being built by people in different countries working together towards common goals.

We thank God for the opportunity to contribute to the transformation of Central and Eastern Europe, to the ultimate benefit of all the citizens of Europe as a whole.

We thank God for the difference that industry can make to the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, our nation's transport and communications infrastructure.

We thank God for the ability to develop and apply the most advanced technology in the cause of peace, and to improve the quality of life for all.

We thank God for our colleagues: their competence, capacity, commitment and comradeship. Business is about ordinary people working together, often in very difficult circumstances, to achieve extraordinary things.

And we pray to God that we will be able to meet adequately the responsibilities and obligations of management.

This we do in the name of him who taught us that to lead is to serve, and whose service is perfect freedom, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let Us Give Thanks Today for the Work of Our Town (Prayer)

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Let us give thanks today for the work of our (town, city, region, county etc.) and for the privilege of sharing in that work.

Let us give thanks today for the providence of God and for the gift of work.

We have gathered here this day to given thanks to Almighty God for his love and gifts given us day by day. We praise him for the gifts of creation and the work that we are called to do, and we offer in thanksgiving all the work of our (town, city, region, country etc.).

We Are Here to Thank God for the Value our Businesses and Work Create (Prayer)

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Human enterprise is not simply an end in itself; it is the means and medium through which people fulfil their ultimate destiny. We are here today to give thanks to God for all that commerce and industry mean to us, our town, our economy and our lives.

We thank God for the value that our businesses and our work create, which can secure the public services we and our families need.

We thank God for our colleagues; their competence, capacity, commitment and comradeship. We pray to God that we will be able to meet adequately the responsibilities and obligations of management.

This we do in the name of him who taught us that to lead is to serve, and whose service is perfect freedom.

Human Work Is Something for the Church to Celebrate (Prayer)

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Human work is part of God's providence for the world. Most of the goods and services which people need are provided through our work in homes, schools, hospitals, factories, offices and shops. These daily activities which sustain life and keep the world going, which create wealth, give service and make provision for human needs, are part of God's good providence, and something for the church to celebrate.

So let us thank God for his goodness and pray for all who, by their work in manufacturing, the service industries and commerce, sustain the quality of life for our society.

We Meet to Thank God for His Gifts of Raw Material and Human Skill (Prayer)

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We meet together to thank God for his gifts of raw material and human skill, and for the high standard of living to which he has brought us: to offer to him our work in industry and commerce, and to pray that he may guide us in the right use of all that is entrusted to us. Let us in silence remember his presence and pray that this service may be to his glory.

(After a short silence:)

O Lord God, we worship and adore you. Fill our minds with such devotion that all unworthy thoughts may be driven from us, and that through this service we may hear your voice and be obedient to your will. Amen.

Quotes about Work for the Opening Sentences of a Church Service

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Work is the creative activity of God within us, working through us in the world for the glory of him and to the benefit of all. (Ken Hawkings)

Without purposeful, rewarding, creative work, one loses one's orientation, self-confidence and self- respect; becoming a prisoner and an outcast in one's own subjective world. (Christian Schumacher - adapted)

To accept the Incarnation (the coming of Jesus) is to accept that God is at work in his world as it is, and that Christians are called to co-operate with him there. (Jack Keiser)

What we have somehow to do in the present age is to combine goodness and cleverness; to learn somehow to permeate the vast impersonal world organisations with the love of God and of our neighbour. We have to learn to harness the scientific mind in the service of the merciful heart. (A.D.Lindsay)

Work is the expenditure of energy (manual and mental or both) in the service of others, which brings fulfilment to the worker, benefit to the community and glory to God. (John Stott)

At the centre of Christian redemption stands the resurrection. This is first of all the work of God and it is God who takes our work and accepts it for his own. So the work of Christ was not wasted. (Paul Ballard)

Technology and industry create the context within which we must search for meaning in life. (Margaret Kane)

Quotes about Unemployment for the Opening Sentences of a Church Service

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'Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment'. (UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

'Work is an obligation, that is to say a duty, on the part of each human being. This is true in all the many meanings of the word. People must work, both because the creator has demanded it and because of their own humanity, which requires work in order to be maintained and developed. Each person must work out of regard for others'. (Papal Encyclical 'Laborem Exercens' 1972 [c.] )