Private Prayer

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This is part of "Work in Worship," a collection of material for work-themed services compiled by David Welbourn. For more prayers, songs, readings and sermons, click on the table of contents to the right.

Private Prayer

Prayers for the Start of the Working Day

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These Private Prayers for the start of the working day are part of "Work in Worship," a collection of material for work-themed services compiled by David Welbourn. For more prayers, songs, readings and sermons, click on the table of contents to the right.

Morning Dedication

In all I do this day,
In all I think and say
Father, be with me all the way.

In all my work and all my deeds,
In all I learn,
In all my needs,
Christ, go before me,
The One who leads.

In all my work as I do my best,
In all that puts me to the test,
Spirit, help, and grant me rest.

(David Adam ‘Power Lines’)

*****

Openings

O Lord God, Creator of all
Open my eyes to beauty
Open my mind to wonder
Open my ears to others
Open my heart to you.

(David Adam ‘Power Lines’

******

The Peace of the Presence

I believe, O God of all gods,
that you are present
that we dwell in you
and in your Presence there is Peace

I believe, O God of all gods,
that you are present,
that this day begins in you
tnd in your Presence there is Peace

I believe, O God of all gods,
that you are present,
that this journey is in you
tnd in your Presence there is Peace.

I believe, O God of all gods,
that you are present
that this work place is in you
and in your Presence there is Peace.

I believe, O God of all gods,
that you are present
that we dwell in you
and in your Presence there is Peace.

(David Adam ‘Power Lines’)

******

Teach me Lord
to give
of my time
my talents
my trust
myself.
Help me, Lord,
to receive
from others,
to delegate,
to share
and in all to be aware of you.

(David Adam ‘Power Lines’)

******

Bringer of Peace

In busyness
Bring stillness,
In work without cease
Your unending peace,
When things would harm
Your inner calm

(David Adam ‘Power Lines’)

******

In the quiet of the morning,
In the new day that is dawning,
Thy kingdom come.

In my waking and my dressing,
In my life and my progressing,
Thy kingdom come.

In this moment for the taking,
In the things that I am making
Thy kingdom come.

In my tasks and my employment,
In my leisure and enjoyment,
Thy kingdom come.

(David Adam ‘Power Lines’)

******

Peace, Lord, Peace,
To all whom I meet
To all in the street,
Peace, Lord, Peace.

To all working here
To all who are dear,
Peace, Lord, Peace.

To all who need pity
To all in this city
Peace, Lord, Peace.

To all facing defeat
Who feel incomplete
Peace, Lord, Peace.

To all unemployed
Whose hope is destroyed
Peace, Lord, Peace.

(David Adam, ‘Power Lines’)

******

God of Life

Lord increase
My zest for living
My vision of glory
My hearing of your call
My grasp on reality
My response to your call
My sensitivity to others
My gentleness to creation
My taste for wonder
My love for you.

(David Adam ‘Power Lines’)

******

O God, you claim me as your partner,
respecting me
trusting me
tussling with me
Support me
as I dare to be vulnerable with you.
encourage me
as I dare to take risks with you,
so that together we can transform our world. Amen.

******

God Be In My Head

In this hour
Somewhere in the world
People will be meeting on buses and trains
In shops, factories and offices.
Some will meet for only a few fleeting moments,
Others will spend most of the day together.
I may meet people who will cheer me,
Make me smile or maybe annoy me.
Lord of the morning, help me.

In the hours ahead
I may bring the warmth of friendship to some,
Others I may irritate and anger.
Lord, life is too short for bitterness,
For quarrelling, or for hurtful gossip.
Yet sometimes it is hard to think kindly
About those I share my day with.
Lord of life, help me.

Through the hours of this day
I may say things that I regret,
Things that will hurt or cause bitterness,
Yet in doing this
I hurt myself,
Spoil my own day.
Sometimes I am my own worst enemy
In the way I think of people,
Talk to people
Work with people
Lord of life, help me.

Lord of life throughout the day
Take over my mind,
My words,
My actions,
My life.

God be in my head
And in my understanding;
God be in my eyes,
And in my looking.
God be in my mouth
And in my speaking;
God be in my heart
And in my thinking;
God be at my end,
And at my departing. Amen.

(From ‘Pause for Though’ with Frank Topping)

******

Daily Work

In this morning light
I’m thinking about my daily work.
I sometimes wonder
How I came to have my present job,
Or why I earn my living
In my particular way.
Should I be doing something else with my life?
Should I be looking for something new,
Something better, or ought I be content,
Grateful for employment
When many have no work at all?
Lord of the morning,
During this working day, guide me.

Lord, over the years I have been caught up in the race
For something better.
Perhaps this is the time to stop.
To stop racing ahead, to take stock.
If I have learned my trade,
If I am competent in my work
Perhaps I should stay where I am
And try to improve what I do.
Lord, is that common sense
Or simply cowardice?

Lord, throughout the hours of the day
Help me to appreciate
The work I have been given to do.
If I have talents,
Help me to use them.
Let me not waste my gifts by neglecting them
Or through craving the gifts of others.
Help me to be courageous
In decisions about the use of my time and energy
At work and at home.
Lord of the morning, help me.

(From ‘Pause for Thought’ with Frank Topping)

******

In all I think, or do, or say,
In all that I achieve today,
Let it be in the Father’s way.

In my working, in seeking right,
Until the coming of the night,
Let it be in the Saviour’s might.

In my actions, in every place,
In the running of the race,
Let it be in the Saviour’s grace.

In my travelling to the city,
In my deeds of love and pity,
Guide me, ever, most Holy Trinity.

God of love and gentleness
Keep me by your great goodness
From each act of sinfulness
From each deed of carelessness
From each word of hurtfulness
From each thought of evilness.
Keep, O Lord, and ever bless
With your peace and holiness
God of love and gentleness.

(David Adam)

******

I give my work to you, Lord
I give my work to you.

I give my plans to you, Lord
I give my plans to you.

I give my hopes to you, Lord
I give my hopes to you.

I give my dreams to you, Lord
I give my dreams to you.

I give my life to you, Lord
I give my life to you.

I give my love to you, Lord
Keep me true to you, Lord
Keep me true to you.

In all I say and do, Lord
In all I say and do.

Help me to serve you, Lord
Help me to serve you.

(David Adam)

******

Almighty God, sustainer of daily work and life, provider of every need. May I be so open to your creative
power that I may know your will, praise your name, and share your vision for the creation of your
kingdom.

******

May the mind of Christ my Saviour
Live in me from day to day,
By his love and power controlling
Everything I do and say.

******

May the strength of God pilot me;
May the power of God preserve me;
May the wisdom of God instruct me;
May the hand of God direct me;
May the shield of God defend me.

******

Thank you, O Lord my God, for my work today. Although there may be problems to solve, difficulties to
face, targets to be met – there may also be solutions, victories and achievements. Above all there is a
community to serve and a life to be lived – my life which hidden with Christ in you, Lord God

******

Holy God, the money I offer in your house on Sunday will result from my work today. Hear my prayer,
that I may work with honesty, integrity and accuracy, and so make both work-and-worship-offerings
acceptable to you.

******

O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day;
If I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me;
For Christ’s sake.

(General Lord Astley, 1642)

Prayers for the End of the Working Day

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These Prayers for the end of the working day are part of "Work in Worship," a collection of material for work-themed services compiled by David Welbourn. For more prayers, songs, readings and sermons, click on the table of contents to the right.

Evening Dedication

Here are my thoughts, Lord,
Here is my mind.
Here are my deeds, Lord,
Help me unwind.

Here is my strength, Lord,
Here is my will.
Here is my life, Lord,
Help me be still.

Here is my heart, Lord,
Here is my hope.
Here is my love, Lord,
Help me to cope.

Here is my time, Lord,
Here is my might.
Here I am thine, Lord,
Bless me tonight.

(David Adam ‘Power Lines’)

******

O Lord, I remember before thee tonight
All the workers of the world:
Workers with hand or brain;
Workers in cities or in fields.
Those who go forth to toil
And those who keep house;
Employers and employees;
Those who command and those who obey;
Those whose work is dangerous,
Those whose work is monotonous or mean;
Those who can find no work to do;
Those whose work is the service of the poor;
Or the healing of the sick,
Or the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ
At home and in foreign places.

(John Baillie)

******

All My Tomorrows

Lord of the evening
The day has come to rest
And in the quiet, I am at peace.
I wish this calmness
Could stay with me
Throughout the working day.
Yet so often
I am irritable at the start of a day.
I wonder why?
I suppose there are physical reasons,
A natural reluctance
To leave the warmth and security
Of sleep;
And perhaps a deep-seated unwillingness
To face the tasks that await me.
Yet in any working day
The hours I spend with my family
Are so few
I can’t afford to spoil any of them.

Lord, I know that when tomorrow begins
The things I say and do
Will create ‘moods’
That will affect me and others
For hours.
One sharp word from me
Could mean that two or three other people
Will start off on the wrong foot.
It can make a difference
To so many things.

Lord, may I know the peace of your presence
When daylight breaks.
Tomorrow, help me to think before I speak
Help me to realise that I am not the only person
Who finds it difficult to start the day.
I have only to breathe your name
To know your peace.
Help me to remember that
Now and always.

(From ‘Pause for Thought’ with Frank Topping)

******

Shepherd King
As you looked lovingly
Into the eyes
Of the rich young man,
Look on me.

God’s Anointed,
As you looked searchingly
Into the heart
Of David,
Look on me.

As I drift heedless
Into the false calm
Of a life lived
Within the confines
Of others’ expectations,
Save me from shipwreck.

As I tremble
Before the next task,
Strengthen me.

Help me to take on the giants of my life;
To battle with conscience
And the dictates of culture.

Then may I
Look into your eyes
And offer you
All that is most precious,
As I receive your gift
Of life in all its fullness.

(Kate McIllhagga, in URC Handbook, 1993)

******

UNEMPLOYED… REDUNDANT…

Unemployed… redundant… laid off… unqualified… surplus labour…
These words cut into me,
Severing all feeling of usefulness.
What kind of body-part am I now:
What sort of foot or hand, eye or ear
Can I be if I don’t work?
Does the body still need me?

Creator God
I’ve got this idea I must be active and busy,
Doing bit things in your name.
Prophesying to the world,
Eradicating poverty.
Yet it is the everyday struggles
That are so demanding:
Just about making ends meet,
Maintaining some dignity.
I might not have been the greatest worker
But now I’ve been put on the scrap heap.

Teacher Christ
We need to learn a new way of being.
Show us how to be prophets in every situation,
Employed or unemployed,
Underpaid or overworked,
So that the justice of labour shared
May truly build up your body
In honour and rejoicing.

(Kate McIllhagga, in URC Handbook, 1993)

Prayer Cycles / Calendars

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This is part of "Work in Worship," a collection of material for work-themed services compiled by David Welbourn. For more prayers, songs, readings and sermons, click on the table of contents to the right.

PRayer Cycles / Calendars

Week-Long Cycle: Work Prayers for Each Day

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This week-long cycle of work prayers is part of "Work in Worship," a collection of material for work-themed services compiled by David Welbourn. For more prayers, songs, readings and sermons, click on the table of contents to the right.

 

MONDAY

“After eighteen years I was made redundant”

I remember today
… all those living with the threat of redundancy… those recently made redundant… especially… those
missing the status, colleagueship, creativity and routine of employment… those who want and need paid
work… especially…

Lord, make me more than sensitive to the needs of those who are searching for work and a living wage.
Help me through encouragement, support and change to reorder life so that the skills of all may be used to
create a more human world.

WE ARE MEMBERS ONE OF ANOTHER (Ephesians 4:24)


TUESDAY

“The productivity scheme was bull-dozed through”

I remember today
… those who work in places where the pressure for profit and productivity has all but pushed out concern
for human beings… those who suffer the consequences of bad management caused by inadequate
consultation… those who give time at work to represent others in the search for justice and human
dignity… especially…

LET JUSTICE ROLL DOWN LIKE WATERS (Amos 5:24)


WEDNESDAY

“The boss likes to have a happy ship”

I remember today
… all the good things about my work… the things that bring satisfaction… that make me laugh… the
people around me who are good at their job… especially… those who are concerned for others’ welfare
as well as their own…

Lord, in my search for happiness, keep me sensitive to the things that still need to be put right lest my
contentment with the good prevents me from experiencing the best.

I CAME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE… ABUNDANTLY (John 10:10)


THURSDAY

“I got 20p an hour rise this week, to £3.40”

I remember today
… all who are in jobs well below their ability…all who are poorly rewarded for their work… especially…
those who are discriminated against because of their sex, colour, disability or age… all who work in
insecure, dead-end, poorly supported work… especially… all whose weekly income falls below what is
necessary for a decent life…

Lord of the rich and the poor, help us to organise our work and economy with justice and a true sense of
our responsibility for each other.

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF (Luke 10:27)


FRIDAY

“Everything is piling in”

I remember today
… all those under heavy pressure at work… especially… those trying to cope with demands beyond their
capacity… those who regularly have to take work home… those whose family and social life is suffering
as a result of personal stress… especially…

Lord, we pray for skill to balance creatively the demands made on us in times of stress and to learn new
ways of coping.

THE TASK IS TOO HEAVY FOR YOU; YOU CANNOT DO IT ALONG (Exodus 18:17)


SATURDAY

“My boss works from seven in the morning till seven at night and at weekends”

I remember today
… all those who have to work while I enjoy my leisure… especially… all those who are under pressure to
work ‘all the hours that God sends’… and those who need some of my ‘quality time’… my own mental
and physical need for relaxation.

Lord, teach me that there is more to life than work. Give me the ability to relax and enjoy life with family
and friends.

GOD FINISHED THE WORK HE HAD DONE AND RESTED (Genesis 2:2)


SUNDAY

I remember today
… the opportunity this day brings for renewal in body, mind and spirit… the way in which , together with
others in our congregation and church groups, I can worship God, offer my whole week’s work, be
forgiven, be affirmed, be led to deeper faith, vision and strength for my life and work…

Lord, you call me to worship and to be faithful every day. I pray today for those who will help me to
sense your presence about me. Stengthen me as I share with others in the renewal of your creation.

MY YOKE IS EASY (Matthew 11:30)

Two-Week-Long Cycle: Work Prayers for Each Day

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This two-week-long cycle of work prayers is part of "Work in Worship," a collection of material for work-themed services compiled by David Welbourn. For more prayers, songs, readings and sermons, click on the table of contents to the right.

(From Herts & Beds Industrial Mission)

SUNDAY
“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit”

Glory is rightly to be given to the Father, creator of heaven and earth, whose word brought creation into being, and who actively sustains, upholds and oversees it.

Glory to the Son, living, dying, raised to life and so making abundant new and eternal life available to humanity – a work of re-creation.

Glory to the Holy Spirit, constantly active, convincing the world of sin, righteousness and judgement and bearing witness to the truth as it is in Jesus.

Review the past week with its evidence of God’s varied provision for your needs, and look with hope and expectation into this new week.

Pray for the right combination of worship and leisure on Sundays; for those working to provide essential services and recreational opportunities, that they do not become submerged by the claims of this world.

MONDAY
The purpose of work

The weekly pay packet or monthly cheque may often be given as the reason for working. Yet creativity, personal development and contributions to community life should be more powerful underlying reasons.

Pray that the place of work in the realm of God’s redemptive plan may be accepted and taught.

Pray that work may provide opportunity for personal growth, and that Christians in all occupations may truly believe they are fulfilling their vocation.

Thank God for the work you and your family engage in.
“Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours; that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us”.

TUESDAY
Money – wealth

Cost of living, pay claims, increased benefits, changing interest rates – our society revolves around the exchange of money. Economic policies are fashioned by people, whether in government, finance houses or large, trans-national organisations. These people at the apex of secular power structures seem remote and distant from ordinary life. Prayer may be the only way most of us have of affecting them or of opening up more direct links with them and so influencing their decisions.

Pray that the “love of money” may dominate society’s objectives less.

Pray that those who control large budgets may use these resources with care and compassion.

Pray for those who are poor managers of their domestic finances – and hence often in debt; for those caught in the poverty trap; for those who are destitute (for whatever reason) and for all who try to help them.

Pray for the staff of the local Department of Social Security, under pressure from many applicants.

WEDNESDAY
Large firms

Employment in large, possibly trans-national companies can offer varied experience and progress. It can also mean feeling helpless, as decisions with far-reaching local effects are made at a distance- possibly overseas. Inefficient use of human and material resources can lead to waste and feeling useless. Takeover bids result in loss of identity of smaller firms and can destroy personal friendly working relationships.

Give thanks for the training and advancement prospects provided by large companies.

Pray for all employees to be aware of the value of their contribution to the whole concern.

Pray for shareholders to remember that people matter more than dividends.

THURSDAY
Small firms

Many small businesses come into being every year, yet unhappily a high percentage fail. However, they meet community needs and provide satisfying work for small groups. Co-operatives enable those with common interests to use their abilities to fulfil shared visions. The small general store or local newsagent often demands long hours of work, while providing a service to the neighbourhood – especially the elderly.

Pray for renewed hope for those with cash-flow problems or who have been forced to close their businesses.

FRIDAY
Unemployed people

These may be school leavers, with or without certificates of some sort; the skilled tradesman made redundant due to new technology; the early-retired whose long-term ambitions have been cut short. Try to imagine the dull hopelessness of days and months of inactivity and disappointment as a job does not materialise.

Pray for unemployed people to be granted a spirit of hope, and to retain their sense of dignity and selfworth.

Pray that the families of unemployed people may accept and support them.

Give thanks for the deepened understanding of the pain of being without work and for those whose decisions nationally and locally create more jobs.

SATURDAY
Christian witness at work

Christian men and women are the Lord’s front-line troops in the working world. Urged by the church to be “salt” and “light”; judged by their colleagues by the highest standards.

Pray for those in your family and in your congregation who daily face these challenges.

Give thanks for the spiritual support given by Christian groups at work.

Pray for seminars, study groups and for literature relating faith to work to be more widely and fully used.

SUNDAY
Background to worship

The ceaseless existence and activity of almighty God – to whom all honour is due – is the background to our worship. Even as congregations gather for worship today, many people are at work. Basic services of heating, lighting, travelling etc. have to be provided; goods are in transit by sea, land and air; news is being collected and transmitted; the ill and dependent need attention at all times – as do farm animals.

Prayer: “Bless the Lord all created things; sing his praise and exult him for ever”.

Pray for those who work today in the service industries, in transport, farming, media presentation, and in caring for others. For those in works which must function continuously twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. For Christians on shift work, unable to share in public worship today.

MONDAY
World resources

“The earth is the Lord’s”.
In the divine plan, humankind has been entrusted with responsible oversight (stewardship) of this planet. Its resources need to be safeguarded, and the environment maintained in a healthy state for the sake of future generations. Too much can so easily be used too quickly, for selfish ends. Greed is traditionally included in the list of deadly sins.

Prayer: “Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made human beings in your image. Teach us to discern your hand in all your works, and to serve you with reverence and thanksgiving.”

Pray: Praise God for the rich resources of this planet, and the universe. Pray that scientists may be wise and prudent in their handling of these God-given materials.

Give thanks for the increasing concern to preserve high quality in the environment.

TUESDAY
Paid employment

For most adults the Monday to Friday work is paid employment: the use of their time, skills, physical and mental energy are rewarded with money. Such work may be monotonous or exciting, repetitive or creative, satisfying or frustrating. It may be in manufacturing, retailing, education, the armed forces – the list is long.

Look around you where you are now: at the clothes you wear, the furnishings of the room, this sheet of paper itself. Think through the range of goods recently bought at the local shop or supermarket. Try to imagine the number and variety of people and processes involved in bringing these goods to you, people unknown to you, but known to God and loves by him. Some may acknowledge them, or some may be of non-Christian faiths, others not prepared to profess any faith. The life of a community depends on the efforts of so many.

Pray: For those who maintain a Christian presence in office, shop, factory, college or other workplace.
For those whose work is dangerous – for astronauts, research scientists, miners, building site workers.
For those whose work is tedious or in conditions that are mentally or physically demanding.

WEDNESDAY
The unemployed

Hope, ambition, vision – all are desirable characteristics in young people, who have their life before them. But if there is little hope of any work at all, let alone work that suits their interests or gifts, what then? What of the disabled, or the mentally or physically handicapped? Feelings of frustration, uselessness, boredom. Hopelessness and even anger against society can easily arise. The ability to make a personal contribution to the life of the community is an important factor in maintaining self-dignity as a child of God.

Some few may not want to work, but most unemployed feel deprived and even degraded because no opportunities are offered.

Pray: For those frustrated by months of enforced idleness, and for their families.
For those made redundant, and those anxious about their future work situation.
Pray that government and industry may strive to produce a society in which opportunities for personal
development will be more widely available.
Pray against the demon of despair.

THURSDAY
Christians at work

Every day many believers will be trying to make a Christian contribution of thought or insight relevant to their work situation – or remaining aloof from it – or inwardly struggling with feelings of guilt at being unable to translate faith into practice.

If Jesus is Lord (as he is!) then he is Lord of all life. Christians at work have to bear witness to their new life by what is done as well as by what is said; and also by realistic application of Christian teachings to all aspects of the workplace – to procedures, policies, products – everything.

Prayer: “Send us out in the power of your Spirit, to live and work to your praise and glory”.

Pray: That Christians will be eager to relate their faith to their daily occupation; that congregations will seek their members at work as engaged in mission and outreach, and so provide support and training. For groups of Christians who meet in workplaces, that they may be glad to strive for the coming of the Kingdom there.

“God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5: 9)
Much reconciliation is needed in the secular world. Stable community life depends upon understanding, forbearance, mutual respect and willingness to find common outlooks and goals from which co-operation can proceed. When working relationships break down they may become headline news. A strike can cause a legacy of stress and bitterness, which can infiltrate a neighbourhood and affect families.

Pray: Give thanks for the rarely publicised, patient, skilled and professional work done by negotiators on behalf of those they represent.
For the unity and sense of working together found in small businesses, and in a growing number of cooperatives.
Pray for an increase of love, truth and truthfulness in our industrial society.
Pray for Christians who may find themselves on opposite sides in a dispute.

FRIDAY
(As for Monday of previous week)

SATURDAY
Mission in industrial society

Individuals and groups are working to strengthen the connections between the Christian faith and the society in which we are set. Opportunities are being provided for church people to discover more of what industry is like and how it affects people. How to interpret and communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ to our society is a challenging part of the mission of the church.

Pray: For Faith and Work programmes – helping people to overcome the faith-work divide.
For Church Action With the Unemployed – supporting local initiatives to help those without a job.
For full-time and part-time industrial chaplains in their pastoral and prophetic ministry.

I praise you for the enjoyment of my daily work; the challenge of new problems, the opportunities to exercise skill, the satisfaction of job well done, the pleasure of a quality product. Worship and work blend together as my offering to you, my Lord and my God.
Amen.

 

Month-Long Calendar: Intercessions for Those at Work

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This month-long calendar of Intercessions for people at work is part of "Work in Worship," a collection of material for work-themed services compiled by David Welbourn. For more prayers, songs, readings and sermons, click on the table of contents to the right.

The chaplains of the Sussex Industrial Mission have compiled this Calendar of Intercession, whereby they pray for a different category of worker each day of the month. The following list could easily be adapted for other localities.

DAY 1 Federation of Sussex Industries, Chambers of Commerce, CBI
DAY 2 Employees and Trade Unions
DAY 3 Industrialists and leaders of commerce, Institute of Personnel and Development
DAY 4 Officers and elected representatives of the local community, MPs
DAY 5 Judges and magistrates
DAY 6 Police, fire and ambulance services
DAY 7 Social workers, probation officers
DAY 8 Hospitals, doctors, nurses, health workers
DAY 9 Schools, teachers and pupils
DAY 10 Workers in shops and offices
DAY 11 Clinics, doctors’ surgeries, dentists etc.
DAY 12 The redundant or unemployed
DAY 13 Those stressed at work
DAY 14 Those on low pay
DAY 15 Higher education, Sussex TEC, university, research
DAY 16 Farms, agriculture, forestry
DAY 17 Horticulture, market gardening
DAY 18 Utilities, gas, water, electricity, sewage and waste disposal
DAY 19 Manual workers
DAY 20 Road, rail and air transport, Gatwick
DAY 21 Building and the construction industry
DAY 22 Banking, insurance, finance
DAY 23 Armed Forces and ancilliary organisations
DAY 24 Employment agencies and job clubs
DAY 25 Sussex ports and fishing
DAY 26 Leisure industry, entertainment, hotels and pubs, leisure centres
DAY 27 Emergency rescue, air, sea and lifeboats, coastguards
DAY 28 Those who work at home
DAY 29 The self-employed
DAY 30 Press and media
DAY 31 Non-stipendiary ministers, those in Industrial Mission, and all Christians in their place of work

Miscellaneous Prayers about Work

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These miscellaneous prayers about work are part of "Work in Worship," a collection of material for work-themed services compiled by David Welbourn. For more prayers, songs, readings and sermons, click on the table of contents to the right.

You Asked for My Hands (Prayer)

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You asked for my hands
That you might use them for your purpose.
I gave them for a moment then withdrew them
For the work was hard.

You asked for my mouth
To speak out against injustice.
I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused.

You asked for my eyes
To see the pain of poverty
I closed them for I did not want to see.

You asked for my life
That you might work through me.
I gave a small part that I might not get too involved.

Lord, forgive my calculated efforts to serve you,
Only when it is convenient to do so,
Only in those placed where it is safe to do so,
And only with those who make it easy to do so.

Father, forgive me,
Renew me
Send me out
As a usable instrument
That I might take seriously
The meaning of your cross.

My Salt Dissolved And My Light Faded Away (Prayer)

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Lord, you placed me in the world
To be its salt
I was afraid of committing myself.
Afraid to being stained by the world.
I did not want to hear what ‘they’ might say.
And my salt dissolved as if in water.
Forgive me, Jesus.

Lord, you placed me in the world
To be its light.
I was afraid of the shadows
Afraid of the poverty.
I did not want to know other people
And my light slowly faded away
Forgive me, Jesus.

Lord, you placed me in the world
To live in community.
Thus you taught me to love
To share in life,
To struggle for bread and justice,
Your truth incarnate in my life.
So be it, Jesus.

Help Me Find Myself Away from Home (Prayer)

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O God,
Who am I now?
Once, I was secure
In familiar territory
In my sense of belonging
Unquestioning of
The norms of my culture
The assumptions build into my language
The values shared by my society.

But now you have called me out and away from home
And I do not know where you are leading.
I am empty, unsure, uncomfortable.
I have only a beckoning star to follow.

Journeying God,
Pitch your tent with mine
So that I may not become deterred
By hardship, strangeness, doubt.
Show me the movement I must make
Toward a wealth not dependent on possessions
Toward a wisdom not based on books
Toward a strength not bolstered my might
Toward a God not confined to heaven
But scandalously earthed, poor, unrecognised…
Help me to find myself
As I walk in others’ shoes.

I Am Angry about Unemployment, What Now? (Prayer)

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Lord, I am angry.
Forgive me.
Lord, why me (once more)?
But why not me?
I’m no more important than the others;
After all, it was just a job.
But it was a livelihood.
I was sad to let go.
The job could be boring.
It could be monotonous.
But it could be fulfilling.
It was worthwhile.
What now, Lord?
Show me the way forward.

(R Kempsell)

God Knows My Tiredness (Prayer)

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God of the moment,
I often wonder,
When I am stressed, or tired, or tense,
If it is all worth it.
For what purpose is life like this?

There are many times
When I have come in from work.
Collapsed in the chair,
And sighed with a tired and thankful sigh,
‘Thank God the day is over!’
Or times when I have come out of a stressful meeting,
Or a tense conversation,
And with all my heart
Felt the relief when I screamed inside myself,
‘Thank the Almighty I got through that!’
and meant it.
With all my thankful heart meant it.

But looking back,
I know of a deeper thanks:
A thanks that is not just relief at being spared for another day,
But a thanks that knows,
Simply,
That you know.
You were in my seat at that meeting,
That visit,
That conversation,
You were there with me,
Supporting, caring, loving.

God of the moment,
Let me look back again
At all the moments where tension or tiredness
Have hi-jacked the comfort of your presence,
And see at that moment,
You stood and waited for a better moment
To tap me on the shoulder and let me know
You have loved me throughout.

And now, with that Almighty Love,
Let me look forward with certainty
To where I can be loved,
And supported,
And cared for yet again
By you,
God of each moment.

(Roddie Hamilton c All Year Round (1996), The Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland)

Paper, Metal And Plastic Pass Through My Hands, From God (Prayer)

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Lord, as in this new week
paper, metal and plastic will pass through my hands and processes,
and ‘phones and VDUs exchange messages and information –
may I not forget that all things come from you,
the Creator, Provider, Sustainer.

In the work of my hands may I glorify you.
In the work of my lips may I praise you.
In the thoughts of my mind may I adore you.
In the longing of my spirit may I reach out to you.

Lord, for today and every working day,
grant to my colleagues and myself –
patience with one another;
a true spirit of co-operation;
opportunities to laugh as well as to work together;
and above all a new ability to perceive that you are here among us.

My Monday Fears Keep Me from Living Out My Sunday Faith (Prayer)

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On Sunday I again heard about living out my faith – but I am afraid:
Afraid that I don’t know the Christian answers;
Afraid that I get tongue-tied;
Afraid of the workmate who pesters me.
Please let your love grow in me – that perfect love which casts out all fear. Amen.

Jesus, Help Me Think of You as a Coworker (Prayer)

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Lord Jesus Christ, help me to think of you –
As my colleague,
my fellow worker,
my supervisor,
my partner.
So I may learn to discover you in others with whom I work.
Amen.

You Know about Frustrations, God, Forgive Me When I Think of Work as a Curse (Prayer)

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Forgive me, Father,
when so often I think of my work as a curse –
the interruptions of telephones,
callers
and urgent orders;
the frustration of unanswered letters or machine breakdowns;
the monotony of routine
and repetitive duties.
Forgive me, Father, but that’s the way I feel.

Absenteeism is up;
quality is down;
production is slow;
materials are delayed –
and it’s Monday morning!
Lord God, you must know more about frustrations than I do,
so I believe you understand my feelings now.
Thank you for standing with me.
Amen.

In My Daily Work There Is So Much Untruth (Prayer)

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Holy Spirit,
you are active to reveal the truth –
and in my daily work there is so much untruth
and halftruth.

Exaggeration is common;
expenses and accounts are distorted;
deliberately misleading statements are made;
promises are not intended to be kept.

Assist me not to turn from your standards;
help me to bear the pain of compromise;
guide me to know when to reveal the truth.
Amen.

Lord, Bless My Work (Prayer)

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In the life of his incarnate Son,
God has shown the dignity of human labour.
With this in mind I pray:
Lord, bless my work.

I bless you, Lord, for bringing me to this day;
I thank you for protecting my life and giving me what I need.
Lord, bless my work.

You have called me to serve you responsibly in the world;
Help me to play my part in building a just and Christian society.
Lord, bless my work.

Stay with me and everyone I meet this day; let me give your joy and peace to the world.
Lord, bless my work.

(Phil Aspinall)