Prayers for the End of the Working Day

Worship / Produced by partner of TOW

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)



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