Prayer Cycles / Calendars
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
- Two-Week-Long Cycle: Work Prayers for Each Day
- Month-Long Calendar: Intercessions for Those at Work
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.
“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
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)
“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
LET JUSTICE ROLL DOWN LIKE WATERS (Amos 5:24)
“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)
“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)
“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)
“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
GOD FINISHED THE WORK HE HAD DONE AND RESTED (Genesis 2:2)
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)
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)
“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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
(As for Monday of previous week)
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.
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