Prayers of the People for Labor Day

Here’s a prayer of intercession for Labor Day from Dr. Tom Cheatham’s The Connection blog.

Prayer of Intercession for Labor Day

God our Maker, in the beginning, you called men and women to be stewards of the earth you created and gave them meaningful work to do—naming animals, tending your garden, using their imaginations, observing the world, fulfilling their vocation as those who bore your image and likeness. Still today you call us to do your work and bless us in our activities. We praise you when we find meaning for life as well as the means to our daily bread in our jobs and careers. We thank you for the variety of our vocations, that add richness to society and fill needs in our communities, our nation, and our world. Give your grace to all who labor in our land and across the globe, so they may glorify you through what they do.

We pray particularly that you look with favor on…
…those who care for people at the beginning and at the end of life;
…all who help others cope with crises;
…men and women who put themselves in harm’s way
     to ensure the safety and security of others;
…people who inspire our imaginations and touch our hearts through their work;
…those who do dirty and dangerous jobs that are necessary,
     but no one else wants;
…first-time teen workers and workers who have retired after long years of service;
…all who contribute to the common good in any way by working.

Yet even as we praise you for the provision you make for our livelihoods through our daily activities, we remember and ask your grace for…
…all who work hard, but cannot make ends meet
     or provide security for themselves and their families;
…those who live hand to mouth, with no savings,
     so they are one unexpected or new expense away from financial ruin;
…young adults who are strapped and burdened by debt
     and older adults struggling to live on fixed incomes;
…men and women who are unemployed and cannot find work;
…those whose jobs have been made irrelevant or obsolete
     by technology and a changing culture;
…workers who have been victims of downsizing, outsourcing, and cutbacks;
…people whose jobs are a drudgery
     and who dream of something better but find nothing.

We know, too, that there are some who do their work in an unworthy and godless way.
To bring their repentance and salvation, send your judgment on…
…bullies in the workplace;
…bosses and anyone else who take credit for someone else’s ideas and work;
…executives, managers, and any in the workplace
     who are not held accountable for unethical and immoral behavior;
…any who produce little or nothing but expect large salaries and perks;
…those whose work exploits, abuses or destroys others for profit or pleasure;
…all in power who use their positions
     to steal from their organizations or other people,
     to lie, to advance their personal agendas, and to hurt others.

Even as we pray for workers on this Labor Day weekend, we ask your help for all who are sick and grieving, troubled and lonely, hurting and helpless. Especially do we bring you neighbors and friends who are on our hearts, whom we name now before you….

God, you have taken care of your people through the ages. Continue your covenant faithfulness to us gathered here and grant our prayers, even as you help us by your Spirit to turn them into compassionate action. And we will give you the glory. Through Christ we pray. Amen.

— copyright © 2010 Tom Cheatham.  Posted on The Connection blog.