I shared this prayer as a pastoral prayer for Labor Day 2010. It is reposted here to honor all those who labor. The prayer comes from Chalice Worship.
God of the rough-worn hands, as we honor workers this day,
let us not forget those whose work is without honor:
those homemakers who watch over children and homes
but are not recognized as workers because they are not paid;
those who are forced out of jobs by corporate changes,
those forced into early retirement,
those who are denied employment because of their age;
those who live far from home,
struggling to save a bit of money to sent to their loved ones;
those who must work illegally in order to survive;
those who lose jobs because employers use undocumented labor.
Christ of the aching back, you worked the rough wood,
you walked the long and dusty roads,
you know the bitter thirst of the poor.
Let our thirst become a passion for justice.
Help us to work toward transformation of economic policies
that allow only a few nations to hoard the world's wealth,
policies that pay women as only half a person or less,
policies that do not recognize the worth of labor exactly without pay
Spirit of creative power, move among us this day.
Heal the wounds we carry because of jobs we hate but must do,
jobs we want but cannot have.
Heal all those who labor to survive.
Renew in us our sense of vocation.
Help us discern your Presence in even the lowliest tasks we face. Amen
(Chalice Worship, Colbert Cartwright & O.I. Harrison, eds, Chalice Press, 1997, p. 176)