A Prayer for Labor Day

It is Labor Day, a day to pause from our work and reflect on the meaning of labor. As people of faith, we are called to reflect on the act of labor in prayer to God. Considering that we are in a period of high unemployment when many forms of employment are actually quite dangerous due to the threat of the Coronavirus pandemic, this is especially important. With this in mind, I share this prayer for labor/work as published in Chalice Worship, a worship book for Disciples of Christ. 

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)


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