Pilgrim Pathways: Notes for a Diaspora People

Incarnational Discipleship

Labor Day: A Prayer by Ken Sehested

Labor Day:

A Communal Prayer by Rev. Ken Sehested

Creator God, we give thanksthis day for work:

for work that sustains; for work that fulfills;

for work which, however tiring, also satisfies

and resonates with Your labor in creation.

As part of our thanks we intercede

for those who have no work,

who have too much or too little work;

who work at jobs that demean or destroy,

work that profits the few

at the expense of the many.

Blessed One, extend  your redemptive purpose

in the many and varied places of our work.

In factory or field, in sheltered office

or under open sky, using technical knowledge

or physical strength, working with machines

or with people or with the earth itself.

Together we promise:

To bring the full weight of our intelligence

and strength to our work.

Together we promise:

To make our place of work a place of safety

and respect for all with whom we labor.

Together we refuse:

To engage in work that harms another,

that promotes injustice or violence,

that damages the earth or otherwise

betrays the common good;

or to resign ourselves to economic

arrangements that widen the gap

between rich and poor.

Together we refuse:

To allow our work to infringe

on time with our families and friends,

with our community of faith,

with the rhythym of Sabbath rest.

Together we affirm:

The rights of all to work that both

fulfills and sustains:  to just wages

and to contentment.

Together we affirm:

That the redeeming and transforming

power of the Gospel, will all its

demands for justice and its promises

of mercy, is as relevant to the workplace

as to the sanctuaries of faith and family.

We make these promises,

we speak these refusals

and we offer these affirmations

as offering to You, O God–

who labors with purpose and

lingers in laughter–in response

to your ever-present grace, as

symbols of our ongoing repentance

and transformation, and in hope

that one day all the world

shall eat and be satisfied.


From Ken Sehested, In the Land of the Living:  Prayers Personal and Public (Publications United, 2009).


September 4, 2011 - Posted by | liturgy, prayers, worship

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