Prayers for Labor Day 2015

This post offers my prayers for Labor Day: two morning offering prayers, a shorter prayer and a brief reflection on work.  The US Catholic Bishops 2015 statement for Labor Day can be found here.


Good morning, good God!

This Labor Day, Lord,
I'm grateful for the world you created
and that I, too, am the work of your hands:
you formed my inmost being, 

you knit me in my mother's womb...*

How can it be that you took the time,
before time was,
to imagine my being,
to consider even for a moment
that I would exist:
to conceive of me
before I was conceived?

And then from the love of two,
you made, you fashioned me 

in your own image and in theirs
and gave me a soul you'd given no other
and breathed in me
the spirit, the breath of your own life...

How great are your works, O Lord,
and how grateful am I
that this life of mine
is truly the work of your hands...

Who am I that you should be mindful of me,
care for me and love me?
Yet you have crowned me with glory and honor:
your love, my crown,
your mercy, my glory,
your grace, my honor...

Without you, Lord, I am nothing;
without you,
I am not...

You created me, Lord,
and now I,
the work of your hands,
offer you
the work of my hands,
knowing that all that I have
was first your gift to me...

Every good thought of mine,
every imagined word, 

every work I dream,
every gift I offer
is the work of your Spirit within me -
and yet you are pleased
when I lift up to you a gift
that was always yours to begin with...

On this Labor Day, Lord, I offer my work
and pray you'll accept it and know
that I'm humbled that my hands share in your work
and your hands share in mine...

And I pray for those who have no work
and for those whose work's too much to bear:
lift up the jobless, Lord 

and lighten the load of the weary...

Make me mindful, Lord,
of the ways you move in my life
through the work of all whose paths cross mine...

Good God of Monday mornings
and of every labored day,
I praise you for the work you began in me
and pray you bring it to fulfillment...


 *Psalm 139


Good morning, good God!

This Labor Day morning,
I offer you my work, Lord,
in all its shapes and forms...

I offer you the work of my hands:
my sometimes graceful, often clumsy efforts
to reach out, lift up and support
those around me and any who ask for my help...

I offer you the work of my words, Lord:
inspire my writing and my speech
with the counsel of your Spirit
and the spirit of your truth...

I offer you the work of my listening:
keep me attentive, Lord,
and sensitive to what is said and not said
in all that I hear;
and keep me open, Lord,
to the sound of your voice in my prayer...

I offer you the work of my imagination, Lord:
open me to colors, shapes, sounds, ideas and visions
to help me bring the beauty of your word and presence
to the eyes and ears of those around me...

I offer you the work of my heart, Lord:
heal and strengthen my heart where its been hurt;
nurture and exercise my heart where it's grown weak;
enlarge and open my heart
to those whose paths cross mine
and who need another's heart
to listen, to understand...

I offer you the work of my ministry, Lord:
keep me faithful to my share of the work that is yours,
the work you've entrusted to my hands...

I offer you the work of my will and desire to be faithful:
to what you ask of me,
to the work you give me,
and to those who are served by my work...

Keep me faithful to the work of serving others
and open me, Lord,
to the blessing and help of those
whose work serves me...

Give those in need a job, Lord,
and to the tired grant well earned rest...

Let all our work give glory to your name
this Monday morning
and all this day and week ahead...


A Prayer for Labor Day

O God, creator of the world,
of sun and moon and stars,
you chose to fashion us, your own,
your handiwork of love.

Indeed, we are your hands’ own work
and yet into our hands
you give the care
of every living thing.

In more ways than we can count
our work builds up
or tears apart what came
as gift from you.

Keep us faithful in preserving
all you’ve given
lest we harm the smallest part
of all you’ve made.

Give us good and honest work to do
and rest at each day’s end.
Let a fair and good day’s wage be paid
for a good day’s work well done.

Give us work that nurtures and sustains
the ones who serve and those they serve.
Let those who labor work in peace,
in freedom, without fear.

Give those in need a job to do
and to the tired well earned rest.
Let all our work and toil, Lord,
give glory to your name.


Words About Work
is what I do and avoid,
love and hate,
need and ignore,
thrive on, put off,
look for, hide from,
want, reject,
relish, despise,
overdo, skip,
share, possess,
quit and begin...

rules and frees me,
weakens and strengthens me,
separates and connects me,
distracts and focuses me,
hurts and heals me,
empties and fills me,
pushes and pulls me
annoys and gratifies me,
saps and energizes,
questions and answers me...  
destroys and defines me,
delights and saddens me
dispirits and lifts me,
consumes and develops me,
ruins and saves me... 


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