A few weeks ago I was asked to pray at the Chamber of Commerce Annual Diner. I spent some time pondering how exactly to pray. It struck me that God called working people: Abraham, Moses, Peter and Lydia. Jesus even took on a trade. I am not sure the church has articulated a good theology of work. I offer this imperfect prayer below for all who work and lead in commerce.
You are the source of our life, our resources and our vocation
Lord, like a Farmer, You planted this earth as a garden
providing every seed, flower, fruit, and grain
You send the sun, the stars and the seasons to guide us.
You give us the gift of intellect and industry.
There is nothing in our hands you have not freely given to us.
Jesus, when You came to dwell with us
you took up the trade of carpentry.
You called shepherds, magi, fisherman, tax agents, tent-makers,
clothing designers and even a Roman Centurion .
In you Creator and Christ, we see the beauty and dignity of work
Sovereign Lord, who gives to us the good gifts of life and labor,
let us never forget that
you love honest scales
you hear the worker’s cry
that money never fully satiates
that we leave this material world without treasure or title.
Remind us that You stand with widows, orphans, and stranger.
Remind us that we love You by loving our neighbors
and that love demands fairness and justice for all people.
Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth
Soften our hearts
Quicken our minds
Employ our hands
Increase our industry
Enhance our creativity
Expand our generosity
Humanize our commerce
So that every able hand may enjoy labor’s dignity
every soul may find shelter
every person experience justice
every stranger experience welcome
every child dream in peace
and together we might forge a blessed, prosperous,
just and generous community