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A Prayer for Labor Day

Good and gracious God,

you told us from the very beginning

that we would earn our bread by the sweat of our brow.

We are interdependent in our laboring, Lord.

We depend on the migrant workers

who pick our lettuce and our strawberries,

the nurses’ aides who empty bed pans,

the teachers who form our children’s minds.

We thank you, Lord, for the gifts and talents you have given us

that allow us to earn a living and contribute something positive to our world.

We pray, dear Lord, for those who are without work.

Sustain them — us — in your love.

Help us to realize that we have worth as human beings,

job or no job.

But that’s hard to get, Lord.

Our society preaches to us that our worth comes from success,

of being better than the Jones’.

But our worth comes because You made us.

We are Your children, no matter what, job or no job.

You love us and you call us to love and support each other.

We pray, Lord, for those who do the dirty work in our lives, Lord,

those who break their backs for us,

those who are cheated out of even a minimum wage,

those who have not access to health care,

those who cannot afford to send their kids to college.

Help us to bind together, Lord, as a community, as a nation

because we depend on one another —

the garbage men, the police, the stock people in our grocery stores,

the UPS driver, the pilots, the 7/11 clerk, the ticket-taker on the turnpike

the plumbers, the accountants, the bank tellers,

the landscapers, the lifeguards,

those who clean our houses, the cooks,

the waiters, the steel workers, the carpenters,

the scientists, and yes, the writers.

Help us to realize this weekend

how dependent we are on one another, Lord.

We are one. We are family. We need each other.

Let us give thanks for each other this Labor Day weekend, Lord

Help us to celebrate and give thanks for each other and appreciate

the value, the dignity, the contribution

that each one makes to keep our country, our cities, our lives going.

And in tough times, help us remember the words of Jesus:

Come to me all you who labor

and are heavily burdened

and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you,

for my yoke is easy and my burden light (Matthew 11:28)

~ written by Bob Traupman

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