Today’s post from Paul Pastor is the finale of Hinneh: a blog series on vocation and calling. If you’d rather read all the posts from the series in a short ebook, the writers have generously made it available for free. You can download a PDF copy here, or downloads in Epub (most tablets/e-readers) and Mobi (Kindle) formats are available as well. To receive the rest of the series in your inbox, sign up here.
For prayer together, especially at times of planting and harvest.
Leader: God of all, who at the beginning of all things declared your work in creation to be very good, look upon the work of our hands—our labor, career, and calling—and grant that we may be workers truly made in your image.
People: Lord, hear us.
Leader: We confess that we have failed in our work countless times; failed to love you and our neighbors, failed to love ourselves and the whole of creation. We have not seen the work of our hands as holy. We have not honored the earth or the balance of creation with our labor. We have exploited our brothers and sisters, both knowingly and unknowingly. We have worked according to the fall of our race, not according to the very good.
We humbly repent, and turn to the way of Jesus.
People: Lord, forgive us.
Leader: Show us a better way, the way that is old yet ever new, the way of the Father’s good will, and the Son’s word of creation, and the Spirit’s sustaining of all things.
Teach us to work as you work, for the joy of your nature, the glory of your name, and the good of all creation.
People: Lord, show us the way.
Leader: Grant that we may work in keeping with your good and creative nature, for the redemption and re-creation of all things.
By your Spirit,
May our artists and writers make true and beautiful things, calling us to love through their imaginations.
May parents raise up children as if they were raising Christ, in patience and wisdom.
May those of us in public service work tirelessly for justice and the social good.
May those of us in service industries work with excellence, learning to love the kind and the unkind as Jesus would.
May all entrepreneurs find faith and success in their work, and seek to pioneer better ways of trade in our communities.
May business leaders seek to raise up those around them, giving away the honor that they receive, and find means of commerce that give to all, not profiting at the expense of others.
May craftsman express their excellence and individuality through their work, making and repairing the things that we depend on for life and comfort, and making such things beautifully.
May farmers and all who tend the earth do so with wisdom and skill, for the health of the land and the fruitfulness of the harvest.
May all clergy and workers in the church be blessed to empower Christians in the love of God and neighbor, and the making of disciples.
May all who struggle with unemployment, underemployment, or wrong employment know that you are with them. May they find comfort, and ways to contribute to the greater good with the time and skills you have given them.
In every good human endeavor, let us work with humility and true hearts, in the hope and vision of the kingdom of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Grant that we may do all this, and teach others to do the same, for your pleasure and the good of the whole world.
People: Lord, grant our prayer.
Leader: Lord, bless us that we may be a blessing—in our homes, places of employment, neighborhoods, and everywhere that we go. Bless us that we may know you in whatever work our hands find to do. Lift up the forgotten, humble the proud of heart, encourage the weary, and remind us of your great work, that has never ceased from the beginning of creation.
Together: Our hands are yours.
Our minds are yours.
Our hearts are yours, O God.
Leader: In the name of the Creator, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
Paul J. Pastor is a writer, editor, and grassroots pastor living in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge.