Every Sunday, in churches across Colorado, worship leaders call attention to the needs of their communities and the world. Simply put, we pray for what we care about. Do the prayers you offer from the pulpit, in small group settings–or even in your personal prayer life–speak to the ways the members of your congregation labor every day?
The staff at St. Gabriel the Archangel Episcopal Church in Cherry Hills Village, intentionally incorporate vocation-specific prayers in their liturgy, a powerful way to empower and encourage members of their congregation. Let these words ignite your imagination and inspire you to support your congregation in its work:
We pray, Lord, for those who serve your Kingdom through education; for teachers, that they may instill in their pupils what is good and pleasing to you, and practice patience in trying times; for students, that they may diligently complete their work while you continually shape their minds and hearts after your call upon their lives.
Written by Christopher Hirschy, Seminarian
Parents, Grandparents and Guardians
We pray, Lord, for those who serve your kingdom through the joy and responsibility of caring for children. Give parents, grandparents and guardians calm strength and patient wisdom as they bring them up, that they may be shown to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Adapted from “For the Care of Children” in The Book of Common Prayer
Healthcare, Doctors and Nurses
We pray, Lord, for those who serve your kingdom through providing healthcare for others. Sanctify those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified, and that those under their care may find peace as they place their lives into your hands and under your dominion; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Adapted from the prayer “For Doctors and Nurses” in The Book of Common Prayer
Mental Health Workers
We pray, Lord, for those who serve your Kingdom through the field of mental healthcare. Grant them wisdom and compassion as they help heal and sustain those in their care, and give them strength to serve each person with love and grace. Bless them with time to rest and care for themselves, and allow them to see the positive changes they bring to those whom they serve.
Adapted from prayer originally posted here: http://www.ftlpray.org/a-prayer-for-our-healthcare-workers/
Children and Youth in their Endeavors
We pray, Lord, for children and youth who serve your Kingdom through the pursuit of worthwhile endeavors, including music, theatre, athletics, scouting programs, community engagement and through many other pursuits. Help them to bear witness to your grace on the field of play, on stage, in rehearsals or through serving others. Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Adapted from prayer “For Young Persons” in The Book of Common Prayer
Artists and Composers and Musicians
We pray, Lord, for those who serve your Kingdom through the arts and music. Jesus Christ, Word of God, Icon of God, we praise you for sanctifying the earth in your incarnation, confirming the goodness of the physical world of stone, wood, metal, wind and fire and flesh. We ask that you would rule the imaginations of artists and musicians with wisdom and love. Deliver them from fear and pride. Great Carpenter: teach, guide, and aid artists and musicians in their work today.
Adapted from prayer by Bryan Brown, Christ Church, Austin, TX
We pray, Lord, for those who serve your Kingdom through business. Gracious God, thank you for creating us in your image, calling us to be fruitful and to be faithful stewards of your creation. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the context of business; give businessmen and women wisdom, Lord, to know what it means to be your disciple at work. Empower them in their relationships at work, so that they might treat all of their colleagues, including those they supervise and those who supervise them, with respect and love. For those in leadership in their companies, may they know how best to implement your call to justice, for those they employ, for their customers, for their clients, and for the larger world. Help them to see how to be good stewards of all you have entrusted to them. Fill them now with your Spirit, so they might live for you in their workplaces.
Adapted from prayer originally posted on Mark D. Roberts’ blog, “Why We Don’t Pray for Business”
We pray, Lord, for those who serve your Kingdom through the legal profession. You are the true defender of the oppressed and the defenseless, and you are the one who brings truth and justice to bear in all of life. We pray that you will comfort attorneys and judges, and all those who work in jurisprudence, as they are faced with difficult situations, temptations and discouragement. Encourage them to imitate you in seeking true justice for all and sustain them in their daily work.
Adapted from prayer originally posted on the Life on Purpose blog
We pray, Lord, for those who serve your Kingdom through volunteering; that they would come to know that they serve you through serving others, and are able to see the love and joy they foster in their community. Grant them compassion, steadfastness, and a servant’s heart during trying times; that they may bring glory to your Kingdom.
Written by Christopher Hirschy, Seminarian
We’re only getting started! Imagine how you could affirm the range of occupations represented in your congregation through prayer. If you don’t know how to pray for a certain vocation, ask someone working in that field about their job. Making an effort to understand the distinct challenges people face at work deepens your understanding and affirms the unique value of each role.
“And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!” – Psalm 90:17, MSG
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This post was published May 21, 2015
Brian is the VP of Formation here at DIFW and also leads our 5280 Fellowship program. Prior to landing at DIFW, he served in pastoral ministry for thirteen years and at Denver Seminary for four years. His vocation includes moving ideas out into life through relationships and conversation – whether that applies to God, work, the Church, good beer, or Liverpool Football Club. He married way out of his league, and spends most of his free-time being parented by his two daughters.