A Prayer for Essential Workers

Dear God, thank you for this day. Thank you for the quiet time I have had during this crisis to reflect on Your love and mercy. The forced solitude has given me time to think about how grateful I am for what other people do for a living and to appreciate how devastating this crisis is to the lives of other people. I pray for those who have lost jobs or gigs through no fault of their own. I pray that You will meet their financial, physical, and spiritual needs and that people will know that they can call out to You.

Lord, millions of workers have been ordered to stay home to reduce the spread of coronavirus. I am fortunate to have a job that lends itself to working from home. Today, I pray for people who are considered “essential” workers who can’t stay home.

There are millions of essential employees and businesses who provide the goods and services we need. Health care workers, law enforcement, and first responders are at the top of my list for obvious reasons. I pray for the safety and protection of those who serve and protect the public.

Food, energy, water, wastewater treatment, and garbage removal are essential needs. Thank you to the agricultural workers and to all food industry workers who ensure that grocery stores and restaurants have food. Thank you to the utility companies and workers who ensure that we have water, gas and electrical service in our homes and businesses. Thank you to those who do the dirty jobs of handling our waste. I pray for the health, safety and protection of those who provide these essential services, like my brother Marion. I pray for food and beverage service employees, waitresses and waiters and bartenders, who are out of work because restaurants and bars have had to close their doors. I pray for the small business owners who may be forced out of business.

Lord, we often take it for granted that someone will make and package and deliver the things we want or need. Thank you to the people who manufacture goods. Thank you to those who deliver mail and packages, like my brother David. Thank you to the packers and movers. Thank you to truck drivers and transportation employees.

I am grateful for those who work in the construction, communication, IT and retail industries. As I walk through my neighborhood and by construction sites, I see men who are still replacing roofs and constructing buildings and repairing our roads. I see cable companies installing service to homes in my neighborhood.

Father, there has been much debate about whether it is more important to keep the economy going or to shut things down to save lives. We really have no choice but to work to keep things going. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. I have learned that suffering leads to perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Give us the strength and perseverance to work through this crisis.

Amen.

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Photo by Fran Hogan on Unsplash