Prayer of the Unemployed, based on Matthew 20

Summer in the Scriptures (4)Prayer Based on Matthew 20:1-16
The Parable of the Generous Employer

The pandemics of COVID and racism share common space with the pandemic of systemic poverty.

As I read the parable, I imagined myself the laborer who waited all day. Far too many are waiting because they are unemployed or underemployed, waiting for access to training for better jobs, waiting for transportation or tools needed for their trade, waiting for childcare, waiting for a living wage. Who are you praying for?

I also imagined business owners who want to be as generous as the employer in the parable, but they can’t. They wonder if their business will survive. Who are you praying for?

I then imagined business owners and leaders who have the power to be generous but won’t. Who are you praying for? 

Quote from PoorPeoplesCampaign.Org
“Now is the time to organize towards collective action to enact a moral agenda that lifts all people by challenging the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, ecological devastation, and the distorted moral narrative that ties it all together. ‪The fact that there are 140 million poor and low-income people in the richest country in the history of the world is morally indefensible, constitutionally inconsistent, and economically disastrous.”

My hope rises with the sun
I want to be hired, to be useful
I need the work

The day is passing
I need to be hired
I need to work
I have responsibilities and debts
I need to work to care for myself and my loved ones

The day is nearly gone
I have skills to offer, yet no one sees them
Why am I not valued?
Why am I not wanted?
The idleness eats my soul

The day is nearly done, as is my hope
Yet, you see me
You want me
You come for me

I give you what I have
The sweat of my brow
The labor of my limbs
The dreams of my heart
The weight of my needs
The hole of my soul

Help me to trust you in this lean time
Help me to trust worthy work is coming soon
With a boss as generous and honorable as you
Help me trust there is work to be done
all are wanted
all are needed
all are chosen

Help me hold on to hope
Stay here soul
Stay here


For the next few months, I’m reading a chapter from the Gospels each day. This is part of the Summer in the Scriptures reading plan sponsored by the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. Click Here for the reading plan.

You’re most welcome to read along and to join the Facebook discussion group, Summer in the Scriptures. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

As part of the Facebook group, I’ve been supplying prayers based on the day’s reading. Feel free to post your prayers and observations based on the readings here or there as well.

May the grace of the Gospels, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <><

Prayer of the Unemployed (Matthew 20) © 2017, 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

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