Prayers

farmer.gif

Blessing Prayer

Bless the hands of the people of the earth,
The hands that plant the seed,
The hands that bind the harvest,
The hands that carry the burden of life.

Soften the hands of the oppressor and
Strengthen the hands of the oppressed.

Bless the hands of the workers,
Bless the hands of those in power above them
That the measure they deal will be tempered
With justice and compassion. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Creator God we hold the seed of life that you have
given us, and we confess our need for:
a place to be planted
strength to break our shells,
nourishment for our roots,
light for our life,

We need weeding to rid our lives
of that which robs growth,
fruit to feed the future,
seeds to pass on for other plantings,
space to expand.
a place to die, and
something to return to
this soil that nurtured
our growth.

Lord God, Grower of all, give us a place where there is room to grow.

Prayer for All Needs

We beg you Lord,
to help and defend us.

Deliver the oppressed.
Pity the insignificant.
Raise the fallen.
Show yourself to the needy.
Heal the sick.
Bring back those of your people who have gone astray.
Feed the hungry.
Lift up the weak.
Take off the prisoner’s chains.

May every people come to know
that you alone are God,
that Jesus is your Child,
that we are your people, the sheep that you pasture.
Amen.
–Clement of Rome

A Prayer of the Heart

O God, as we place our needs before you, we ask to be cleansed of all that inhibits us from being a holy people who seek justice and peace in life. Renew our hearts and enable us to be faithful children of yours, nurturing creation as you would want. Amen.

farmer.gif

A Blessing

May God, who comforts the downtrodden and the downcast, comfort you, give you courage to stand strong and steady and faithful in the midst of your problems, and in the heart to comfort others in their troubles as you yourself have been comforted, in the name of the Creator and of the Holy Spirit and of the Child and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Grace over a Thanksgiving Meal – 1

from Interfaith Worker Justice, www.nicwj.org
O God of seed and harvest, we pause to give thanks for the table set before us and the food that graces it.

[The people gathered take turns naming the various foods on the table being blessed, by saying, “thank you for the ____” until all the foods have been named.]

In a moment we will eat this food, harvested from many parts of the nation and world. It will be transformed into the flesh and blood of our bodies. Keep us mindful of the many workers who labor in field and factory to bring us this food.
From the bounty and nourishment of the meal, we dedicate ourselves to work to abolish poverty, unsafe working conditions, workplace abuse, and unjust wages among those who feed us through their labor.
We pray this in the name of the Creator God, who not only fed the Israelites in the desert but transformed simple folk like us into disciples for justice and peace. Amen.

Grace over a Thanksgiving Meal – 2

from Interfaith Worker Justice, www.nicwj.org

O God of seed and harvest, we come to this table mindful of Your graciousness.

It is truly a miracle that this food before us:
the Kansas wheat, the poultry from Alabama, the corn from Iowa, the potatoes from Idaho, the fruit from California, (foods from other regions may be added) becomes us.

Our eyes, our hearts, our hands, our bodies – alive with the cells and juices of our muscles, bones and flesh – are created and nourished by the food from your bountiful hand.

Keep us mindful of the workers whose labor makes our meal possible. May the nourishment of this meal strengthen us to work for justice and equity, in a compassionate and merciful way, among those who labor in the fields and workplaces to feed us. Amen.

farmer.gif

Navajo Blessing

God is before us.
God is behind us.
God is above us.
God is below us.

God’s words shall come from our mouths
For we are God’s essence, a sign of God’s love.

All is finished in justice.
All is finished in justice.
All is finished in justice.
All is finished in justice.

Prayers to Be of Service to Others

from Erin Balleine, former NFWM Staff
May I be fertile ground for grapes of justice for you people today. Show me how and give me courage to work for justice. In Christ’s name. Amen. May my branch bring forth good fruit: peace, patience, and justice. May these flow like a river through my soul enabling me to reach out to hear and serve the needs of my neighbors. In Christ’s name. Amen

Let me be a vessel and an instrument as you work in me to fulfill your will. In the name of the Christ. Amen.

God, who is the Vine, please take away the briars and thorns that hide from the needs of your people. I would be a branch for justice. This night help me to know what you call me to do. Amen.

The leaders of the temple recognized that you were speaking about them. You speak to me also. Dear God, I would be a faithful tenant. Forgive my waywardness. Help me to produce your harvest. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Most gracious God, who causes all things beautiful to grow, may the seeds of love and compassion planted today blossom. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Prayer for My Brother and Sister Migrants

Prayer on the wall at CCAMYN (Centro Comunitario de Atencion Migrante y Necesitado) in Altar, Mexico.

Heart of Jesus full of love and mercy, I watch over my sister and brother migrants. Have pity on them and protect them; they suffer mistreatment and humiliations on their way, looked on as dangerous by most, and marginalized for being foreigners. Help us to respect them and appreciate their dignity. Touch with your goodness the hearts of we who see them pass by. Take care of their families until they return home, not with broken hearts but with their hopes fulfilled.
May it be so.

farmer.gifPrayer for Forgiveness

God, we have failed to understand and accept the great demands placed upon us by your kingdom. We have joined your causes, but have lost interest. We promised to be courageous, but find ourselves afraid. We want to be sensitive, but find ourselves hard and callous. We are confronted with great opportunities for service in the work of justice and peace, but fail to take advantage of them. Forgive us when we let our comfort stand in the way of the cries and struggles of the poor, the hungry, the sick, the prisoner. We have allowed our self to blind us and have forgotten that whatever is done to any one of your children is done to you. Have mercy, 0 God, and hear our confessions. Take our limitations and turn them into possibilities for service; Amen.

A Prayer for Work and Workers

from Edie Rassel, NFWM Board
Worker God, who intends good for all your children, we seek your wisdom and courage as we work to change the harsh conditions under which so many labor. We remember the farm-workers, the growers, and Taco Bell. We ask that we might be your witnesses for good work, fair pay, and human dignity. Amen.

Benediction

from Edie Rassel, NFWM Board
May God our creator, the one who calls us, transforms us, and redeems us, bless us with the courage, vision and strength to work for justice for all workers everywhere. Amen.

Prayer for Renewal

O God of Peace and Love, Renew our minds and our wills that we may sow love instead of hatred, Peace instead of violence, Equality instead of dominance.

O God of Mercy and Justice. Forgive us when we turn into pieces, forgive us when we say we love you, but do not feed your people. Forgive us when, for the sake of so-called security and development, we make life for others a series of torture, misery and death.

O God of Song, Dance and Tears of life, Enable us to work with love. Enlighten us to walk with faith. Empower us to peace with justice. Praise and thanks to our God. Hope and Peace to all! Amen.

Prayer for Mindfulness

Let us begin by recalling the words of Cesar Chavez: “Every time we sit at a table at night or in the morning to enjoy the fruits and grain and vegetables from our good earth, remember that they come from the work of men and women and children who have been exploited for generations…” Almighty God, too often we don’t pay attention, we don’t stop to think that, even in this day and age, injustice remains an invisible ingredient in much of the food that we eat. Shake us awake, O God, open our eyes to see our power and obligation as consumers to help put things right. Justice demands it. Love demands it.

Unison Prayer of Confession

We are workers, God, just like you. But we confess that our work is not always done in a manner that affirms and honors each other. Our work is not always done in a spirit that is pleasing to you. We confess that, on some occasions, we have blindly bought goods made by people who are paid too little or work in unsafe conditions. We admit that we have failed to end an unjust system in which some workers have jobs that provide good wages, health insurance, sick leave, a pension, paid vacations, and other benefits, while others have jobs that do not.

Creator God, help us to build a new world out of the ashes of the old, a world where all workers are valued. One where those who clean houses are also able to buy houses to live in. A world where those who grow food can also afford to eat their fill. And one where those who serve us B in stores, schools, nursing homes, and many other places B are also served by us. It will be a world where all workers everywhere share in the abundance that you have given us.

Words of Assurance:
Our God is a God of grace and transformation. When we ask, God will give us the courage and strength to live out our faith in the workplace and the marketplace, as well as in the sanctuary.

farmer.gif

UFW Prayer

Show me the suffering of the most miserable, so I may know my people’s plight.
Free me to pray for others, for you are present in every person.
Help me to take responsibility for my own life, so that I can be free at last.
Grant me courage to serve others, for in service there is true life.
Give me honesty and patience, so that I can work with other workers.
Bring forth song and celebration, so that the Spirit will be alive among us.
Let the Spirit flourish and grow, so that we will never tire of the struggle.
Let us remember those who have died for justice, for they have given us life.
Help us love even those who hate us, so we can change the world. Amen.

Category: News · Tags: ,

Contact us

National Farm Worker Ministry
P.O. Box 10645
112 Cox Ave., Suite 208
Raleigh, NC 27605
Email us here
919-807-8707 (office)