The Church of England has published two new prayers to comfort people made redundant, and those remaining in the workplace following a round of redundancies at the beginning of a year in which the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has predicted that at least 600,000 people could lose their jobs.
"The 'Prayer on being made redundant' helps to put into words the anxieties of those who are losing -- or who have already lost -- their job in the wave of recent redundancies," a Church of England news release said. The prayer includes the verse: "Hear me as I cry out in confusion, help me to think clearly, and calm my soul."
"The 'Prayer for those remaining in the workplace' focuses on the guilt and increased workload associated with redundancy," the news release said. The prayer asks of God: "In the midst of this uncertainty, help me to keep going: to work to the best of my ability, taking each day at a time."
Bishop John Packer of Ripon and Leeds, chairman of the Church of England's Stewardship Committee, said the prayers emphasize how the church is there for people at all times -- especially in times of crisis. "This is a pastoral initiative. We need to be on the look out to support those facing redundancy," he said. "Neighborliness is so important in crisis situations, whether it's offering people new prayers to God, or by simply being there with a listening ear."
The prayers are the latest release from the Church of England website's Matter of Life and Debt section. They are offered alongside common sense advice for those with financial worries from resources and stewardship officer, Dr. John Preston. These include helpful resources for working out a balanced household budget; and other prayers and intercessions for those worried about debt, suitable for church and personal use.
'Prayer on being made redundant' and 'Prayer for those remaining in the workplace' are published online here, and also feature in an A5 leaflet containing some of the Matter of Life and Debt material. This leaflet is available for local parishes to print out and distribute in their church here.
Prayer on being made redundant
'Redundant' – the word says it all -
surplus to requirements.'
Thank you, Heavenly Father, that in the middle of
I can talk to you.
Hear me as I cry out in confusion,
help me to think clearly,
and calm my soul.
As life carries on,
may I know your presence with me
each and every day.
And as I look to the future,
help me to look for fresh opportunities, for new directions.
Guide me by your Spirit,
and show me your path,
through Jesus, the way, the truth and the life. Amen.
Prayer for those remaining in the workplace
Life has changed:
colleagues have gone – redundant, out of work.
Suddenly, what seemed so secure is now so very fragile.
It's hard to know what I feel:
guilt, almost, at still having a job to go to,
and fear of the future:
who will be next?
how will I cope with the increased pressure of work?
Lord Jesus, in the midst of this uncertainty, help me to keep going:
to work to the best of my ability,
taking each day at a time,
and taking time each day to walk with you
for you are the way, the truth and the life. Amen.