The Pope invites people of different faiths to come together and pray:

That the unemployed may receive support and find the work they need to live in dignity.

Getting started:
I find a quiet place and a comfortable position. I calm down and still my mind. I become aware that I am part of a big world of human beings… all desiring dignity and love. I ask the Lord that my prayer takes me into places of fear and pain, particularly where people feel degraded because of unemployment.

Some thoughts that go through the minds of people without work:
“I hate it when those around me ask, ‘have you found a job?’” Sometimes I go through very hard times that come to me unexpectedly… like when I was in the shopping mall watching people happily carrying packages and buying Christmas gifts. I felt like running far away from them. I feel deep sadness and a great sense of emptiness in my heart. Being unemployed is very humiliating”.

“Waking up without work to go to gives no meaning to my life. I have been in employment since the age of 15 but now no company will recruit someone my age. At 50, I have to compete with the strong energetic youth. My wife has had to increase her working hours to make up for my loss. I feel useless every morning. Sometimes I spend the whole day in pajamas without leaving home. This is not a good example for my children!”

Time to reflect:
What are your feelings as you go through these thoughts?
Have you ever felt useless, sad and wishing just to give it all up?
How would you encourage someone who cannot find employment?

Let us pray:
O Lord, teach us to take our work as a blessing of dignity and satisfaction. Help us to care for and be supportive of the unemployed. Lord may we help you in giving the unemployed courage and hope and may always treat them with the dignity that every human being deserves.

I pause for a while and then make my own prayer. If I am with others, I invite them to share their own prayer too.

Inspiration:
“Work means dignity, work means our daily bread, work means love.”
(Pope Francis, Sardegna 22nd September, 2013)

Hands on:
Take time to appreciate your work. It is more than just a salary: it gives you dignity, meaning, friendship.
Identify someone you might know who is unemployed and seeking work and reach out.

(This prayer resource has been brought to you by the Apostleship of Prayer)

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