Patient Trust (Prayers For The Unemployed And Those In Transition) …

Don’t you see how everything that happens is again and again a beginning, and couldn’t it be His beginning, since, in itself, starting is always so beautiful?

… these very days of your transition are perhaps the time when everything in you is working at Him, as you once worked at Him in your childhood, breathlessly. Be patient and without bitterness, and realize that the least we can do is to make coming into existence no more difficult for Him than the earth does for spring when it wants to come …

So you mustn’t be frightened … if a sadness rises in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if an anxiety, like light and cloud-shadows, moves over your hands and over everything you do. You must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you?

— Ranier Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet

 

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ excerpted from Hearts on Fire

 

Everything flows and nothing stays. 
Everything flows and nothing abides. 
Everything gives way and nothing stays fixed. 
Everything flows; nothing remains. 
All is flux, nothing is stationary. 
All is flux, nothing stays still. 
All flows, nothing stays.
Heraclitus of Ephesus

 

Nobody Knows What The Soul Is; It Comes And Goes Like The Wind Over Water …

But just as we can name the functions of the wind, so we can name some of the functions of the soul without presuming to penetrate its mystery:

  • The soul wants to keep us rooted in the ground of our own being, resisting the tendency of other faculties, like the intellect and ego, to uproot us from who we are.
  • The soul wants to keep us connected to the community in which we find life, for it understands that relationships are necessary if we are to thrive.
  • The soul wants to tell us the truth about ourselves, our world, and the relation between the two, whether that truth is easy or hard to hear.
  • The soul wants to give us life and wants us to pass that gift along, to become life-givers in a world that deals too much death.

— Parker J. Palmer from A Hidden Wholeness

 

It is not we who seek the Way, but the Way which seeks us. That is why you are faithful to it, even while you stand waiting, so long as you are prepared, and act the moment you are confronted by its demands.
― Dag Hammarskjöld from Markings

 

Disappointment

I was feeling pretty religious
standing on the bridge in my winter coat
looking down at the gray water:
the sharp little waves dusted with snow,
fish in their tin armor.

That’s what I like about disappointment:
the way it slows you down,
when the querulous insistent chatter of desire
goes dead calm

and the minor roadside flowers
pronounce their quiet colors,
and the red dirt of the hillside glows.

She played the flute, he played the fiddle
and the moon came up over the barn.
Then he didn’t get the job, —
or her father died before she told him
that one, most important thing—

and everything got still.

It was February or October
It was July
I remember it so clear
You don’t have to pursue anything ever again
It’s over
You’re free
You’re unemployed

You just have to stand there
looking out on the water
in your trench coat of solitude
with your scarf of resignation
lifting in the wind.

— Tony Hoagland from What Narcissism Means to Me

 

For Courage

The state of one’s heart inevitably shapes one’s life; it is ultimately the place where everything is decided.

  • A courageous heart will go forth and engage with life despite confusion and fear.
  • A fearful heart will be hesitant and will tend to hold back.
  • A heavy heart will make for a gloomy, unlived life.
  • A compassionate heart need never carry the burden of judgment.
  • A forgiving heart knows the art of liberation.
  • A loving heart awakens the spirit of possibility and engagement with others.

The power of the heart’s attitude is expressed beautifully in the New Testament: “Where your treasure is, there is your heart also.” And all through the Old Testament, God is interested only in the heart—not sacrifices, rituals, or rules—only the heart. Indeed, the mystical tradition would suggest the heart is beautiful precisely because it is where God dwells: the heart is the divine sanctuary …

Know that you are not alone
And that this darkness has purpose;
Gradually it will school your eyes
To find the one gift your life requires
Hidden within this night-corner.

Invoke the learning
Of every suffering
You have suffered.

Close your eyes.
Gather all the kindling
About your heart
To create one spark.
That is all you need
To nourish the flame
That will cleanse the dark
Of its weight of festered fear.

A new confidence will come alive
To urge you toward higher ground
Where your imagination
Will learn to engage difficulty
As its most rewarding threshold!

—  John O’Donohue  from To Bless the Space Between Us

 

PRAYERS FOR THOSE UNEMPLOYED

 

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
— Matthew 6:25-34

 

Anglican Prayer for the Unemployed

Heavenly Father,
we remember before you
those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work.
Guide the people of this land
so to use our public and private wealth
that all may find suitable and fulfilling employment,
and receive just payment for their labor;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Book of Common Prayer

 

Prayer of the Unemployed

O God, who made us in your image and intended us for creative work;
look with love on those of us who are unemployed.
Help us to enjoy life together with those who have work
and to understand what kind of help we need to give one another,
whether in paid employment or not.
Guide the leaders of our country,
that they may take wise decisions which will benefit us all.
Finally we ask you Lord to guide us
in the knowledge that we all have worth in ourselves
and that we are all of equal value in your eyes,
through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Source: Beliefnet

 

Prayer On Being Made Redundant

‘Redundant’ – the word says it all –
‘useless,
unnecessary,
without purpose,
surplus to requirements.’

Thank you, Heavenly Father, that in the middle of
the sadness,
the anger,
the uncertainty,
the pain,

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.

Source: Church of England

 

Morning Prayer

Lord help me
to remember
that nothing
is going to happen
to me today
that You and I
together can’t handle.

Amen

Source: An Old Preacher’s Greet to Each New Day from Help for Helpers 

 

 

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