Archive for the ‘Economic Injustice’ Tag

Litany for the Daily Round   Leave a comment

Nevada State Orphanage

Above:  Nevada State Orphanage, Carson City, Nevada

Image Source = Library of Congress

Litany Source = A Book of Worship for Free Churches (1948), the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches in the United States


Let us thank God for his blessings.  For all thy blessings in creation; for the beauty of earth and sea and sky; for thy manifold works, and the wisdom with which thou hast made them all,

We thank thee, O God.

For the happiness of our earthly life; for peaceful homes and healthful days; for our powers of mind and body; for faithful friends, for the joy of loving and being beloved,

We thank thee, O God.

For the revelation of thy love and for newness of life in our Saviour; for the blessings brought to us by thy holy Church; for the grace of thy sacraments and for our fellowship with thee in Christ,

We thank thee, O God.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.  From blindness to thy presence in life and sacrament; from hardness of heart and from want of truth, in thought and word and deed,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From all that would injure the body, from unworthy fears and anxieties, from despondency, discontent and despair,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From want of sympathy with friends and neighbors; from harsh judgments and ill-feeling towards any; from idle talk and slander; from want of love for our contrary, and unwillingness to seek the common good,

Good Lord, deliver us.

When we question the value of life; when our sense of duty grows faint through self-indulgence; in suffering and failure; in times of happiness and success; in our days of labor and our nights of rest; in the freedom of youth and the weariness of old age; in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment,

Good Lord, deliver us.

That it may please thee to bless with wisdom and courage to those to whom the people have entrusted power, and to give thy guidance and blessing to all who hold rule over their fellows;

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to inspire all who are seeking to improve the conditions of our industrial life, and to give fortitude and new hope to all who are out of work;

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to solace all who have lost those whom they most loved; to sustain the widows and orphans; to uphold all who are sick and suffering; to protect such as have lost the kindly light of reason; and to supply the needs of the blind, the deaf, and the dumb;

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

May the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the splendor of the Eternal Light, remove from our hearts all darkness, now and forevermore.  Amen.

–Pages 306-309

Prayer for Harvest Time   Leave a comment

Harvest Time

Above:  Harvest Time (1791), by Jacob Cats (1741-1799)

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-71415

Prayer Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church


Almighty and everlasting God, we yield thee hearty thanks for all thy goodness, and especially for this thy bounty again bestowed upon us, who, through thy providence and tender mercy, have now reaped the fruits of the earth in due season, and gathered them into our garners.  Give us power to use the same to thy glory, to the relief of those that are needy, and to our own comfort.  Continue, we beseech thee, thy lovingkindness toward us, that year by year our land may yield her increase, filling our hearts with joy and gladness; and so dispose us by thy special grace that we, thy servants, may never sow only to the flesh, lest of the flesh we reap corruption, but may sow spiritually to live everlasting, and reap the same in thy heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer for Labor Day   Leave a comment

Child Labor Demonstration

Above:  Child Labor Demonstration, New York, New York, May 1, 1909

Image Publisher = Bain News Service

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ggbain-03328

Prayer Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church


We invoke thy grace and wisdom, O Lord, upon all men of good will who employ and control the labor of men.  Amid the numberless irritations and anxieties of their position, help them to keep a quiet and patient temper, and to rule firmly and wisely, without harshness and anger.  Since they hold power over the bread, the safety, and the hopes of the workers, may they wield their power justly and with love, as older brothers and leaders in the great fellowship of labor.  Suffer not the heavenly light of compassion for the weak and the old to be quenched in their hearts.  When they are tempted to sacrifice human health and life for profit, do thou strengthen their will in the hour of need, and bring to nought the counsels of the heartless.  May they not sin against thee by using the bodies and souls of men as mere tools to make things.  Raise up among us employers who shall be makers of men as well as of goods.  Give us men of faith who will look beyond the strife of the present, and catch a vision of a nobler organization of our work, when all shall still follow the leadership of the ablest, no longer in fear, but by the glad will of all, and when all shall stand side by side in a strong and righteous brotherhood of work; according to thy will in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prophetic Witness in Society   Leave a comment

Beggars 1868

Above:  Beggars, 1868

Image in the Public Domain


Almighty God, whose prophets taught us righteousness in the care of your poor:

By the guidance of your Holy Spirit,

grant that we may do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in your sight;

through Jesus Christ, our Judge and Redeemer,

who lives and reigns with you and the same Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 55:11-56:1

Psalm 2:1-2, 10-12

Acts 14:14-17, 21-23

Mark 4:21-29

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 736

O Young and Fearless Prophet   5 comments

A Map of Ancient Galilee

Image Source = Wikipedia

Words by S. (Samuel) Ralph Harlow (1885-1972), in 1931; Harlow was a Congregationalist then United Church of Christ minister and Professor of Religion and Social Ethics at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.

Hymn Source = The United Methodist Hymnal:  The Book of United Methodist Worship (1989)


1.  O young and fearless Prophet of ancient Galilee,

thy life is still a summons to serve humanity;

to make our steadfast thoughts and actions less prone to please the crowd,

to stand with humble courage for truth with hearts uncowed.

2.  We marvel at the purpose that held thee to thy course

while ever on the hilltop before thee loomed the cross;

thy steadfast face set forward where love and duty shone,

while we betray so quickly and leave thee there alone.

3.  O help us stand unswerving against war’s bloody way,

where hate and lust and falsehood hold back Christ’s holy sway;

forbid false love of country that blinds us to his call,

who lifts above the nations the brotherhood of all.

4.  Stir up in us a protest against our greed for wealth,

while others starve and hunger and plead for work and health;

where homes with little children cry out for lack of bread,

who live their years sore burdened beneath a gloomy dread.

5.  O young and fearless Prophet, we need thy presence here,

amid our pride and glory to see thy face appear;

once more to hear thy challenge above our noisy day,

again to lead us forward along God’s holy way.

Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service   4 comments

Above:  Byzantine Mosaic of Jesus Healing the Man with a Withered Hand

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = Hymnbook for Christian Worship (1970), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the American Baptist Convention

Words (in 1961) by Albert F. Bayly (1901-1984), a British Calvinist minister who spent the latter part of his career in The United Reformed Church, formed by a 1972 merger; The Hymns of The United Methodist Hymnal (Diana Sanchez, Editor) tells me that the basis for the hymn is Micah 6:6-8


1.  Lord, whose love through humble service

Bore the weight of human need,

Who did’st on the Cross, forsaken,

Work with mercy’s perfect deed;

We, thy servants, bring the worship

Not of voice alone, but heart

Consecrating to thy purpose

Every gift thou dost impart.

2.  Still thy children wander homeless;

Still the hungry cry for bread;

Still the captives long for freedom;

Still in grief men mourn their dead.

As, O Lord, thy deep compassion

Healed the sick and freed the soul,

Use the love thy Spirit kindles

Still to save and make men whole.

3.  As we worship, grant us vision,

Till thy love’s revealing light,

In its height and depth and greatness

Dawns upon our quickened sight,

Making known the needs and burdens

Thy compassion bids us bear,

Stirring us to tireless striving

Thine abundant life to share.

4.  Called from worship unto service,

Forth in thy dear name we go,

To the child, the youth, the aged,

Love in living deeds to show,

Hope and health, good will and comfort,

Counsel, aid and peace we give,

That thy children, Lord, in freedom

May thy mercy know and live.

Evening Prayer of the Covenant   2 comments


Image Source = Chad Teer


A prayer from the Ethiopian Orthodox liturgy, quoted in In Spirit and In Truth:  A Worship Book, published in 1991 for the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches


Remember, Lord, the down-coming of the rains and waters and rivers, and bless them.

Remember, Lord, the plants and the seeds and the fruits of the fields of every year, bless them and make them abundant.

Remember, Lord, the safety of your holy church and all the cities and countries.

Remember, Lord, the safety of humankind and of beasts and of me, your sinful servant.

Remember, Lord, our fathers and mothers, our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep and gone to their rest.

Remember, Lord, the captives of your people, and bring them again in peace to their dwelling place.

Remember, Lord, the afflicted and distressed.

Remember, Lord, your servants, the poor who are under oppression, have pity upon them and keep them in the right faith and make them a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, through our spiritual joy and the love of humankind.  Amen.

Fill Our Hearts with Joy and Grace   5 comments

Nile Delta, Egypt

Image Source = NASA, via Wikipedia

A prayer from the Coptic Orthodox liturgy, quoted in In Spirit and In Truth:  A Worship Book, published in 1991 for the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches


Pray for the raising of river waters this year,

that Christ, our Lord,

may bless it and raise it to its measure,

grant a cheerful touch

unto the lands,

support the human beings,

save the cattle

and forgive us our sins.

Lord, have mercy.

Pray for the trees, vegetations

and land plantations this year,

that Christ, our Lord, may bless them

to grow and bring forth

plentiful fruit, have compassion on his creation

and forgive us our sins.

Lord, have mercy.

Accord it, O Lord, a cheerful touch unto the earth,

water it,

and dispose of our life as deemed fit.

Crown this year with your goodness,

for the sake of the poor of your people,

the widow, the orphan, the stranger

and for our sake.

For our eyes are focused upon you, our hope,

and seek your holy name.

You provide us our food in due course.

Deal with us, O Lord, according to your goodness,

you, the feeder of everybody.

Fill our hearts with joy and grace,

that, as we always have sufficiently of all things,

we grow in every good deed.


Prayer of Confession for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost   4 comments

A Girl Begging in India

Image Source = Steve Evans


Prayer Source = James G. Kirk, When We Gather:  A Book of Prayers for Worship, Year C (Philadelphia, PA:  Geneva Press, 1985)

Corresponds to Proper 28:


Said in unison:

God of consuming fire, treat us not as stubble through the folly of our misdeeds.  We are misled by arrogance as we boast of our goodness; we look with disdain on those less fortunate, and ignore the poverty of our own souls.  Claiming to be among the mighty, we favor those gifted with similar strengths.  As individuals and as a nation, we test your patience.  Yet in Christ you love us still.  Forgive our pride and restore our sanity, so that we may yet serve you.