Labour Day Congregational Prayer

On this Sabbath day of rest, dear God, we turn to you,
with thanks for the work that you give us to do.
We work by night, by day,
inside and in the great outdoors,
we work in coveralls or suits or casual clothes,
we work sitting, standing, travelling by car,
we work with tools or books or instruments in our hands,
we work silently, with words, or with technology.
Whatever our work, it’s shape or size,  we do it for you.
Thank you for employment, for salaries and paycheques,
for the chance to labour and do our best.
Thank you for the chance to retire from paid work.

Help us to remember that the work you give us to do
is not always work that the world values or pays for.
Bless our unpaid work of caregiving, whether for babies or children,
adults with disabilities, or seniors who need help.
Focus our eyes on the work that you value above all;
loving our neighbour, caring for the lowest and the least.
Help us remember that we are valued not because we work, 
but because we are created by you.
All who breathe are valued.

We ask for your forgiveness for the times we abuse the gift of work.
We give ourselves all the credit,
not acknowledging what we owe to you and to the efforts of others.
We are sometimes afraid to take on the work that you give us to do,
we are too lazy or too stubborn.
Sometimes we let work become a dictator.
We let it fill empty spaces in our lives which should be filled with other things.
We neglect people we love because of our work.
Help us, God, to find you in our work, to look for you in our work.
Help us as we seek a balance of work and play.
Thank you for giving us this Sabbath day where we can rest,
where we can pause and say thank you
to the One whose work we are,
to the One whose work we do.  Amen.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

Recent Posts

Posts By Month
  • Popular Tags

    Your browser doesn't support the HTML5 CANVAS tag.

  • Worship resources in a Mennonite voice for ears of all kinds

    Are you looking for resources for a Christian service? Feel free to use or adapt my prayers, poems and litanies. They are written in a Mennonite voice, for ears of all kinds. 

    Feel free to use these orally in a worship service (in-person or broadcasted)  , but if they are printed in a bulletin please use the following credit

    “Copyright Carol Penner”

    Contact me for use in newsletters or printed resources, I am happy to grant permission but I would like to know how my writing is being used.  You can reach me at