Prayer in the Economy: September 2021
We are beginning to learn to live with COVID-19 rather than wait for the pandemic to end. So whilst nationally many thousand positive cases are reported daily, and sadly deaths continue, the economy continues to show signs of growth. After several postponements the furlough scheme is due to end at the end of September, having been phased out over recent months. There remain shortages of labour and goods in many sectors, in part because of COVID (there is a backlog of people waiting to take their HGV driving test for example), and in part because of Brexit and the reduction in overseas workers. Projections are that redundancies will be lower than had been expected and, with more vacancies than workers, there will be considerable movement in the economy, with many retraining and changing their jobs. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58441555 )
Our prayers therefore focus on those who continue to live with uncertainty about their working future, those who will be looking for work as job retention schemes end, and businesses struggling with labour and supply shortages. We also continue to pray for those continuing to deliver vaccines and care in the health service in this country and across the world where, in many places, the situation continues to be more critical than in the UK.
Almighty God, many have lived with uncertainty in their work for a long time. We cannot know the future, but often fear the worst. Give to those who are troubled your peace and the knowledge that, whatever these next weeks bring, you are present with them, sustaining and caring for all in Jesus your Son, through whom we know your compassion for your world – your creation.
We pray for grace and wisdom for leaders in business and government, that their decisions will serve the common good and protect the most vulnerable, here and throughout the world.
And give courage and discernment to those called to be workplace chaplains as they visit, that they may bring your compassion and care to all whom they meet.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
Especially we pray for:
- Those returning to work after furlough, especially those who anticipate redundancy.
- Those now looking for new work and those retraining.
- For business leaders trying to navigate economic volatility and maintain employment, and those struggling with shortages of materials and labour.
- For those on low incomes who have little financial security.
- Chaplains as they continue to return to visiting workplaces, for the right words as they reconnect, praying especially for chaplains in:
- Redditch, including new chaplaincy at the YMCA
- Worcester livestock market
- Trustees of Faith at Work in Worcestershire, meeting online on September 16th.
- Those experiencing mental illness through stress as a result of their employment situation, and for their families and all who care for them.