By Clarence L. Haynes Jr., Crosswalk.com
As you can tell from the title, this is an article about prayers for those hunting for a job. Before I get to the prayers, I need to establish some points so the prayers below will make more sense.
First, hunting for a job can be both exhilarating and frustrating at the same time. Typically, what I have found is that people hunting for a job will usually fall into one of four categories. Each of these different categories brings with it a different set of emotions, because they represent different stages or situations of your life. Let me give you my definition of these categories.
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The Career Beginner
If you are in this stage, then you are just starting out in your career. Maybe you have just finished your education and are ready to take on the world. There is usually lots of optimism in this stage as you are about to embark on what you hope to be a successful career journey.
The Career Changer
If you are in this stage, you have been in the workforce for a length of time, which could be short or long, but you are looking to move. This could mean a lateral move, an upward move, or an outward move. If you are looking outward, you may have started in a career field and realized either this career is not what you want anymore, or this type of job is not what you really want to do. This can lead to a measure of uncertainty as you figure out what direction you want to go in. If your move is lateral or upward, there can be a level of optimism because you have some experience and you have a level of confidence you want to bring to another position.
The Career Restarter
If you are here, you are one who has experienced a sudden and possibly unexpected job loss. This can come from either being fired or laid off. Regardless of how it happens, you suddenly find yourself unemployed. You may be frustrated, angry, or even unsure about what your next steps are going to be.
The Career Returner
If this applies to you, then you have been out of the workforce for an extended period for any number of reasons. It could be to raise a family, take care of another family member’s health, or maybe you have had your own health issue to deal with. In this space, you are now facing the task of going back to work and may wonder or worry if you still have value in the marketplace.
As you can see, each of these scenarios comes with different emotions attached to them. In other words, job hunters are not all starting from the same place. This context is important because it can shape the types of prayers you pray in each scenario.
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Remember God’s Purpose and God’s Promise
Whether you are entering, re-entering, or changing in the job market, it can feel a little overwhelming – even scary – especially if you have been out of the market for an extended period.
Before I offer these prayers, I want to remind you of two things: God’s purpose and God’s promise. As believers it’s not just about getting a job, it is about being in the center of God’s will and purpose for your life. The job you seek and get should be part of that. The second thing you must remember is God’s promise to provide for you. This is especially important if you had a sudden and unexpected job loss. Remember these words from the Lord.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:25-33).
It is imperative you start here when you begin the job hunt, because you must approach it knowing that God is faithful, he knows your situation and your need, and he will take care of you. It can be a little nerve-wracking, but you can trust God because he has a good track record of being true to his word.
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A Prayer for the Career Beginner
As I begin this journey into my new career, thank you for giving me the ability and desire to work. I pray for wisdom and favor and that you would open the right door for me. As I interview, help me to be focused and confident and help the interviewer to see the potential there is in me. Ultimately as I look for opportunities, lead me to the place you want me to be. I know work is part of your plan for me, so guide me and keep me in the center of your will.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
A Prayer for the Career Changer
First, I thank you for the job you have provided for me. I thank you for what I have learned and how I have grown. As I consider where I am, there is a part of me that desires a new direction. Help me not to be impatient and move out of my emotions, but give me peace to know that this movement is in alignment with your will for my life. I pray that I would not be motivated by envy or frustration, but simply by a desire to find an opportunity that allows me to demonstrate all the skills and gifts you have given me. I pray for open doors, right contacts, and the leading of the Holy Spirit as I seek to step into another direction for my life. Thank you for leading and providing so far and for the confidence to know you will continue to do so.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
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A Prayer for the Career Restarter
You know I have just lost my job and I am a little nervous and unsure of what is next. First, give me peace to know you were not caught off guard by this and have already worked out the plan. As I step back for a moment, help me to evaluate where I am and give me wisdom as I take steps forward. As I align myself with your plan for my life, lead me to the right open door. I give you all my desires and the things I love to do, but I also give you my responsibilities and the obligations I am required to meet. I admit this feels a little scary, but at the same time it represents an opportunity for a new direction. Help me to trust you in this process and know you will take care of everything I need until that new door opens. I know you have been faithful before, and I can trust you will be faithful again.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
A Prayer for the Career Returner
Help my confidence. I feel like I have lost time during my absence from the market, even though the absence was necessary. Help me to trust that you are not hindered by time because you hold time in your hands. As I begin this journey again, help me to remember you are with me and that you are the one who ultimately opens doors and closes them. Help me to recognize my true value and give me the confidence to portray that to potential employers. Lead me to the right opportunity that matches my skillset and that would give me fulfillment and satisfaction. I thank you in advance for the open door, and look forward with excitement for what you have in store for me.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
I want to share one last thought from a personal perspective. I have been in all four of these places, so I know the emotions attached to them well. What I want to leave you with is this – God has proven himself to be faithful, repeatedly, in every scenario in my life. And I can say confidently, he will do the same for you. Keep trusting him and watch what he will do to get you to that new job.
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