The following prayer was delivered this morning as the opening invocation of the AFL-CIO North Carolina State Convention:
God of majesty and wonder, you have said to us in one place: the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. And we are here not only as laborers, but as those who are also keenly aware of the harvest of long labor that awaits our brothers and sisters down east. Many in this hall today are torn between our desire to be here and our need to be there. But we are here even as our hearts are there.
On this day, we pledge to help do the work that waits when the flood waters recede, for we know that work born by many is less work for the few. But before that work commences, we know that the work we have come here to do this week is also important for different reasons.
Oh God of us all, the work we have come here to do this week is the work you have laid on our hearts from the ancient of days. From those days you have always shown compassion for the ones whose work is undervalued and underappreciated. From the days of old, the prophets have cried out in the streets for fairness in the workplace and honesty in the marketplace. We stand on their shoulders and are proud to raise the same call today. We come to unite ourselves around that cause with you.
We know that together we are stronger, but not through strength that crushes the weak and disregards the disabled, but rather by strength that unites us as we work together for the world you have created us to have. A world where no one is hungry; where everyone has a dry and warm place to live; where our children are safe and our parents grow old with dignity. Hasten the day, good Lord, when this day becomes our day. We pledge to join our hands with yours by clasping hands with each other to make this our reality.
Give us courage, grant us strength, imbue us with your grace. Amen.