A Prayer for Employers

 “Prayer For Employers” by Walter Rauschenbusch (1910  Pilgrim Press)

Rauschenbush was a leader of the Social Gospel movement.  Though he was a Baptist, many of our Methodist, Evangelical and United Brethren forebears shared his Social Gospel sentiments.

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 powers 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 follow the ruthless ways of others, and to sacrifice human health and life for profit, do thou strengthen their will in the hour of need, and bring to naught the counsels of the heartless.  Save them from repressing their workers into sullen submission and helpless fear.  May they not sin against the Christ by using the bodies and souls of men as mere tools to make things, forgetting the human hearts and longings of these their brothers.

Raise up among us employers who shall be makers of men as well as of goods.  Give us masters of industry who will use their higher ability and knowledge in lifting the workers to increasing independence and vigor, and who will train their helpers for the larger responsibilities of the coming age.  Give us men of faith who will see beyond the strife of the present and catch a vision of nobler organization of our work, when all will still follow the leadership of the ablest, not in fear but by the glad will of all, and when none shall be master an none shall be man, but all shall stand side by side in a strong and righteous brotherhood of work.


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