Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Praying for Those Who Are Unemployed

           When I began my ministry of intercession, I never imagined that a time would come when I would have a whole list of people to pray for who needed employment, but with the changing economy, every day my prayer list includes the name of someone who needs work. 
            As I scan the list, I find many different reasons people are searching for work and came to the position where they currently find themselves.  When I think of my own situation, I realize how fortunate I was to find three different part time jobs I enjoy.  Without them, my story might have ended quite differently when I was laid off my last full time job in the spring of 2011. 
            What are the concerns of those for whom I pray?  Rose (not her real name), wishes to find another job, that would give her the kind of responsibility that she had in her accounting job in her own country.  When she immigrated to this country, the skills she learned in her home country only qualified her for a clerical position here, without any of the responsibilities that she had in her previous employment.  I pray that she will find a position offers her with the fulfillment of feeling that what she does matters.
             Another jobseeker, also an immigrant, after landing a good job following years of training in the information technology field, left to join his wife in this country.  Although he has had a few short-term contracts, including one in another city, he has not found a permanent position.  Their situation grew more serious when their first child arrived a few months ago. 
            Jane, who worked in the banking sector for many years, felt that she would find more satisfaction in working for a non-profit.  When she sent me her CV to pass on to my contacts she expressed her desire to do work that made a difference in the world.  Her experience would make her an asset to any non-profit, but her acquired skills are not an easy match for a position that would be at her income level in the banking world. 
            Corinne is limited in her employability, since she has been trying to find work in a bilingual city and she is unilingual.  After scouring all the possibilities she could find, she finally chose to set up a business for herself.  Since it usually takes a while for such ventures to become profitable, in the meantime she procured a part time position that requires only the language she speaks. 
            Andre had a good position in marketing, but when the economy weakened, the company required him to lay off his whole department.  He knew that meant the handwriting was on the wall for him.  At the same time, his wife who had lost her job was hired to work in another city nearby.  It was logical for Andre to look for work there too.   However, this is a smaller city and does not offer as many opportunities as were available in the advertising sector.  He will likely need to find how transferable his skills are for other sectors. 
            Norman was also a victim of societal change, when the video rental store that he managed was closed.  It looked for a while like there might be a possibility that he could take over management of a store in another city, but that job went to someone local. 
            Each of the situations is unique.  Some are related to the current economic downturn and some are not.  In each case, the need for work is obvious, but the job openings seem to be scarce. 
            My conviction is that the Lord is aware of each person, each situation, each family and their needs.  My prayer for them varies according to their particular circumstances.  I also recognize when I pray that I only know a small portion of their story.  Only God knows all of the details and I believe I can trust him to work all things out for their good. 

            I know that does not mean that these friends will avoid the worry and stress of financial need that accompany loss of employment.  However, as I pray for them, my prayer is that they may remain calm and confident that the One who knows them better than they know themselves and who will not leave them without hope.  Since I experience lay offs twice myself in the last three years, due to a lack of funding available to employ me, I can perhaps pray for my friends with a little more empathy, than I might have before this happened to me.
Winner of 2011
Word Guild Award
Christian Leadership

Winner of 2009
Word Guild Award of Merit
Human Interest Story


Leona said...

Thank you for praying Eleanor. I am unemployed for the first time ever in my life. It is not a good feeling but I am trusting the Lord to provide. My dream job would be as a paid freelance writer, but who knows what God has in mind for me. I was a Church Secretary until my church had financial problems and closed...a sign of our economy I guess...Blessings to you.

Angela said...

May God bless you and help you to comfort others with the comfort with which you have been comforted.

Eleanor Shepherd said...

Thanks, Leona and Angela for your comments. Unemployment can be devastating.
Leona, I hope you have been able to find work. Hold on to your writing dream and you will find ways to bring it to reality.
Angela, thank you for your kind words.
Warm regards,