With the economy in a slow down/recession/depression/crisis (or whatever other term we want to lob in there), those who lose their jobs certainly need our prayers.
However, it would also appear that our politicians *really* need our prayers. You see, their math is not so great when it comes to the economy. And *they* are the ones charging to our economic rescue? Get a load of this clip from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
Losing 500,000,000 jobs per month?!
Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue? Perhaps it was a miscalculation by a Ms. Pelosi staffer? Perhaps just one, two, or more zeroes were accidentally or subliminally added in during the Q & A? Or perhaps a comment like this is really intended to gin up more panic, fear, dread, and worry than the American people already have regarding the economy? Or perhaps it's just another line to stir up the so-called urgency for "Nanny Government" to swoop in and take control of more of our economy and more of our daily lives?
Some commentators today have tried to work the math upward. One blogger said, "If that's the case, I guess we’re on pace to lose 6 billion jobs this year." Um, isn't that closer to the population figure for the whole world?
I submit, though, that we must do the math downward, in the other direction, as it were.
The simple truth is this. According to the CIA website, the U.S. population stands at a mere 303,824,640 (July 2008 est.). Yes, you read that correctly. The whole population of the United States, as estimated last summer, stands at just over 300,000,000. That's only about 60% of Ms. Pelosi's figure for a month's worth of job losses.
If Ms. Pelosi's figures are correct--and how many unthinking fellow citizens in our land will assume just that?--then we will all be out of work not within a matter of a month, but rather in just under three weeks. (Hmm. I wonder how we should count those already retired and not even seeking employment?)
So, let's of course pray for those who have lost their jobs as well as those who may/will lose their jobs in the coming weeks and months of hardship. But let's also be discerning and vigilant regarding what our politicians try to tell us ... and let's pray for them. After all, it would appear that the wisdom requisite for leading our nation is in rather short supply these days.
Most of all, as Christians let's also not panic or join in the ever-present hand-wringing sessions over our economic doldrums these days. You see, such circumstances may very well have a God-given and salutary silver lining. We just may get to see how God Himself, not we ourselves nor the government itself, will provide for our every need, and with less stuff and economic "bling" than we think we may "need." And we just may get to see that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are really the true source of all of life.
The Lord Jesus said: "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:31-33)
St. Paul said, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:4-7)
The psalmist said: "Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is not salvation. When his breath departs he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish." (Psalm 146:3-4)
Prayers for the Unemployed:
"Heavenly Father, we commend to Your care those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. Grant that the wealth and resources of this rich land be profitably used so that all persons may find suitable and fulfilling employment and receive just payment for their labor; through Jesus Christ, our Lord." (LSB, 317)
"Heavenly Father, during His earthly ministry, Your Son had nowhere to lay His head. Look with pity on those who seek work but are unable to find any. Of Your tender mercy raise up opportunities for employment that in peace and thankfulness they may earn a juge wage, serve their neighbor in love, and find the contentment that You promise; for the sake of Him whose poverty we are made rich, even Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever." (Pastoral Care Companion, 452, adapted)
Prayer for the Nation:
"Almighty God, You have given us this good land as our heritage. Grant that we remember Your generosity and constantly do Your will. Bless our land with honest industry, truthful education, and an honorable way of life. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil course of action. Grant that we, who came from many nations with many different languages, may become a united people. Support us in defending our liberties, and give those to whom we have entrusted the authority of government the spirit of wisdom, that there may be justice and peace in our land. When times are prosperous, may our hearts be thankful, and in troubled times do not let our trust in You fail; through Jesus Christ, our Lord." (LSB, 313)