Increase Your Joy in Your Work Day with These Prayers

Maureen Dillon

Increase Your Joy in Your Work Day with These Prayers

Today is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. It can be challenging to view work as a blessing in our lives. It may be stressful. It often takes us away from spending time with our friends and family or other activities that we rather be doing. It can be difficult not to view work as a punishment from God for Adam and Eve's original sin. However, if we understand human nature and man's relationship with God and with creation rightly, the opportunity and ability to work is a great and necessary gift. Pope John Paul II's encyclical, "Laborem Excercens" reminds us that the Church teaches that "work is a fundamental dimension of man's existence on earth" and that "work is a good thing for man...It is not only good in the sense that it is useful or something to enjoy; it is also good as being something worthy, that is to say, something that corresponds to man's dignity, that expresses this dignity and increases it." So, today, as we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, let us lift our hearts in prayers of thanksgiving for the work that we have or in prayers of petition for work that we may need. Let us also pray for the virtue we need to work industriously, joyfully, and fruitfully. All through the intercession of St. Joseph, whose example as a faithful worker is a tradition deep-rooted in salvation history. 

Prayer to St. Joseph, Patron of Workers

Blessed St. Joseph, patron of all working people, thank you for the opportunity to build up God’s kingdom through my labors. Help me to be conscientious in my work so that I may give as full a measure as I have received. 

May I do all things in a spirit of thankfulness and joy, ever mindful of the gifts I have received from God that enable me to perform these tasks. Permit me to work in peace, patience, and moderation, keeping in mind the account I must one day give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted, and vanity of success, so fatal to the work of God. Glorious St. Joseph, may my labors be all for Jesus, all through Mary, and all after your holy example in life and in death. Amen.

Prayer to St. Joseph Before Beginning Work
by Pope St. Pius X

O Glorious Saint Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance for the expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations; to work with thankfulness and joy, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, never shrinking from weariness and trials; to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, keeping unceasingly before my eyes death and the account that I must give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thy example, O Patriarch, Saint Joseph. Such shall be my watch-word in life and in death. Amen.

Prayer to St. Joseph for the Spirit of Work
from Devotions to St. Joseph

Joseph, by the work of your hands
and the sweat of your brow,
you supported Jesus and Mary,
and had the Son of God as your fellow worker.

Teach me to work as you did,
with patience and perseverance, for God and
for those whom God has given me to support.
Teach me to see in my fellow workers
the Christ who desires to be in them,
that I may always be charitable and forbearing
towards all.

Grant me to look upon work
with the eyes of faith,
so that I shall recognize in it
my share in God’s own creative activity
and in Christ’s work of our redemption,
and so take pride in it.

When it is pleasant and productive,
remind me to give thanks to God for it.
And when it is burdensome,
teach me to offer it to God,
in reparation for my sins
and the sins of the world.

Evening Prayer to St. Joseph
from Devotions to St. Joseph

At each day's ending, Joseph, you could take your rest knowing whom you had served, and how faithfully, however badly things had gone, or however well.
My days' endings so often bring regret -- for things said or left unsaid, for things done or left undone, for opportunities not seized.
In your goodness, pray to Jesus for me that He would accept even the marred pattern of my days,
make good the lack in each, and give me day by day His grace to do better.

Prayer to St. Joseph to Find Employment

Dear Saint Joseph, you were yourself once faced with the responsibility of providing the necessities of life for Jesus and Mary. Look down with fatherly compassion upon me in my anxiety with my present inability to support my family. Please help me find gainful employment very soon, so that this great burden of concern will be lifted from my heart and that I am soon able to provide for those whom God has entrusted to my care. Help me guard against discouragement, so that I may emerge from this trial spiritually enriched and with even greater blessings from God. Amen.