My God, Father and Savior,
since you have commanded us to work in order to meet our needs,
sanctify our labor that it may bring nourishment to our souls as well as to our bodies.
Make us constantly aware that our efforts are worthless
unless guided by your light and strengthened by your hand.
Make us faithful to the particular tasks
for which you have bestowed upon us the necessary gifts,
taking from us any envy or jealousy at the vocations of others.
Give us a good heart to supply the needs of the poor,
saving from any desire to exalt ourselves over those who receive our bounty.
And if you should call us to greater poverty than we humanly desire,
save us from any spirit of defiance or resentment
but rather let us graciously and humbly receive the bounty of others.
Above all may every temporal grace be matched by spiritual grace
that in both body and soul we may live to your glory.
John Calvin, 1509-1564, Swiss Reformer
You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’