Prayers For Job Loss
Reflections on Job Loss
You are never more yourself than when you are between things be it between one job and another, one home and another, education and working life, work and retirement, and so on. Cherish, nurture, and be kind to yourself in these times of revelation through transition.
—Paraphrased and amended from my friend Susan Dimaline’s words to me years ago.
Whether we suspected it was coming or were taken completely by surprise, we have lost a job and we are ly stunned. In most cases it is not because we did something wrong and are being punished.
Remember that each of us has worth and deserves dignified treatment. Losing a job does not actually change who we are, although it can feel that way, at times. Thankfully, we are still ourselves. Each of us is a blessing.
Remember that everything changes and that this stage of life will give way to a new one.
Our job meant income, status and gave us part of our identity—part of who we are. Suddenly we are cut loose from those moorings. We are not quite the same person any more, because part of us has changed: the part that went to work and interacted as we did. It can leave us feeling angry at the time of leaving and fearful about the future.One of the most helpful things a friend said to me in a time of transition was that each of us is the most ourself when we are between things. We are not shaped by an organizational culture at such times, but rather are the most “me” we ever are.
This time can yield a fruitful experience of taking stock and making room for who we have become at this point in our lives. We were so busy working that we may not have noticed our own growing and changing. We need to grieve our loss and to recognize our feelings of anger and fear so that we are able to reap the benefits of reflection.
I was doing a great job at my position, which I loved.
My job was terminated and a part-time position replaced some of what I did, with others taking on the rest, as I had already done for those who had been laid off before me.
The person who let me go knew I would be in shock. I knew it too. As is the case for many, my being let go was nothing personal. I was not disd nor was I incompetent. I was told that it was the economy.
I went home to my husband, who was facing his own first day of unemployment. That’s right, he was laid off two weeks before. So now we were both a job, with three kids and an elderly parent to support. I was angry, disillusioned, and fearful of how we would manage.
And yet I somehow felt that even though I loved my job, I was going to find something even better. I don’t know where that came from but it was irrepressible.
As Richard Bolles notes in What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-hunters and Career-changers, the Chinese character for danger also means opportunity.
Remember, if you enjoyed your job, no one can ever take away the time you had nor the friends you made. If you can and want to, stay in touch with people you know from your former workplace and get together outside of the workplace. You need not lose those friends.
I knew I would feel odd not going to work daily, so I resolved to do an errand each morning just to get out. This made me feel more in control. I actually didn’t end up following this plan but just having a plan helped me.I was taking stock and assessing my own needs and being serious about caring well for myself. It was spring and I worked in my garden. A friend suggested that I plant a perennial in affirmation of my growing self. I planted a rose bush and it thrived; a symbol of my own thriving. I determined to keep reaching out and not to shrink inward a snail. I made lots of social plans.
A therapist suggested that our family try an exercise to boost our confidence in coping with this tough time.
She said ask each member of the family a list of questions: for example, “Ever been through a parent’s job loss before?” “Ever had less money and had to choose which things you were going to buy?” and so on. All questions were designed to show that we had to cope before, and managed just fine.
You might find it valuable to talk with a religious professional who will listen to you talk about your grief and hopes. Among other feelings I felt angry, and I still am at times.
There is a fork in the road of choices I make in which I feel angry and allow myself to experience those feelings, and yet I decide not to go down the road of anger as my choice of action.
I only let myself imagine that road.
It is key to reflect alone and also to reflect with others. We need to be able stay upbeat and not wallow in self-pity. The company of constructive-minded others is invaluable. I took a course on balance in work and life to help identify what I would do next.
The course content, the company of other participants, and the leader were all very valuable to my identifying and taking next steps. In these tough economic times there are groups to help you stay upbeat and to help you move through a process of letting go and starting anew.
You can even start a small group yourself, as I did.
We must value our deepest selves and our highest abilities and also be held in community. This is both the formula for how we can deal with our grief and loss and the formula for how we will move into a new job. We need to take stock, take inventory of ourselves, our abilities and our needs, and also to connect with others for fun, positive reinforcement, and connections that lead to a job.
You can either speak or, if you’d to, sing “I Know This Rose Will Open” by Mary Grigolia, hymn #396 from the UU hymnbook Singing the Living Tradition.
This song can be a comforting prayer in times of fear, discernment, waiting, and hope, after we have done what we can and await the actions of others. The rose symbolizes the onset and flourishing of our hopes and dreams.
Singing in times of trouble can be particularly powerful and comforting. Sing or speak the words as you prefer. The words are:I know this rose will open,
I know my fears will burn away,
I know my soul will unfurl its wings
I know this rose will open.
Implied in these words is the truth that we will help the “rose” to open and also that a certain amount of help outside ourselves will be needed.
A Spiritual Practice
I have found that I need both the “reality check” of processing my transition with others, and the practice of private reflection. With others, I have attended a careers small group that I started, a larger networking group which meets at the library, and a course on career directions.
By myself, the inward-looking process of journaling has been very helpful. Some possible themes to journal on are “what do I want to do most?” or “Who do I want to be?” or “What do I want more of in my life?” You might even to create a vision board to focus your sense of self.
Alone and together, these processes combined to help me in leaving my job—a process leaving familiar shores and rowing out into the water, exploring myself and working towards another shore, near or distant, where I find my next adventure. Journaling and group work can help in thinking through the combination of work and personal life to perhaps get a better insight on a better balance in future.
Paula Cole Jones taught me the words of Episcopal bishop, Barbara Harris, “The power behind you is greater than the task before you.” When I remember this it causes me to sit up and to remember my actions matter.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Prayer Points For Job Breakthrough
Are you in need of a breakthrough in your job search? Are you ready for God to open doors for you related to a new career? Powerful prayers that work for your job search are those that you pray with faith, believing that God can perform miracles and invite God or his messengers to do so in the situation you’re facing. The Bible tells us, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). You can call to God through prayer.
The Lord has endowed us all with some talent, and wishes us to express those gifts that He has given us for the good of all. Saying prayers for employment also affirm our understanding of our own inner talents and abilities. Here are six prayers points for job breakthrough:
Command the spirit of confidence to command the interview:
We know that when we’re sitting at the interview table we are supposed to be confident, or at least appear as if we are. But anyone who has been on the job hunt for a long time knows that it’s easy to lose your confidence in the face of rejection. It’s important that you command the spirit of confidence and trust in God’s power as you walk into that next interview:
Dear God, you know how much need a new job – both for financial income, and the opportunities it would provide to use the talents you’ve given me to help make the world a better place. You also know God, how hard I’ve tried to find a job. But so far, all the hard work I’ve done during my job search hasn’t led to any job offers.
I’m frustrated, my confidence has been shaken and I’m worried about my future. God, please send the miraculous breakthrough I need to get a new job soon. Guide me to opportunities to network with the right people, learn about the right hob openings to apply for, and figure out how best to develop my skills so I’ll be prepared for my next job.
I believe that there are no limits to what you can do for me. Amen.
Command the spirit of failure at the edge of breakthrough to die in the name of Jesus:
Our Heavenly Father gives us the courage to face any fear, doubt or uncertainty in the power we have been given to accomplish great things. If you’re in need of a job break through, command the spirit of failure to be gone in Jesus’ name:
Dear God, You know I have always struggled with insecurities and this is becoming especially difficult now as I search for a new job. I have a warped perspective of who I am.
It has been so challenging for me to disregard those thoughts of insecurity and lean on your truths. I ask that You would rewire my mind and eliminate the spirit of failure that is trying to claim my heart.
I know that all things are possible through you.
Thank God for His provisions and every good thing He has done for you:
It’s Important that we thank God for His goodness and faithfulness in our lives. As you search for a new job, trust that He is leading you into a new land, a spacious land filled with blessed and opportunity:
Dear God, as I search for a new job, I admit that I am nervous and fearful and worried about failing. But I choose to stand and keep my eyes on You as You lead me forward in Your purposes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Claim the power to overcome and excel among all the job competitors in the name of Jesus:
It’s not always easy being too confident when you walk in the job interview. That’s why it’s important to keep God at the center and call on His power to help you stand out next to your competition:
Dear Father, thank you for the wonderful skills and gifts You’ve so freely given me. I surrender all I am to You. Come guide my path as I look for new work. Help me to stand out among all the job competitors. If it is Your Will, I know it will be done. I claim it in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Claim miracle breakthrough power in your daily life:
Often, when we pray for miracles to happen in our lives, we are also praying for healing to happen in our lives as well. We see countless examples of healing happening in Scripture through Jesus’ healing power. The same is possible in our daily lives:
Lord Jesus, heal me. Heal in me whatever You see needs healing. Heal me of whatever might separate me from you. Heal my memory, heal my heart, heal my emotions, heal my spirit, heal my body and heal my soul. Lay Your hands gently upon me and Heal me through Your love for me. Amen.
Be more cognizant of God’s miracle power in all circumstances:
Miracle power testifies that God’s touch is always a heartbeat away. It’s important that we are conscious of God at work in our lives daily. Miracle power can happen in your life when you have faith and trust that miracles can really happen. Are you ready to unleash that miracle power? This prayer will guide you:
Heavenly Father, I open my heart wide to receive the love of God. As I receive God’s love as universal supply, all my affairs are healed.I realize and accept the healing power of the Universe as love, and I allow the healing power that is love to penetrate my life. I readily accept the healing power of love in my life and I know that as love, God is my limitless and abundant supply made manifest.
I feel the outpouring of God’s love in my body and mind. I feel God’s love in my affairs, and I know all is well. Amen.
Claim the power to not be limited and the spirit of confidence to step your comfort zone:
9 ways to cope with job loss Islamically
The news has been dire lately, with millions jobs lost in the United States every year. If we aren't among the newly unemployed, then we most certainly know at least one person who is.
There is excellent advice available about how to handle job loss financially, psychologically and emotionally. However, coping at this stage also requires a spiritual perspective that is not as easily accessible. Here are a couple of ideas on how to handle it Islamically.
1. Remember Who is the Real Provider of Everything You Have
It's easy to get caught up in the fear of ?how will I provide for my family??. While there are programs and unemployment benefits that can help you through the first months after a job loss, a broader view helps.
Reminding ourselves that one of God's 99 Names is The Provider (Ar-Razzaq) will give us the comfort and confidence we need to remember that He is the One Who provides for us in all circumstances.
Even when we were employed, it was by His Mercy and generosity that we had a job in the first place.
It would also be helpful when making Dua, to use this name of Allah (Ar-Razzaq) when calling on Him to help financially at this difficult time.
2. Revive the Practice of Daily Dua
In busier times, squeezing Dua into our day may have been difficult. Now, with more time available, it's critical to not only keep up our daily prayers, but to make? long, deep Duas for Allah's forgiveness, mercy and help.
Pour your heart out to Him, express your fears, worries, hopes and desires in a way you never have, knowing that He can and will answer? your prayers.
Sustained, concentrated Dua gives us a critical coping mechanism that helps deal with a major life stress job loss.
3. Meet Once a Week After Juma with Other Unemployed Muslims
A number of newly unemployed Americans across the country have started or joined informal job loss groups that offer support and networking opportunities. Start something similar in your neighborhood or among your friends.
After Juma prayers is a good time because those who attend are gathering as it is and you could easily step into a neighboring library, coffee shop or park to just check in with each other, offer spiritual advice and make a collective Dua for one another.
4. Encourage Your Masjid or Islamic Center to Start Its Own Unemployment Support Group
This would be a more formalized version of idea #3 above. It could include weekly spiritual pep talks by the Imam about the need to be steadfast in difficult times and trust in Allah, for example.
It could also offer counseling to Muslims struggling with the emotional and psychological aftermath of job loss.
Each meeting can end with a collective Dua by the group leader or Imam to help members and everyone who is suffering financially or otherwise during this difficult time.
5. Give Small, Steady Sadaqa
It's tempting to think that the only donations that matter are the large ones we can easily make when we've got a steady job and a large bank balance. But consider this: it's the small donations by hundreds of millions of nonbillionaire Americans that fuel most of? this country's nonprofits. In 2006, individuals accounted for about three-quarters of donations.
This is in line with the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him's saying: “the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even though it were little” (Bukhari).
It could be just a dollar a week, but do give it away in charity.
If you and your family have cut an expensive habit to save money, consider giving a small percentage of that to the mosque charity box for the hungry next week.
6. Don't Neglect Non-Monetary Charity
Giving charity has an interesting psychological effect: a sense of empowerment and upliftment. Most of us feel great giving but embarrassed asking from others, even in need. But don't think that being charitable is limited to dollars and cents.
? The Prophet, in response to a question about how to fulfill the Islamic obligation of giving charity daily, answered: “The doors of goodness are many…
enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one's legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one's arms–all of these are charity prescribed for you.” He also said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.”
Volunteering of all kinds to help those in need, even as you are in need, will not only help fight depression, but it will help you regain a sense of empowerment.
7. Reconnect with Your Family
With more time on your hands, use the hours and minutes you are not looking for another job to reconnect with your parents, spouse and children in a way you could not when you were employed.
Call your parents everyday, thanking Allah for the blessing of their presence in your life; drop off and pick up your kids from school and strike up interesting conversations with them about the meaning of life; take on bedtime story duty; start praying the five daily prayers together as a family; go out with your spouse to a free activity; plan a one-day getaway to a free, local attraction with the whole family. It is especially important to reconnect in difficult times. Otherwise, the stress can lead to a negative family atmosphere that kills love and mercy between spouses, parents and children.
8. Be the Birds
The Prophet said “If only you relied on Allah a true reliance, He would provide sustenance for you just as He does the birds: They fly out in the morning empty and return in the afternoon with full stomachs” (At-Tirmidhi).
Trust in Allah, and keep relying on Him through Dua and good deeds. Even with bad news upon bad news about the economy, remember His Mercy and His ability to provide for you from means you could never have imagined (Quran 65:3).
9. Make Dua for Others Coping with Job Loss
The Prophet said: “The Dua of a Muslim for his brother in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial Dua for his brother the appointed angel says, 'Ameen. And may you also be blessed with the same'” (Muslim).
Photo Attribution: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/A_BLACK_MAN_WHO_IS_JOBLESS_SITS_ON_THE_WINDOWSILL_OF_A_BUILDING_IN_A_HIGH_CRIME_AREA_ON_CHICAGO%27S_SOUTH_SIDE._HE_HAS…_-_NARA_-_556156.tif
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