Lord of the harvest
Harvest festival services are being held right across the country at this time of year. Some of them will be the traditional style of bringing produce from both home and farm. Some will bring a mix of gifts, the harvest of the sea, skills, work, and local industry. Many of the harvest festivals will have a display of items of gifts for the more needy in our country and these will be distributed mainly through food banks. The theme of harvest is always the same, thankfulness for God’s good gifts.
Let us pray using the words of this famous harvest hymn
Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.
In Genesis, God promised “As long as the earth endues seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease”. In Leviticus God says “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.”
Almighty God, wonderful creator, giver of this beautiful earth on which we live, we give you thanks and praise. You have guided us all throughout the generations and you have taught us the need for care of everyone. We thank you for the harvest and the gifts that we can share.
We pray for those who are on the edges of society be it through financial difficulties, ill-health, loss of home and/or country, and those who have become controlled by others through modern slavery. You told the Israelites to leave the edges of their fields and the second picking of their vineyards for the poor and the foreigner. We pray that not only as individuals but as a nation we are aware of the need to share generously with others.
We bring to you those who are working among the needy, may they have compassion and understanding to reach out in so many ways. Give them the skills and willingness to listen, to guide, to help, and to support those in need. Lord we are not all called to befriend those in need but we are call to share your generosity to us. Guide us to give cheerfully from our ‘harvest’ to those who no harvest of their own. May this working out of your call to be loving and caring show others the joy of bring part of your Kingdom people.
We pray this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour and Lord.