Workday Prayers: Justice for the Poor

By Mark D. Roberts

June 29, 2023

Scripture — Psalm 140:12-13 (NRSV)

I know that the LORD maintains the cause of the needy
    and executes justice for the poor.
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name;
    the upright shall live in your presence.


As we do our daily work, whatever our role or responsibility, we remember God’s commitment to “maintain the cause of the needed” and “execute justice for the poor.” We seek to do our work in a way that benefits all people and advances the cause of God’s justice in the world.


God’s commitment to justice is a theme we find throughout the Bible. For example, in Psalm 33:4-5 we read, “For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.” Similarly, the writer of Psalm 99:4 prays, “Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.”

God is especially committed to justice for those who are often treated unjustly, people with little power, money, or influence. As it says in Psalm 140:12, “I know that the LORD maintains the cause of the needy, and executes justice for the poor.” Because God cares for those who are vulnerable, we who belong to God will do the same. In Psalm 82:3-4 God gives us our marching orders, “Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Thus, as we acknowledge God’s commitment to justice for the poor, we also promise to reflect this commitment in how we live and work.


Gracious God, you do indeed love and care for all people. You do not show favoritism to people of wealth, power, and influence. In fact, you make it abundantly clear in Scripture that you are particularly committed to justice for those who are often victims of injustice. Thank you, dear Lord, for your care for the poor, the needy, the powerless, and the marginalized.

As one who has been saved through your righteousness, I seek to be upright, to live in all of life in a way that reflects who you are. Help me, I pray, to do my work in a way that is consistent with your commitment to justice. May I have vision to see my work, not merely in terms of my own advantage or that of my organization, but also as a way to bless the poor and the disadvantaged.

As I pray for my own work, Lord, I also pray that more opportunities will come for people to do good work, work that supplies their needs and serves others well. Bless those organizations that see their work as a way of blessing others. Amen.

Ponder Throughout the Day

The Lord executes justice for the poor.

For Further Reflection

Read all of Psalm 140.

You may also wish to read Isaiah 61.

Banner image by Mitchell Griest on Unsplash.

Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Remembering God’s Justice.

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Mark D. Roberts

Senior Strategist

Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders,...

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