Thank you for this day now coming to a close, for this food from your bounty that we are about to share, and for all the blessings of this life.
As we gather tonight to honor and his family, I pray that they might find in this fellowship yet one more piece of evidence of how much they are appreciated for their service, and loved for who they are.
Now bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies, and this fellowship to the nourishment of our souls. Surround our tables with the joy of your presence and keep us in your care.
In your holy name I pray. Amen
Though full-time employment eventually comes to an end, there’s no such thing as retirement when it comes to the Christian life.
The Bible is replete with examples of elderly men and women who have been used by God in miraculous ways, just because they were willing to be used.
It’s no surprise, really. For many, the stage we call “retirement” offers more time and fewer distractions. You’ve acquired a vast storehouse of experience, and if you’ve walked faithfully with the Lord for any length of time, you’ve gleaned priceless wisdom and precious spiritual truths.
Imagine the impact God can exert in the lives of other people through you!
Because for Christians, retirement ought to be so much more than exotic vacations, golf games, and daytime television (though there’s nothing wrong with any of those things in moderation).
It ought to be about the two things Christian life is always about – divine relationship and faithful stewardship.
Not making much of my comfort, but making much of His goodness.
Not bringing myself pleasure, but bringing Him glory.
Not pursuing my plans, but pursuing Him.
If you long to keep growing closer to God, and are willing to be a tool in His hand during this season of your life, consider confiding in Him through the practice of praying the Scriptures.
Prayers for Retirement
Ask the Lord to help you continue growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Pray that He would draw you ever closer to Him.
Acknowledge to the Lord that there is a season for everything, and a time for every matter under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Ask God to help you to trust Him and transition well through each change in your life, relying on Him as your solid Rock.
Agree with God that whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a person of understanding (Proverbs 17:27). Pray that the Lord would help you to choose your words carefully and distribute your wisdom with discernment.
Pray that God would help you pay careful attention to your way of life. Ask that He would give you wisdom to make the best use of your time, understanding that distractions abound. Pray that God would keep you from foolishness, and help you understand His will for this season in your life (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Ask the Lord to teach you to number your days that you may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12). Pray that He would equip you to be a good steward of each hour of your life.
Beg the Lord to continue producing fruit in your life. Gentlemen, ask Him to help you be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Ladies, pray that you would be reverent in behavior, not a slanderer or slave to much wine. Ask the Lord to help you be a good example of godly womanhood, and to lead you to a younger woman He would have you mentor (Titus 2:2-5).
Lift to the Lord the next generation of the Church. Ask Him to raise up faithful men who will devotedly teach and disciple others (2 Timothy 2:2). Men, pray that God would help you be a part of this teaching process as long as you are able, and in accordance with His leading.
Commit to the Lord that your hope will always rest in Him, and that you will praise Him more and more as time goes by. Share with Him your desire to tell others of His righteous acts and countless deeds of salvation. Pray that you would be characterized by your conversations about the Lord’s mighty deeds and righteousness. Thank God for the salvation He granted to you, and for the way He has faithfully cared for you. Echo the psalmist’s prayer: “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim Your might to another generation, Your power to all those to come” (Psalm 71:14-18).
Acknowledge the truth that giving instruction to a wise man makes him still wiser, and teaching a righteous man causes him to increase in learning (Proverbs 9:9). Pray that God would give you a teachable spirit and a humble heart.
Ask that God would strengthen and equip you, lavishing His grace so that you can confidently but humbly encourage others to imitate you, because you are imitating Christ (I Corinthians 11:1).
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for a season of rest following years of hard and fruitful labor. I pray that you would help me remember that as long as I’m alive on this earth, there’s no such thing as retirement from Your service. Keep fresh on my mind the responsibility I bear for stewarding well the time, talents, and treasure You have given me. May I use them always for Your glory. It’s in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I pray. Amen.
Here is a retirement prayer that’s useful for retirement ceremonies or to use as your personal prayer for a friend who is retiring.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We come to you in thankfulness for the many years of service given by our friend and colleague who is retiring. We thank you for the long term contributions they have made in the execution of daily tasks, in their loyalty to our organization and in their sharing of their experience and wisdom with others. We are appreciative of their hard work and dedication. They have adapted to many changes over the years and have made sacrifices of their personal time when the job demanded it. They have been a mentor and friend to their fellow employees and have worked faithfully despite their own personal obligations, joys and challenges.
We pray your continued blessings on them during this next phase of their life. May your Presence be with them as they choose new paths and explore new horizons. May they be blessed with strong networks of friends and family to enjoy the journey that lies ahead. Keep them vigorous in body, mind, soul and spirit. Open new doors of service that will satisfy their desire to give and that will make a lasting difference in our world. May they find many receptive hearts and minds for the wisdom they have to offer and many recipients to receive their love and care.
Today we leave them with this blessing from the book of Matthew: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23)
And so we end our prayer, thankful for what has been and grateful for what has yet to be.