Prayers of the People/Intercession on Direction

Sermon Illustrations on Direction

O God, the Father of the forsaken, the help of the weak, the supplier of the needy, you have distributed and proportioned your gifts to body and soul, in such sort that all may acknowledge and perform the joyous duty of mutual service; you teach us that love towards the human race is the bond of perfection, and the imitation of your blessed self; open our eyes and touch our hearts, that we may see and do, both for this world and for that which is to come, the things which belong unto our peace.

Strengthen us in the work we have undertaken; give us counsel and wisdom, per­severance, faith and passion, and in your own good time, and accord­ing to your pleasure, bless our work. Pour into us a spirit of humility; let nothing be done but in devout obedience to your will, thankfulness for your unspeakable mercies, and love to your adorable Son Christ Jesus. Amen.

Anthony Ashley Cooper, Language modernized and adapted for Corporate Worship by Stuart Strachan Jr.

God, our heavenly Father–from whom all families gain purpose, direction and life: When we need bread, you don’t give a stone; and when we ask for fish, you don’t give a snake; for you are good, you are strong and you are loving. As your children we come to you asking, seeking and knocking and you respond: “Come, child–and open your heart.” 

Confident in your grace, then, we come as children asking you to hear our prayers ……as we pray for those who need healing physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. We ask you to overcome infections, restore broken bones, eradicate cancers, strengthen weakened hearts, clear fluid from lungs, reduce swelling, take away pain, overcome depression and speed recoveries. 

We also pray for strength of mind for sick souls, for successful surgery. Hear our prayers for grieving families: Comfort them. Protect them from despair; and keep hurt from damaging fragile relationships. Hear our prayers for your world, Lord–as tensions run high. 

Give your people in such places “daily bread”–basic necessities of food, shelter, clothing and protection; and may their compassionate action and clear declaration of the gospel bring hope and life to all. And, we pray for this nation, Father; please guide our leaders and representatives; and give your wisdom to judges. May we as a nation know what is good, holy and right; and have the courage to do it. And wherever young men and women serve in harm’s way–protect and enable them to act justly and with compassion. 

Wherever relief workers work tirelessly to aid the homeless and hungry, the dispossessed and poor–give them strength to care, and to care some more. Hear our prayers, Lord, also for this your church: stir up our faith to trust you more and to risk more for you in our community. 

Give us spiritual eyes open wide to your vision for us. Deepen our love for you, for each other and for those who have yet to call you “Lord”. Meet us on the road and change us as we learn more of your grace and love in our Lenten journey. In all things, hear our prayer that we might be more like Jesus, in whose name we pray. AMEN

Richard Herman