Prayers of the People/Intercession on Holiness

Sermon Illustrations on Holiness

Thank you for gifts of new life–in the birth of a child, the beginning of a marriage, the beginning of a relationship with you or in coming back home to you. Thank you for a nation where we can worship freely; and on which we ask you to pour your Spirit of holiness and revival, truth and righteousness. 

Guide our nation’s leaders–our president, vice-president, representatives and senators, judges and officials. Show them your ways, give them strength to walk in them and courage necessary to lead us in Your paths. 

Protect our young men and women serving the military around the globe–may they serve with honor and grace. [And, through the coming election, raise up men and women of integrity and wisdom, truth and justice, people who are after your own heart, to lead us.] 

Thank you for your church. Thank you for opportunities to encourage one another, serve one another, forgive one another and work alongside one another in sharing your love and truth with neighbors and friends around the corner and around the world. Give elders wisdom and grace as they lead; deacons, compassion and energy as they serve; and give trustees faith and courage as they guide fiscally. Give us all your love, grace and care to share day by day when we are scattered as well as when we are together. 

And bless the church around the world, this day gathered in a storefront in urban America, under a tin roof in Africa, a tent in Asia, and under a tree in South America; in a cathedral in Europe or a mission church in Mexico–show your mighty presence, empower the gospel witness and change the world one man, woman and child at a time. 

Thank You, Lord, for caring enough to heal those who are sick or recovering from surgery, and for protecting and curing those who will have surgery this week. Thank you for the good news of life over death, resurrection over crucifixion, and hope over despair–for we can then pray with confidence that you comfort those who mourn. 

Finally, we thank you for the gospel–the Good News of new life in Christ Jesus for all who trust in Him. Thank you for our preacher who proclaims the gospel–and for the opportunity we have to hear, believe and receive it for ourselves. All this–and more–we pray, with thanks and praise, in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen. 

Richard Herman

God of grace and God of glory on your people pour your power …Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of this hour.  Lord—we need You … today, tomorrow and forever.  We need you to heal those we love—we can’t do it.  We need you to restore the injured and cure the ill, to lift the depressed, to strengthen care-givers and give hope to all.  We need you to comfort the grieving.  

We need you to be a shoulder to lean on and arms that hold, to be ears that listen and eyes that cry with, and to be the one whose resurrection brings hope and solace.  Lord, may your church be that ‘Body of Christ.’  Lord—We need you to act. 

We need you to revive your church and heal our land—we can’t do it.  We need to move, even to force, your people out of our safe enclaves and out into the world.  Make us more like you—the friend of sinners, who came to seek and save the lost; going to them with love and grace, forgiveness and the good news of the Kingdom of God.  

We need your help to do the same; and we need you to heal our land—divided between red and blue, rich and poor, native and immigrant, old and young, conservative and progressive.  Bring us together not just in tragedy but unite us in righteousness, holiness and justice in answer to the prophet’s prayer to:“Let justice roll on like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”(Amos 5:24).  

Lord—We need you to act. We need you to redeem and relieve our pain—we can’t do it.  There are those here today whose relationships dangle by a thread: with a distracted spouse, with a wayward child or distant siblings: bring honest and healthy reconciliation, Lord.  And lots of us are wrapped up in fear: fear from losing a job, fear of financial ruin in hard economic times; fear of test results and the fear of being found out.  Our fears are eating us alive.  Lord—we need you to act. We can’t do it by ourselves.  And Lord—we need to hear your voice. We need to hear and believe the Gospel that changes us; and we need to hear your Word and do your will. We need you, Lord … in these and all things.  This is our desire.  This is our prayer.  Offered in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  AMEN

Richard Herman

Most Holy God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We celebrate Your presence and rejoice in Your light that shines in our lives and our world. Thank You for Your sustaining presence in the past year…that we’re even here is a work of Your grace. Thank You for strength when we were weak. Thank You for peace amidst our turmoil. Thank You for comfort in our anxious moments. Thank You for wisdom when we’ve been confused, and for guidance when we we’re lost. 

As an old year passes and a new one comes, full of promise, hope and potential, we pray that your Holy Light will shine on all nations, all people and all of creation, leading us in love, peace and joy. We ask You to bless all who look to the future not with peace but with anxiety. We pray for those ill and fearful of what the next year may bring. We pray for those with family difficulties who wonder how to solve them. We pray for those financially stressed and those afraid for their job as the new year begins. Lord, for all of the future is unknown—please help us to have faith to trust You, wisdom to know the right thing, and the courage to do it. 

We pray for all affected by conflict and war, the displaced, the victimized, those grieving the death of loved ones, those living in refugee camps or exiled to foreign lands, those who have no home to call their own, immigrants, the homeless poor, those who’ve suffered a natural disaster. May your presence and your peace surround all who are in need. 

We pray that Your grace and wisdom direct all the world’s decision makers; may hearts be softened to Your ways of peace and justice, may negotiations be fair and may dignity be restored to all people. May peace and justice prevail. We pray for those who suffer loneliness, those who ache with pain or hunger, those who tremble in fear or anxiety, those who feel empty and unfulfilled, and those who feel unloved and unwanted. 

We pray for the ill, the injured, those anticipating surgery or recovering: please heal, restore, comfort, and encourage each one; and we especially pray for … and we ask special blessings on their caregivers. God, Spirit, our Comforter—we pray for all who mourn, whether the grief is fresh or lingering. Console them with Your presence and give them resurrection hope. We pray especially for ….

May all who mourn feel your light upon them this day and always. Heavenly Father we bring to You our loved ones, and in the silence we pray for them. For our family…for our friends…for all whom we know. May this year be good for all whom we love, Lord God. We pray that You guide us in the coming year; that Your voice will encourage us to live Your kingdom way, and that your Spirit will enliven us as we grow, learn and work together. May others see Your love shine through us. 

May our words and actions constantly point to You. May Your living word call to us and may we, in faith, answer. May we put You first in everything and serve You always; so that whatever the year holds, we never lose sight of you. This is our prayer, offered in the name of the Son who came to us all those years ago and who lives among us today in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Richard Herman