Prayers of the People/Intercession on Hunger

Calls to Worship on Hunger

Lord of Hope and God of all that’s new—Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We’re filled with wonder, gratitude, and joy inspired by the gifts of new life You freely give us. There’s the joy and wonder of every new day, that calls to mind Your resurrection with each rising sun. There’s the joy and wonder of the new beginnings that come with marriage. 

There’s the joy and wonder of the living miracle of birth. And we’re moved by the wonder and joy of mature love seen in decades of marriage—the kind of love that echoes Your ever-faithful love for us: so we thank You for your steadfast love and faithfulness.  

We pray for newly married couples and for every married couple here, that you provide grace—for hard times that will come; mutual forgiveness, understanding, patience, and the willingness to change ourselves and not our partners as we grow and mature in our love. We pray for all of us who are parents and grandparents, new and old, asking for you to give us patience with ourselves as well as our children; and wisdom to know when to speak and what to say, as well as to know when not to speak but just listen. 

Sovereign Lord: we pray for our world, Your world—that peace would displace war, health replace sickness, contentment replace hunger and thirst, understanding replace suspicion, compassion replace apathy, hope replace despair,  and that Your Good News would be heard, known, and understood in every community, bringing hope and salvation in Jesus Christ. 

For Your church—pressed on every side to conform to the pattern of this world rather than the shape of Your Kingdom, and to abandon Your Word’s clear teaching rather than stay faithful to the Truth: we pray that Your Spirit’s power would strengthen us for living the Gospel, equip us to declare the Good News, unite us to demonstrate the Truth and enable us, as Your followers, to be more like You, Jesus, since we are your Body on earth. These are our prayers, offered in the name of Jesus our Lord. AMEN

Richard Herman

Lord Jesus–You’ve come, are coming and will come again. Whether we know it or not, we live on the edge of Your advent every moment of every day either with anticipation or with anxiety. As if stumbling along a dark path in a thick forest, with only a flashlight at our feet, we see so little … while You see everything, being Yourself the Light of the World. 

That’s why we put our hands in Yours, follow where You lead us and give to You all the people and experiences that lay beyond our ability to see clearly and our strength to act. In a world tainted by terrorists, we pray for hostages and families in tense hours of waiting. 

Protect captives and soften the hearts of their captors. Comfort families and encourage their loved ones. We pray also for young men and women who put their lives on the line, asking for Your protection and strength. 

Where people are ravaged by AIDS–overseas and in our backyards–make us compassionate and make Yourself known as the Healer and Comforter. Where poverty breeds hopelessness, where hunger causes desperation, where addictions bind the soul and dull the mind, where unemployment saps initiative, where ignorance destroys opportunity–come Lord! 

Come with Your compassion and grace, with your strength and love, with Your truth and justice. Through Your Holy Spirit, move Your people to be Your ears that listen,Your hands that serve, Your voice that advocates,Your feet that enter in, and Your arms that love. 

Where families grieve–comfort them with your peace and your presence as the Resurrection and the Life. Where loved ones are fighting illness, recovering from injury, anticipating surgery–heal them in Your power and love. 

Where birth makes two people parents and baptism calls them to care for the children–give grace, wisdom, love and all the fruit of Your Spirit and especially patience. Wherever we are tempted to trivialize Your incarnation as a child in Bethlehem, an adolescent in Nazareth, and an adult who had no home to call His own …who came to died that we be redeemed: Remind us of Your great love and compassion. Remind us that Christmas red is the crimson blood shed for us and Christmas green is the evergreen of eternal life. This we pray in Your name, Lord Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman

Gracious God of love–Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We are grateful that You’ve revealed yourself to us, telling us that each of us are loved by You as children, each precious in Your sight, each a reflection of You, each bound together by love, which is Your presence among us. We come to you, O God, weary and carrying heavy burdens. 

Some of us bear the yoke of illness–and so we lift to you our needs for healing, and for others in need of being made well. Some of us, as caregivers, bear the yoke of caring for those who can’t care for themselves: enable us to not grow weary in well-doing, continuing to love and serve with our compassion. 

Some of us bear a yoke of loss and grief–comfort all who grieve with Your presence and love as expressed through we who bear the name of Christ. Compassionate God: there are other yokes, too. For some of us bear the yoke of unemployment or underemployment; some of us bear the yoke of hunger; some of us bear the yoke of homelessness; some of us bear the yoke of violence; some of us bear the yoke of anger; some of us bear the yoke of loneliness; some of us bear the yoke of depression; some of us bear the yoke of addiction. 

Free us from these and other yokes, dear God, as …we pray for rest; we pray for healing; we pray for release; and we pray for wholeness. This week we recognize that our nation also bears many burdens: we don’t trust our leaders; we can’t find ways to work together for the common good; we allow the least among us to suffer and languish; we lose our children to endless conflicts and wars; we fixate on what divides us rather than on what unites us as one people. Remind us this week of our calling. 

Remind us of our common creed that all people are created equal. Inspire us to ensure that all of your children enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Help us to be profoundly grateful for our freedom and security, to never take these gifts for granted, and to use them for the betterment of all. God of all life, may peace and justice fill our land and, indeed, the whole world. We pray today for escalating tension and violence in the world…and for places around the globe where people are victimized, where safety is threatened, where freedoms are denied, where life is treated as anything less than sacred. Gracious God, grant us the yoke of Christ, binding us together, tethered by your love, guided by your presence, bringing your kingdom into this world. It is for this kingdom that we now pray. Amen.

Richard Herman

We thank you, God our Father, that by your grace, mercy and love, expressed today in Word and Sacrament, You give us Your Son, the true bread from heaven and the fountain of living water.  Strengthen us in Your service by the spiritual nourishment we receive each day, and by that which we’re about to receive, so that our daily living before a watching world may show our thanks to You, reveal your truth and love, and bring you all the glory. 

As those constantly nourished by Your gifts, we pray for others in need of Your graces: For those in need of healing—heal, restore, give them hope: especially for those ravaged by diseases like AIDS, COVID, or cholera. 

For those in need of comfort in their grief—give them Your peace. For the hungry, the homeless, and the helpless—meet their needs for food and water, for shelter and protection, for justice and a helping hand. For those who live in fear—fear of tomorrow, fear of personal economic crisis, fear of abandonment, fear of rejection or failure—replace fear with trust, anxiety with peace, and despair with hope. 

For those devastated by violence in our world please protect them, intercede for them, and bring a just and sustainable peace to every corner of Your beloved world. For those who’ve never heard or understood or believed the Gospel—we pray for missionaries to cross cultural divides with the Good News, and that we’ll gladly live and share the Gospel with those we know through winsome grace, consistent love, and persistent action. This we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN

Richard Herman