Prayers of the People/Intercession on Acceptance

Sermon quotes on Acceptance

God of Grace and Power:  

You know when we manage to get it right … 

and You know when we stumble.  

You know when we forget you … 

but You never forget us.  

You know when we’re weak, for then You are strong.  

Today—because of Your grace, we can come to You just as we are, not as we would like to be, nor even as we might pretend to be. 

Because of Your power, we know You can do what we cannot.  

So, we humbly ask you to hear us as we pray for those who are ill or injured, for those whose sickness is incurable, for those unjustly imprisoned, for those without hope, and those who are homeless or abandoned.  

As You move toward us in love, lead us in Jesus’ name to be alongside those who are suffering even as Your Spirit is close to them.  

We ask You to sustain those who need Your healing touch; please… restore the wounded and make the sick whole and strengthen their caregivers. 

Please, Lord, give hope to the dying and comfort all who mourn–whether their grief is fresh or lingering. 

Indeed, please uphold all who suffer in body or mind, not only those we know and love, but also those known only to You … that they may know the peace and joy of Your upholding care. 

We also ask that You hear the cries of the world’s hungry and suffering–and answer them. 

Give us, who consume so much of the world’s resources, the righteous will to reorder our lives so all may have food, water, medical care, and shelter, and have what they need to live a life of dignity.  Lord, we ask that You guide rulers and leaders of all nations. 

Move them to set aside fear, greed, and vain ambition, and to bow to Your gracious and sovereign rule. Inspire them to strive for peace and justice, so all people may dwell securely, free of war and injustice.  

For our nation, we ask You to renew us in the ways of godliness and grace, justice and peace.  Guide those who make and administer our laws to build a society based on trust and respect for all people.  

Erase prejudice that oppresses. Give all our citizens a new vision of a life of harmony that reflects Your eternal kingdom. Lord, we pray for Your church around the world: that You’d empower its life and witness. Break down barriers that divide us and, instead, unite us in Your truth and love, so that our collective witness brings glory to You and hope to the world. And strengthen us in this congregation in its work and worship. Fill hearts with Your self-giving love; enable voices to speak Your praise; and bring lives into conformity to the image of your Son, Jesus our Lord, in whose name we pray.  Amen.

Richard Herman

Gracious God–who opens Your arms wide to welcome us just as we are but who’s too loving leave us that way: in response to Your invitation we come humbly and boldly with our broken hearts and weak hands to ask You to do what we can’t. 

For those ill or injured, and those recovering from surgery or anticipating it–we ask you to intervene and heal them. Heal afflicted bodies, troubled minds and discouraged spirits. Please heal them, Lord. On behalf of those who mourn, we ask You to comfort them in the hope of the resurrection and the peace that passeth all understanding. 

Lord, we pray for families in crisis: give hope to those who feel hopeless; restore trust that’s been broken; rekindle love that’s grown cold or stale; renew communication that’s been damaged. Find a way, Lord, for Your love to prevail–change patterns that destroy and replace them with habits that nurture mutual caring and grace. 

We pray, also, for our broken world–shattered by prejudice, suspicion, injustice and hatred; confused by lies, hidden agendas and “spin;” and marred by sins of greed, lust, pride and anger. Come, Lord, as Lord of all–may Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. For our nation–we ask You to guide our leaders. 

When they’re wrong, give them humility to admit it and lead us in the right ways, in Your ways. When they’re right, give them a humility that makes them gracious with those who disagree and a courage to walk in Your ways and to lead us in Your path. We pray, also, for other nations–may You also bless them as they seek to live out Your kingdom’s life-giving values, truth and virtues. 

Where there’s war–bring peace; where there’s drought–rain; where there’s famine–food; where there are hostages–freedom; where there are storms–shelter and protection. We also pray for Your church and this congregation: that You’ll protect us from what obscures the truth and grace of the gospel of Jesus, from what mutes our witness and mars our work for Your Kingdom. This we pray in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman

God of grace and glory, compassion and power—Father, Son and Holy Spirit: 

You meet us right where we are at—not asking us to put on any masks, false fronts or airs. You love us just as we are while also loving us too much to leave us that way. 

So no matter what we feel, what we’re worried about, what’s got us mad, sad, glad,discouraged or excited, we can come to you with it. 

Some of us feel down today–it’s been a hard week at work; we argued with one another on the way to church; we stayed up too late last night; we’re still not sure how to take news we got in a phone call or from a doctor. 

We need You to come and lift our spirits, give us hope and restore our confidence. We need your help. Please, Lord. And, some of us had a great week–we did well on a test or got a good review at work; we were able to meet all our bills; we landed the job we were after or got good news. So, we just want to say, “Thanks, Lord. ” 

We too often take good things for granted–and we don’t want to do that today. Some of us are worried about sick friends and loved ones at home… in a hospital or care home. We want them to get better, but we can’t make them get well–only You can heal them. 

Please, Lord, restore them. Mend an injured body; make a sick one well. Cure a distressed mind. And, for those who care for our loved ones—give them wisdom, compassion and strength to persevere in the ministry of care-giving. Some of us have loved ones in the military—please guard them, protect them and bring them home safe and soon. 

For those whose homes are in war zones—also protect them. Lord: please let peace prevail over war, justice overcome wrong, and sufficiency overcome poverty and hunger. May those who don’t have enough, have enough. We pray for the day when people will study war no more–and all people know Your rich “shalom” of peace. And with all this in our hearts, we pray in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Richard Herman