Prayers of the People/Intercession on (Being) Lost

Sermon Illustrations on Being Lost

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 were 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

Lord – You are good …and Your goodness knows no bounds. When we were lost, You sought us out, found us and brought us home. When we were alone, You came near to us, and You gave us a new circle of friends and family. Each breath we take, each sunrise we see, each heartbeat we feel and each song we sing or hear – all are gifts from You.

So, we THANK You for Your grace and faithfulness. Trusting in that grace and faithfulness: We come boldly and freely to You carrying those we care about to You and lifting our own needs before You. 

You hold the world in the palm of Your hand: So, we ask for your comfort and we pray for your justice and righteousness to prevail.We are a violent people and we live in a violent world – whether it’s seen in an epidemic of domestic violence or abuse; whether it’s seen on the streets of our cities or in our school yards, or even in our games and sports!  

Lord: teach us Your ways, help us to walk the paths of reconciliation and peace, of truth and justice. We pray for those in need of Your healing grace … We ask you to comfort the grieving with Your peace in the gospel of Your resurrection love. We pray for families, who gather this week to laugh, remember, sometimes to weep and to share in saying “Thank You, Lord” for how blessed we are! 

Yet, there are families stretched to the limit – emotionally, fiscally, relationally, spiritually.  Give each one in those families the grace to admit needs, to ask forgiveness, to seek ways to change and to grow together in You. 

Finally, we pray for the hearts of all of us in this room. Where there is confusion – show the way. Where there is fear – replace it with peace. Where there is discouragement or even depression – encourage and restore hope. Where there is emptiness – fill it with Your own presence that can fully satisfy the longings and quench the thirsty soul. We look to You, today, Lord, saying, “Thank you, Jesus.” And it’s in Your name we pray … AMEN.

Richard Herman