Prayers of the People/Intercession on Celebration

Sermon Illustrations on the Environment/Creation Care

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–some of us are running or dancing into the celebration to come; others of us are tired, limping or stumbling into it. Either way–You are standing there in Your love, with arms open wide, to receive us as we are. Your invitation today is to come to You as we are; to come honestly without  false pretense or pretending. 

We’re not much—but we’re Yours, and that alone makes us everything, by Your grace! So, because of Your love and not our efforts, because of Your compassion and not our devotion, we come asking You to move and make a difference in the lives of those we care about. We pray that You’d heal those who are sick, injured, or recuperating; and that You’d comfort all who mourn, whether their grief is fresh or lingering. 

We pray also that You would free the addicted ones from chains that rob them of freedom to love You and others fully; and that friendships, families, and communities ripped apart by addiction will be reconciled by Your redeeming power. 

For those with too little, for whom this year held economic set-back and even disaster, for those fighting to save a home, put food on the table, afford heat or life-preserving medications: Lord, meet their needs … and if that be through those of us who have enough and more than enough, move our hearts and open our hands in compassion. 

You made us in Your image to reflect your glory, to love You and one another–but we have lost our way. We pray for peace in a world that loves conflict and war. We pray for understanding in a world that thrives on suspicion and hatred. We pray for justice and compassion in a world set on pecking orders and getting ahead by pushing others aside. 

We pray for Your truth to prevail in a world that clings to lies and spin-doctoring. We pray for contentment in a world that feeds on dissatisfaction and a lust for more. We pray for hope in a world enveloped in the darkness of despair, ignorance. and poverty–and may we be an answer to these prayers through the leading and power of the Holy Spirit.  These are our prayers, offered in the strong name of Jesus. AMEN 

Richard Herman