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                                                                                         Prayers of the People/Intercession on Children

Sermon Illustrations on Children

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, even through those of us 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


Gracious God–Giver of all good gifts: We praise You. 

You give us the wonder of creation and You give us life. 

We praise You, Father. 

You give us forgiveness of our sins with salvation and eternal life. 

We praise You, Jesus–God the Son. 

You give us Your own living presence with gifts of power for life and spiritual gifts for service. 

We praise You, Spirit of the Living God. 

We celebrate the gifts of our children, Your expression of hope for our future. 

We celebrate the gifts of families, into which you place us; and the gift of Your family, the church. We celebrate new life and we celebrate new families begun in marriages. 

We celebrate your covenant faithfulness witnessed in baptism. 

Time and time again, You’re faithful to us; which is why we thank you and praise you. It’s why we trust You with what weighs heavily on our hearts. We pray for those who need your protection and healing. 

For all the hospitalized, ill, injured and recuperating–strengthen their bodies, encourage their souls, restore their health physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. 

We pray for all who mourn–for our friends and loved ones. We pray Your peace and comfort for them. Restore their hope and bring Your people alongside them to give a helping hand and a supporting shoulder. 

We pray also for our world so filled with suspicion, hatred, isolation, envy, greed, and fear. Bring peace out of war. Replace prejudice with understanding, hunger with food, thirst with water, homelessness with shelter, rejection with acceptance and compassion. Give national leaders wisdom–enable them to be just and compassionate, courageous and honest. 

May your kingdom come … soon. For the church–we pray. Make your people daring, faithful, and true; and enable us to love, really love–each other, our neighbors and the world so that all may know Your gospel is true because they can see Your gospel in action. Encourage our missionary friends, serving You in distant places and different cultures. All this, and more, we pray to Your glory. AMEN

Richard Herman