Prayers of the People/Intercession on Discipleship

Sermon Illustrations on Discipleship


God our Father, Savior and Sustainer—You are the God who knows our name, and the God who revealed Your name as “I Am Who I Am” and shows us Your face in the face of Jesus. You are known to us … and we are known to You.

You know what brings us joy, what makes us laugh, what we celebrate and are most grateful for—the birth of a child, the healing of a loved one, the restoration of a relationship, a new job, a wedding anniversary …and You rejoice with us.

This morning we are especially thankful for …You know what brings us to tears, what makes us sweat, what grieves our hearts, what we worry over, whether large or small, whether shared or felt alone—the death of a loved one, the illness of a friend, a financial setback, a child in trouble, an elderly parent all alone. 

Today we especially pray for …We also pray for what can overwhelm us, the fear that lurks in the world, the pain resulting from a natural disaster, the desperation that drives people to flee the places they have called “home,”the worries about war—both for those who fight them, and those who are victims of the violence. 

We ask that You make leaders of nations wise, caring more for peace than power, for justice than personal gain, for what is good and right for all rather than protecting personal agendas. We also pray for Your grace to be felt among Your people–in Your global church where missionaries witness to Your love for all people, where faithful disciples live for You at the peril of their own lives; and we pray for Your church local—right here…

For elders and deacons who serve, for all who serve in mission and ministry; those who show the love of Jesus to one another and to the community. We give You thanks and ask Your blessing. Lord—this and all closely held in our hearts,in faith and trust, we lift to You. Amen. 

Richard Herman

Great God our Father, Savior and Holy Spirit: Our hearts are filled with gratitude for your grace and faithfulness. Thank you for caring about those who we care about–for those who are sick or injured, recovering or anticipating surgery: heal them, Lord, to their joy and your glory; and for those who grieve: comfort them with your presence and the hope of eternal life in Christ.  

Thank you for caring about our world that is really your world–a world bent on rejecting You by turning instead to violence, power, wealth, pleasure, and self-interest to try and find meaning, hope and peace.  

May your people truly be salt which flavors and preserves a tasteless, decaying world with the truth of the gospel lived and proclaimed.  Thank you for caring about your church–not perfect, but yours nonetheless.  Help us to see what you see in our families, our community, region, nation and world.  May our hearts break over what breaks your heart.  

May we laugh when you laugh and weep when you weep.  Give us vision, and with it, the wisdom to understand your mission and the energy to faithfully carry it out, now and always.  And thank you for your word of life–which we long for; and your table which spiritually sustains and encourages us as your family, called by your name: Christians.  

Meet us at the table that we might know Jesus and follow Him as His disciples.  This is our prayer–offered in Jesus name. AMEN

Richard Herman

Holy God–Father, Son and Spirit: We come with our agendas in order to enlist you in our causes but You won’t be co-opted for our small visions. Instead, You hold out a greater vision and purpose and invite us to follow rather than lead. 

You invite us to do something bigger, something more lasting, something that pushes us beyond our limits. And you even give us what we need to live Your calling and vision–Your presence with us, Your power in us, Your unconditional love for us, Your call to us and Your grace all around us. 

We are not alone. That’s why we are so bold today to come to You in prayer with our doubts, anxieties, worries, weights and dreams. We pray for those who are afflicted physically, emotionally or spiritually; and boldly ask that You heal them. Keep them from discouragement during times of recuperation. 

Give them Your certain hope for tomorrow, the hope that overcomes fear or worry. For those who grieve, comfort them with Your resurrection hope and the assurance of Your gracious presence. Surround them with supportive people who can share Your enduring love with them in little acts of kindness and care. 

Joyfully we pray for new families formed in marriage, or in birth; and families that have been reunited or reconciled with each other. We pray for Your continual care in our marriages and families so the world may see in our homes a clear and compelling reflection of Your love for us and of our love for You. 

For summertime retreat and relaxation that brings renewal in vacation or leisure moments, for Your daily provision, for this nation where we can worship freely …we give You thanks. We pray on behalf of our country’s leaders–our president, vice president, legislators and judges, that you will enable them to understand Your truth, to acknowledge Your righteousness and give them the courage to lead us in Your ways. 

And, we ask that You bless and protect our young men and women serving in harm’s way–may they know Your presence and acknowledge Your grace each day. Mend broken hearts and shattered lives. Encourage the dispirited and discouraged. Provide for those who lack much, and inspire generosity in those who have much. Make Your church–This church–a “light on the hill” where all may see what we do and be drawn to Your light through us. Make us as salt, creating a thirst for Your living water. And unite all Your people in our town, that one day we’d be known more for the real presence of Christ than for being on the cover of a magazine at the top of their list. May Your revival begin with us. This, and all that is still tucked quietly in our hearts, we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

Richard Herman

Lord—You are coming in power someday—and You are already here, near at-hand.  You know us entirely—you know our wants and needs, our dreams and hopes, our disappointments and griefs–and yet You are not ashamed to call us your own, to enter our world and walk the trash-strewn streets of our lives. You know the sick and injured—the anxiety, worry, and weakness that come with recuperation. 

And You know the tireless efforts of caregivers, so we’re asking You to heal bodies, spirits, and attitudes of those we love, Lord. Please do it, for the sake of Your glory and their joy. You know what it’s like to grieve and mourn when a loved one dies: in your compassion, comfort those who grieve, give them hope and strength for each new day and companions in the grief journey. You know the violence of war in our world, the desperation that comes with natural disasters, the isolation that comes with fear and violence, and the anxiety that comes with financial insecurity. 

You are our all-sufficient and gracious Savior—the Prince of Peace and Lord of Hope, our solid Rock and secure Fortress. We trust You in uncertain times, knowing that You are Lord of all! You know our halting steps and inconsistent affirmations—yet, You embrace us as Your own, as ones for whom You died and rose, and You value our discipleship as we try to follow in your footsteps and walk in your ways. 

Thank you. And, please, Lord: continually equip us by your Spirit and Word for active service in Your kingdom, and prepare us for conflict with the sin in us and with the evil in the world. This is our prayer—offered in the name of Jesus our Lord. AMEN

Richard Herman