Prayers of the People/Intercession on Fear

Sermon Illustrations on Fear

God of grace and God of glory on your people pour your power…Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of this hour.  Lord—we need You…today, tomorrow and forever.  We need you to heal those we love—we can’t do it.  We need you to restore the injured and cure the ill, to lift the depressed, to strengthen care-givers and give hope to all.  

We need you to comfort the grieving.  We need you to be a shoulder to lean on and arms that hold, to be ears that listen and eyes that cry with, and to be the one whose resurrection brings hope and solace.  

Lord, may your church be that ‘Body of Christ.’  Lord—We need you to act. We need you to revive your church and heal our land—we can’t do it.  We need to move, even to force, your people out of our safe enclaves and out into the world.  

Make us more like you—the friend of sinners, who came to seek and save the lost; going to them with love and grace, forgiveness and the good news of the Kingdom of God.  We need your help to do the same; and we need you to heal our land—divided between red and blue, rich and poor, native and immigrant, old and young, conservative and progressive.  

Bring us together not just in tragedy but unite us in righteousness, holiness and justice in answer to the prophet’s prayer to:“Let justice roll on like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”(Amos 5:24).  Lord—We need you to act.  

We need you to redeem and relieve our pain—we can’t do it.  There are those here today whose relationships dangle by a thread: with a distracted spouse, with a wayward child or distant siblings: bring honest and healthy reconciliation, Lord.  And lots of us are wrapped up in fear: fear from losing a job, fear of financial ruin in hard economic times; fear of test results and the fear of being found out.  

Our fears are eating us alive.  Lord—we need you to act. We can’t do it by ourselves.  And Lord—we need to hear your voice. We need to hear and believe the Gospel that changes us; and we need to hear your Word and do your will. We need you, Lord … in these and all things.  This is our desire.  This is our prayer.  Offered in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  AMEN

Richard Herman

Triune God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit: our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer; you created, redeemed, and sustain all who call on Your name in any language, place and time.  We come to you as Lord of all … and our Lord …with thanks for the life of grace you give us as we live amidst this tumultuous world.  

Where fear grips us—give us faith to overcome fear; and give us love—Your perfect love—to cast out fear.  For those who are sick—give them Your best: healing, strength, good help, and hope.  

For those who grieve—comfort them with your presence, and with the love of Your people, in the joyous expectation of resurrection life in You.  For our nation: we ask you to raise up leaders who will bring out the best in us and who can further the cause of righteousness, justice and truth for all… not just for some.  

And for Your church—for this church: We want to be compassionate toward the poor, as you are.  We want to declare the Gospel, as you call us.  We want to be bold and courageous in our living it, as your Spirit gifts and empowers us.  Help us, Lord, to be more like You. 

Lord: hear our prayers—those spoken and those left unspoken, for we offer them all in the name above every name, the name of Jesus.  AMEN

Richard Herman

God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Lord of all our yesterdays, todays and tomorrows: thank you that we don’t need to be afraid of what’s coming because you’re already there ahead of us. Nothing takes you by surprise. Nothing confuses you or confounds you. 

There’s never a drop of sweat on your upper lip from anxiety, worry or panic. Therefore, trusting not ourselves but you, we open our hearts to your strength and love today, giving over what we can’t change so you can. 

For those ill or injured, anticipating surgery or recovering from it, for those who await test results or who are anxious for another: come, as our Healer; and dispel diseases of body, soul, mind and emotions. Speed recovery. Strengthen care-givers. Assuage fears and restore trust in your power. 

For those who mourn, whether grief is fresh or lingering: come, as the Resurrection and the Life; and console the grieving. Comfort and companion the lonely. Share in tears of sorrow and in laughter at remembering. Impart hope for this life, and hope for beyond the grave. 

For those with relationships coming apart at the seams; for families stressed by estrangement, separation, or divorce; for friends divided by anger; or colleagues separated by differences, for any alienated by sin from someone they’ve loved–Jesus, come as the great Mediator and Reconciler: break proud spirits–and replace them with humble hearts. 

Enable each to speak truth in love; to repent and to forgive; to be patient and gracious with one another and with their own selves. Restore them to the right relationship with each other. For peoples, countries and nations–including our own: come as King of Kings, as Lord of all and Prince of Peace. For those in leadership–give them wisdom from above; and the courage to do what is right, not just expedient or politically correct. 

In dangerous places and in war zones: Protect the innocent. Guard combatants, especially our own sons and daughters, from harm–and their families from fear and anxiety. Insure justice and mercy, truth and freedom, so the Gospel may flourish in hard places,as your people live safely there.

For missionaries and pastors, congregations and evangelists, who live your truth and declare your truth in hostile nations or among indifferent people: come as Light and Truth, with grace and love: keep your people faithful. Strengthen missionaries whose vigor flags; and encourage them when they’re discouraged. This is our prayer in Your name, Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman

God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: You are always and forever for us: We can’t run away from Your presence; nor out-sin Your amazing grace and forgiveness.  We can’t exhaust Your unconditional love nor can we ever deplete Your limitless strength.  From forever to forever You love us so there’s nothing to fear in bringing to You all our hurts, anxieties, and sorrows; as well as all our happiness, triumphs, and joy.  

We pray for families to be strengthened and marriages to be deepened; for strained relationships to be reconciled and for strangers to become friends.  We pray for those who are ill or injured, for those recovering from or anticipating surgery, and those undergoing treatment.  Please restore health, cure sickness, and heal wounds.  

We pray for those who grieve—whether the loss is fresh or lingering.  Comfort them with Your presence.  Uphold them with Your peace.  Enfold them in Your love; and sustain them with Your strength.  

Jesus—Word made flesh who knows what it’s like to be us:  in Your grace and power, move in such places and with such people to make a difference in our anxious, broken, fearful world.  

We pray that Your truth would guide us, Your love move us, your peace encourage us, and Your strength protect us and those we love.  

You know what keeps us awake at night–You know the conflicts we must negotiate every day–in our homes, our schools, our jobs, our neighborhoods; the anxieties we carry about our health and the well-being of those we love, and you know the difficult days of families and friends we care about who are in need of comfort and strength.  

You know the confusion prompted by knowing too much information or knowing too little to make a good decision or any decision at all.  We worry about our kids … we worry about our parents.  How will we pay our bills?  Can we keep pace with life?  We worry about what we think we can control …as well as what we know we can’t control.  Then something comes that we didn’t anticipate … What now, Lord? Lord—You know what it’s like …and your heart breaks over what breaks our hearts.  

So … knowing You know it all and knowing You care more than we can possibly imagine, we give it all over to You in the quiet of these silent, prayerful moments.(Silence)  We give all this over to You, confident in Your love and grateful for Your Word of grace, even the Living Word, Christ Jesus our Lord.  AMEN 

Richard Herman