Prayers of the People/Intercession on Friendship

Sermon Illustrations on Friendship

Inspired by Psalm 8

LORD our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth. You set Your glory above the heavens. We see your power in galaxies that spin in space, and see your care in the sparrows feeding in the snow. You are strong and You are good–therefore, we trust You, our heavenly Father. 

Hear our prayers, Lord. Hear our prayers for the world: 

For justice and freedom, protection and peace; 

For refugees: to have a place called “home” to live safely and without fear; 

To tsunami victims working to rebuild their lives give hope and help, persistence and grace. 

For leaders of nations–for our own president, legislators and judges: wisdom and courage, hearts after truth and a commitment to justice. 

For our own community: may we be even more committed to Your kingdom, loyal to its truth and demonstrating its ways, than we are to the local sports team. 

Hear our prayers, Lord. Hear our prayers for those in need: 

For the ill or injured, those recovering from surgery or preparing for it: 

We pray for healing and restoration, a lack of fear and a lot of patience; esp. for … (names) 

For those who mourn: we ask You to give them comfort and genuine peace in the resurrection. For those going through a dark valley of depression: hope–Your presence to encourage, Your word to assure. 

Hear our prayers, Lord. Hear our prayers for Your church: 

For Your global church: keep strong our brothers and sisters facing oppression and persecution. Encourage and protect missionaries declaring Your gospel. 

Spread Your Good News to every tribe and nation, language and culture so that all may know! For this local church–make us light and salt, 

Father, so that we will live and proclaim the Good News in a dark, dying and tasteless world. Strengthen our leadership and enable our followership. 

Show us Your calling and equip us to carry it out. Give us one heart, one loyalty, one vision–as we give ourselves to You: our One God! Hear our prayers, Lord–these prayers and more, as we join our voices together. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Richard Herman

God of Grace and Power—our Friend, who sticks closer than a brother: You know when we screw up …and You know when we manage to get it right. You know when we forget you … but You never forget us.You know when we’re weak, for then You are strong.Today—because of Your grace, we can come to You just as we are, not as we aren’t nor even as we might pretend to be. 

Because of Your power, we know You can do what we can’t. So, we humbly ask you to hear us as we pray for those who are ill or injured, for those whose sickness is incurable by us, for those unjustly imprisoned, for those without hope, and those who are homeless or abandoned. As You move toward us in love, lead us in Jesus’ name to be with them in their suffering as Your Spirit is close to them.

We ask You to sustain those who need Your healing touch; please… restore the wounded and make the sick whole and strengthen their caregivers. Please, Lord, give hope to the dying and comfort all who mourn–whether their grief is fresh or lingering. Indeed, please uphold all who suffer in body or mind, not only those we know and love, but also those known only to You … that they may know the peace and joy of Your upholding care. 

We also ask that You hear the cries of the world’s hungry and suffering–and answer them. Give us, who consume so much of the world’s resources, the righteous will to reorder our lives so all may have a rightful share of food, water, medical care, and shelter, and have what they need to live a life of dignity. Lord, we ask that You guide rulers and leaders of all nations. 

Move them to set aside fear, greed, and vain ambition, and to bow toYour gracious and sovereign rule. 

Inspire them to strive for peace and justice, so all people may dwell securely, free of war and injustice. For our nation, we ask You to renew us in the ways of godliness and grace, justice and peace. Guide those who make and administer our laws to build a society based on trust, respect and faith inYou.

Erase prejudice that oppresses. Give all our citizens a new vision of a life of harmony that reflects Your eternal kingdom. Lord, we pray for Your church around the world: that You’d empower its life and witness. 

Break down barriers that divide us and, instead, unite us in Your truth and love, so that our witness brings glory to You and hope to the world. And strengthen us in this congregation in its work and worship. Fill hearts with Your self-giving love; enable voices to speak Your praise; and bring lives into conformity to the image of your Son, Jesus our Lord.

Richard Herman

Jesus–our Lord, Savior and Friend: Come into our hearts to save us and to rule. Come into your Church to direct and empower us with Your Gospel and Your Spirit. Come into your World to redeem the Lost and to establish Your kingdom of justice, truth and grace. Come alongside the lonely and discouraged to lift sagging spirits. 

Come to the despairing to impart hope. Come into families stretched to the breaking point, bring reconciliation and Your active love. Come into hospital rooms and nursing homes, bedrooms and rehabilitation wards to heal bodies and souls, to quiet troubled minds; and also to strengthen the caregivers. 

Come into homes that feel empty and to families that grieve separations that death brings–comfort those who mourn, walk with them through the valley of the shadow. Come, Prince of Peace, to nations themselves or others–bring your peace; and protect the innocent, esp. the children. 

And, Lord of nations, come–guide our nation’s leaders in paths of justice and truth; empower missionaries here and abroad who are Your ambassadors to live and declare Your truth clearly and boldly. Come now, Word of God incarnate–come by the Holy Spirit, to anoint our preacher to speak Your Word to us, anoint our ears to hear it … and our wills to do it. All this we pray in Your name. Amen.

Richard Herman

Jesus–Savior, Friend, and Lord: When we’re lost, confused and anxious–You are our Way. When we misunderstand–and are misunderstood, when we are lied to and lied about, and when we lie or believe the lies–You are the Truth. And when we feel drained of vitality, or afraid of death and dying–You are our Resurrection and the Life. 

You guide us, speak to us the Truth in love and You give us hope … always. For that we praise You, now and forever. And because of that, we come to You with all we are and aren’t, knowing You’ll help us, and those we care about. We pray for friends and loved ones who are ill or injured, recovering and recuperating: Mend their affected bodies. 

Quiet their anxious minds. And assure their fearful hearts; for You are our Great Physician. For those who grieve losses, recent or long past: Give them the gift of thanksgiving in good memories and positive influences. Cover any lingering hurts with Your love. And surround them with Your gift of peace, given in Your resurrection. 

For those in depression’s darkness–be the Light of their world. For those lacking life’s essentials–be the Giver of Bread; and move the hearts and hands of your people to express your care with love in action. For those whose relationships are strained, damaged or broken–be their Mediator and Reconciler, bring them back to their heavenly Father and to one another. 

We pray also for Your church–meeting today to worship joyfully under spreading trees in Africa, reverently in European cathedrals, hopefully in storefronts on the streets of cities in the Americas and even secretly enthusiastic in places where it’s a crime against the state to name Your name. Wherever we are–keep Your church faithful to the Truth you declare, loyal in the Way you give us to live, and joyful as we live for You. May we grow in our love for You and for one another, so that the world might know that You are our Lord, we are Your people …and that the same can be true for them, too. 

For your world–we pray the Gospel would be known from pole to pole, horizon to horizon; and that between nations: peace would overcome war, hope replace despair, love conquer hate, and understanding supplant suspicion. Now, for us here this morning–we pray for ears to hear Your voice to the glory of Your name, Jesus; for You are our Lord and Savior. Amen. 

Richard Herman

Jesus–our Lord, Savior, Friend and Companion: To be “in” You is to no longer be strangers to Your Father, or to one another. In You–we are brought near. In You–we are redeemed and forgiven. In You–we are blessed with every spiritual blessing. In You–we have peace. In You–we are bound together so that Your Spirit lives among us. In You–we can call God our “Father” and know His welcome; and we can pray with confidence. 

So, in You and in Your name we pray boldly, Lord, …For those who are injured or ill, recuperating from or anticipating surgery–we ask You to heal them. Mend broken bones. Repair defective heart valves. Eradicate cancers. Restore nerve cells. Knit bones and implants strongly together. Encourage the discouraged and free the addicted. Give peace to loved ones and care for care-givers. 

May people see mirrored in our marriages the way You love us, and how we love you. Enable us to love effortfully and faithfully, patiently and persistently. Reconcile husbands and wives who are estranged. Make our homes lighthouses in a dark world. For this world we pray. For the nations of the world–may You break down the dividing walls of hostility and suspicion between us. 

Give leaders of all nations wisdom to know what to do and the courage to lead that peace can overcome war, understanding overcome hatred, and generosity overcome greed. For Your church and this congregation, we pray. Show Yourself to us so that we may seek You, know You, love You and trust You with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength; and may we truly love our neighbors as we love ourselves. 

Make us a colony of heaven, a refuge for those who are weary, a safe place on a dangerous journey for all. Bless our pastor, staff, leaders and all who serve that what we do will glorify You and enlarge your kingdom. This we pray, in the hope that You will answer both the prayers of our lips and the prayers of hearts. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Richard Herman