Prayers of the People/Intercession on Giving
God of grace–generous Giver of all good gifts: You bless us abundantly every day—In Your Son our Savior who makes us new creations; in the smile of child, the greeting of a friend and the hug of a loved one; in shared laughter, tears, words of encouragement and words of discipline. You’ve met so many of our basic life needs for warm shelter, food and clothing; and for many of us in this room–you even bless us at the point of our desires.
We are a very blessed people! We want to be a grateful people and a caring people. Help us, Lord! Help us, Lord, when we’ve lost our way–guide us. Help us, Lord, when we’re discouraged–give us hope. Help us, Lord, when we’re anxious and worried–give us peace. Help us,Jesus …and those we love, when we are sick or hurt, when we are looking ahead to surgery or recovering from it–heal us, Lord.
Help us, Jesus, when we grieve a loss …the loss of a loved one to death, the loss of a job to downsizing, the loss of a relationship when a friend moves or when we have a disagreement. When it’s a loss we must accept–help us to mourn well, as those who have hope and comfort in the resurrection; and when it’s a loss we can recover–help us to do the hard work of reconciliation, restoration or renewal.
Help us, Father–to see the world as You see it, and care as you care. Help all those who name the name of Jesus in difficult places like Sudan, China, Indonesia or Cuba; like India, Iraq, Egypt or Israel. Protect them. Keep them faithful. Give them courage to speak the Truth of the gospel and to live the truth of the Gospel.
Help those who continue to serve in the military–shield them with your power and support them with your love. Help us as a nation, Lord–guiding our president and vice-president. Enable us to heal divides widened in the recent campaigns and return us to paths of holiness, truth, grace and gratitude. All this, and more, we pray in the precious name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.
God–Creator of the universe, Redeemer of humanity, Sustainer of your people, and our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.
You hold the galaxies in the palm of your hand–and yet You know each of us by name, is beyond our conceiving or understanding. You love all who You’ve made in Your image: and You love each of us individually. That’s why we praise You! That’s why we love You. That’s why we trust You.
We trust You to heal our friends and loved ones who are sick or injured, anticipating surgery or recuperating; and we ask You to give strength and grace to their care-givers. We trust You to comfort the grieving, be a companion to the lonely, encourage the disheartened, empower those whose strength is failing and free those imprisoned by addiction or depression.
We trust You to love those who feel like they’ve never been loved …and pour out Your love through us, though not only in words. Move us to action, push us to express Your love in deeds of kindness, in risky compassion and intervention, in giving our very selves to others and in meeting the needs they have for even food, shelter, clothing and protection. We trust You to bless the work of missionaries who openly live the Gospel each day, who boldly share the Gospel in word and action, and who persevere for the gospel in the face of opposition or indifference.
And we trust you to guide and direct us as a congregation–that we might please You in all we do. Make us a community, known by its love for you and one another, which causes the Gospel to be attractive to a watching world. Enable us to do the hard work of love with one another, that the world may know us as Yours, and that they may come to see You as Lord of all and their Lord. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
A Prayer attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church (1979)