Prayers of the People/Intercession on God’s Character
Lord Jesus—the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and the author of change, who’s constantly doing “a new thing,” which makes us sit up and take notice. We admit, we’d be more comfortable with a predictable, controllable, less imaginative deity—but we’d also be less filled with wonder, delight and praise; and You’d be less worthy of our trust, obedience and worship. But You are worthy!–which is why we come to You as we are.
We come asking You to change us—before we ask you to change anyone else or to change our circumstances. We come to present our friends and loved ones in need of comfort after the loss of loved ones.
Be a companion in loneliness, bringing hope in despair, light in the darkness and peace at all times. Guide them into the new “normal” of the next part of their journey, and give those who walk with them special strength and grace. We also bring to you the sick, the injured and those recuperating from surgery: Heal them.
Give them confidence in Your presence as their Savior and Healer by replacing their anxiety and pain with trust and peace. Make them well—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually; and encourage their caregivers. But there are other needs we can’t meet but You can: such as a need for ..
Reconciliation in families between husbands and wives, children and parents; and Reconciliation in nations between ethnic groups or political factions–and we think especially of those in [Afghanistan]: protect them, and bring peace to that land. Keep your people there faithful in their witness, truthful in their living and their speaking, and compassionate, gracious and loving at all times.
We pray for nations and leaders of nations–for our own and those who call other lands their home, that the interests of those who have no voice–the poor, the oppressed, the abused,and disenfranchised–might be paramount, and that Your kingdom might come, and your will be done among us, and among all nations.
And we pray for your church—for this church. Make us a faithful people, a courageous people, a gracious people, a creative people and a loving people…so that others may see You through us and encounter you in us. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. AMEN
God of grace and truth, hope and power: in the midst of an ever-changing world, we delight that You are constant, joyous and loving, always the same, but never stagnant or boring. That’s why we’re so glad to turn to You and turn over to you what keeps us up at night with anxiety or discouragement; or what stretches us beyond our limited strength and wisdom.
We pray for those who are ill or injured, those anticipating or recovering from surgery, those whose body, mind or emotions are failing them, and all who give care to them; where healing is needed—we ask you to heal them; where hope has flagged—fortify faith; where compassion is growing thin—please give a supernatural ability to care.
For those who grieve, for whom we sometimes lack the words to comfort, we ask You to speak and bring Good News of resurrection and hope to them. May your Church be a people of safety, and a refuge in times of despair and a companion during lonely moments.
For our world, turned on its head by bloodshed and war, by suspicion, distrust and hatred of one people for another, one nation for another–we ask You: please bring peace where there is no peace, hope where there is no hope, food where there has been only starvation, water where there has been only dry wells and parched fields, resources where there has been only poverty. Help us all to find a better way–especially guiding the leaders of our nation and all nations. And we ask Your gracious protection for young men and women serving as soldiers in war, and for civilians who are trapped in dangerous places they still call home.
For Your church—we ask for the fullness and abundance of the Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit. Make us light–clear, pure, strong, penetrating in the midst of a dark time in a dark world. Give us the strength to love the unloved, to stand with the weak, to protect the helpless—living the Gospel of Your love with our hands and feet, and with our voices declaring Your Gospel of Grace that forgives sin and gives new life in Christ Jesus our Lord. This we pray in Jesus’ name. AMEN