Prayers of the People/Intercession on Graduation

Sermon Illustrations on Grace

God of the heavens and the earth, Giver of sun and showers, wind and calm: 

We praise You for Your grace and power, Your beauty, grace and care. You sustain us daily, and encourage us constantly. Thank You that there’s no season of life when You’re not present with us: You’re there at our birth. You celebrate passages through baptism and commissioning, graduations, weddings, retirements and funerals. 

We lean on you when we’re weak, weep with You when we’re heartbroken, and laugh with You when we’re joyful. All life is lived and experienced in Your presence. You care about each moment we live and each anxiety we feel. So, we can ask You, in Your grace, to…Heal those who are sick, injured and recuperating–heal hurt bodies, wounded souls and discouraged spirits. 

Comfort the mourning, as they feel the loss of being separated from loved ones or any other loss. Find the lost–those whose relationships are so broken that they’re estranged and distant, those who’ve wandered far from Your love and separate from Your Church–and bring them home … all of the lost. 

Protect the innocent: the children, the unborn, the poor, the abandoned and the abused. Surround them with Your love and open the doors of Your kingdom and of Your church to them. Guide our nation’s leaders–giving wisdom, courage and grace to our president, vice-president, congressmen and senators. 

Restore the soul of our land, humble our boastful pride, cleanse our sullied character and make us righteous, conformed to Your character and will. And we pray for Your church. Thwart personal and political agendas, and advance the cause of Your gospel. Make the church to be a light on a hill, a lamp shining in the darkness and salt, flavoring and preserving a community and a nation with Your truth, love and life. This we pray, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.  

Richard Herman

God of the common and of the uncommon. You meet us in the ordinary routines of life–when we play and when we rest, while we work and while we worship. And You reveal yourself in the extraordinary, too–in answered prayer and unforeseen providence, in miracles of healing and of saving. Wherever we are, You seek to get our attention–even in church. 

You call us by name and give us a new life of vision, purpose, and mission. As we remain in You: the old life is gone–the new life is come! You give us a life of grace and hope, of holiness and truth; and a life of dependence on and trust in, not ourselves but, You. 

So, we look to You for all we need and want, with thanks for the gifts of women and men You place in our lives. We ask your healing touch for friends and loved ones who are ill or injured, anticipating or recovering from surgery, facing tests or awaiting results. Cure bodies and minds by Your compassionate power and loving care. Encourage discouraged spirits and ease anxious hearts. We praise You for being with us at either end of life and at all points in between–celebrating births, graduations, engagements and weddings by laughing and shouting with us; and also grieving losses at the passing of loved ones, the loss of a job, the departure of friends, by shedding a tear with us and holding us close. 

In our joys, cause us to praise and thank You–the giver of all good gifts. In our losses, bring comfort and restore hope for us. Forgive and free us from our idolatries of power, pleasure and possessions. Forgive our arrogance and self-importance. 

Show our leaders the ways of godly justice and gracious love; enable them to lead us in those ways and enable us to walk in them. We pray for Your church–that we would be a true colony of heaven on earth, a kingdom people who reflect the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to a dying world. 

May others see Jesus in us, and be drawn to Him through us finding in Him the Way, the Truth and the Life of hope and salvation. Empower us by Your Spirit to stay on course and on message, when we are tempted to get caught up in trivial pursuits and intramural squabbles. Keep us, all of us, faithful to Your Gospel in how we live and in what we say. All this we pray, turning to You as our God, our King and our Friend. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Richard Herman

God of grace, love, and hope: Your grace comes when we least expect and don’t deserve it. Your love comes when we can’t comprehend why but we need it the most. Your hope comes at just the right time to see us through. That’s why we praise you. That’s why we trust you. 

We praise you for good endings–for graduations after years of work; for a job offer after endless leads, correspondence, phone calls and interviews for projects completed … for sales made …for goals met … for healings and full recoveries …for all of it: 

We thank you and praise you! And we trust you for more. We trust you to heal those we love–those who need physical healing,those who need emotional, mental or spiritual healing …all of them. Restore them, Lord. 

Make them whole and well: today we especially pray for… We trust You.  We trust those we love to you–in this life and for the life to come; and we ask you to enfold with your love and give your hope to those who grieve the death of loved ones. 

We trust Your sovereign mercy and power to act for a world in need of reconciliation: nation to nation, parents and children, husbands and wives, rich and poor, east and west. Lord, give us the peace we need, if not the peace we deserve. And for a world in need of justice and righteousness: do what is right for the oppressed and disenfranchised. We trust You. 

We trust Your truth and grace in the church–we may not be everything we need to be or want to be …but we are Yours and day-by-day we’re becoming a little more like You as You work in us and through us. Make us a more hospitable people; a more loving people, a more hopeful, joyful, truthful and faithful people. This we pray–all of it and more–in the name of Jesus our Lord and Savior.  AMEN

Richard Herman