Prayers of the People/Intercession on Healing

Sermon Illustrations on Healing

Inspired from Isaiah 43

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. they shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, the flame shall not consume you.

There is a balm in Gilead, to make the wounded whole.

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; every­one who is called by my name.

There is a balm in Gilead, to make the wounded whole.

Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears! Let all the nations gather together, and let the peoples assemble. I am about to do a new thing.

I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

There is a balm in Gilead, to make the wounded whole.

For I give water in the wilderness to give drink to my cho­sen people, the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise.

Everlasting God, revive our souls, that we might drink from your spring and overcome discourage­ment; that we may praise your mighty acts. We are called by you, to do a new work in your name. Amen.

African American Spiritual

God—our Father … our Savior … our Counselor and Friend: Thank you for daring to meet us at the most unlikely places, and in the most unexpected times of our lives. Thank you for redeeming our painful experiences, for walking beside us in the dark times and even mysteriously redirecting our own miscues, misunderstandings, and sins to your glory and our good.  

There’s no one like you! You are our Healer–whose word restores and whose touch can make everything and everyone new again.  We pray today for you to bring health and wholeness to those who are injured or ill—especially for… You are our Comforter, Resurrection and Life–who wept for dead Lazarus, who brought a little girl and a widow’s son back from death, and who died and rose again yourself: we ask your comfort for those who mourn and your welcome to all who die in You. 

For our community and nation–we pray You give our elected leaders wisdom, humility, courage, compassion, creativity and commitment. We also pray for a world anxious and afraid, a world where terror threatens, where famine, poverty and disease claim lives each day if not each hour, and where those who have too much hold resources with grasping fists and those who have too little are left empty-handed; and for those threatened by diseases,or recovering from natural disasters. 

We ask for your help, your deliverance and your provision. Keep us all from living out of our fears, hatreds and worries—and enable us to live out of Your compassion, love and justice …and so know Your kingdom come, and Your will done in our midst. We ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN

Richard Herman

Lord—You’re the God who notices.  You notice a desperate woman who touches Your garments in a crowd.  You notice a lonely, little tax-collector in a tree.  You notice a blind man on the roadside, a widow mourning her son in a small town funeral, and the fear in Your disciples eyes when caught in a storm.  

And You notice us, too; we do not escape Your gracious and caring gaze.  So, because You see and care even before we ask, we come to You confident You hear us when we pray.  We pray for those who are sick or injured—asking You to please heal them, physically, emotionally, socially, mentally and spiritually.  

Restore them by curing cancers and defeating infections, by repairing broken bones, mending hearts and minds, and by defeating pain.  We pray for those who grieve today: that Your resurrection will give them hope, Your presence bring them peace, Your Word give them comfort, and Your people give them encouragement and help.  

We pray also for Your world, our world.  It’s so big.  We overlook so much, noticing only what affects us directly, but You know and notice it all: the child in the slums of Khartoum, Sudan who went to bed hungry last night…again; the families in California sleeping in makeshift shelters wondering if they’ll have a home once the fires are over; communities in New Orleans cleaning up and rebuilding, just trying to make it through another week.  

In grace—meet their needs, Lord.  Empower Your people with love, courage and strength to reach out.  Help us to notice, to see beyond ourselves, and to step-out in compassion, living the truth and speaking the truth…in love.  This is our prayer—prayed in the name of Jesus,Your Son and our 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

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

Lord–in the words of the Psalmist,“You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations,” our safe place to run to, and the One who opens the door when we knock–no matter what.  Because of Your faithfulness and power, there has never been a time when You weren’t–and there never will be.  

So we know we can trust you with whatever it is that gladdens or burdens our hearts today. And we do trust you.  We trust You with those who are sick or hurt in any way–in body or mind, soul or spirit.  We know we can trust those who’ve died in faith to your care; and we can lift to you those whose loss and grief hurts–whether it is recent or long past. 

We pray for you to comfort with your presence and your peace all who miss a loved one this time of year.  We pray for those whose needs are great and whose burdens are greater; for the one who needs fulfilling and meaningful work; for those in need of loving friends; for single parents in need of help with their children; for the one who needs strength and help to overcome an addiction; for the marriage that is strained; for the family that is fraught with discord and brokenness, bring deliverance, reconciliation, and hope we pray.  

Our needs are many–and our own ability to make a difference is so feeble, Lord—so we need You to come at the point of our need, and to come to those we care about at the place of their pain.  Come as You are … as our Good Shepherd, our King, the Light of Hope for our dark, discouraged world.  Come as You are to us as we are–and make us more like You; and may You be praised as our all in all. This we pray, in the name of the risen Christ, our Lord.  AMEN

Richard Herman

Compassionate God—In Christ, you enter our condition; you experience our sorrow and our joy, and redeem them. By Your Holy Spirit, you carry us along: in crisis and celebration, in despair and accomplishment, defeat and victory.  We’re never alone … thank You.  What we know—You know; which means we can come to you with anything.  

For those we care about who are ill or injured, in pain physically or emotionally: Please heal them, Father. Restore health of body, mind, soul and spirit. Eradicate cancer. Heal broken bones. Defeat infections. 

Make well those recovering from surgery… and do it all to Your glory and the joy of those you heal. We pray on behalf of those who grieve today—knit together broken hearts, comfort those who mourn with your presence and with the presence of Your people, and give them the peace and hope of the resurrection in your Son, Jesus. 

We pray for our world, for you are the Lord over all countries and nations, kings, prime-ministers and presidents.  We pray for our own nation: that you’d raise up the leaders we need—not necessarily the ones we deserve. 

We pray on behalf of those in places where there’s too much water, and others where there is too little, for those who have too much and those with almost nothing at all, for the powerful and the powerless; and we ask that You’ll act to protect the weak, help the displaced, provide for the poor and challenge the strong to use their resources for what’s good and righteous. 

Please protect those whose duty takes them into dangerous places—and those who call those same places their home.  And comfort the families of those whose duty cost their lives.  For the church—we ask you to be gracious with us, especially when we screw things up; and we do that a lot.  Keep us faithful to Your Word. 

Enable us to be the salt of the earth and light of the world you call us to be.  Help us to speak the truth and live the truth but always gracefully and with love.  Guide, revive and empower us as a congregation; and do likewise in the larger Church to which we belong. This we pray in Jesus’ name. AMEN

Richard Herman

Gracious and loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We praise you for how wide, how high, and how deep is Your vast love for all people. Incarnate in Jesus, You offered Your life for the healing of the world through the forgiveness of all our sins. Your arms outstretched on the cross embrace us all as Your love transcends our divisions and differences. 

Breaking out of the tomb, You broke the powers that bind us and released us to live new and free. Your wide and welcoming love for all challenges us. Forgive us when we find it hard to forgive others. Teach us how to value and respect one another. Give us the necessary strength and courage to reach beyond ourselves. 

To those who are unfamiliar, and even those we find disagreeable: Make us a safe place in a dangerous world, a people in which Your Hope lives, Your Love welcomes, Your Compassion restores and Your Grace lifts all who are downcast. We pray for our deeply divided world: for peace in all lands that are war torn or threatening violence or retribution. We pray for those affected by the racism that injures us all. 

We pray that our state and federal officials can find ways to work effectively across partisan lines, valuing the common good above all else. We continue to lift up to You those who mourn, whether their grief is fresh or lingering. We pray for the ill and injured of this community and congregation. 

Heal body, soul, mind and spirits … and strengthen caregivers. All these things we lift up to You, our loving God, confident that You hear our prayers and care for us in all seasons of our lives. Now, Jesus Christ, Son of David, have mercy upon us. Amen. 

Richard Herman

Lord–Creator, Savior and Sustainer: 

You called our names and we answered. 

When we were lost–You found us. 

When we were sick–You healed us. 

When we were blind–You opened our eyes. 

When we were dead in our sin–You died to give us life. 

Knowing we are dependent on You for our salvation, for our life, in all our relationships, wherever and whenever we may be we turn to You today asking that, in your mercy, you hear our prayers and answer them. 

You died and rose for our healing: so we pray for those who are sick, injured, or impaired in body, mind, emotion or soul. Restore them by the touch of your hand. You died and rose to give us life in the face of death: so we ask that you comfort those who mourn, and take to yourself those who died believing in You. 

You died to unite various peoples together in Your church: so we pray for your church: whether here, near or on the far side of the sea. Give us all sufficient faith and courage to boldly live and declare Your gospel.Pour out Your Spirit and bring fresh power and new life to this church and to all our people. 

You died for the world: so we pray for nations in turmoil–strengthen your followers in those lands and bring peace in place of warfare. We also pray for our own nation: for our elected leaders–that you give them wisdom according to your Word, moral convictions, the courage to follow in Your way, and the will to lead us there. Even now, we pray for your leading in the coming elections: save us from self-interest and pettiness; strengthen our commitment to justice, truth and grace.

This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Richard Herman

God, you call us to prayer. Throughout the Scriptures, we read about your people praying.

The Israelites cried out for you to rescue them from slavery. You sent them Moses.

Hannah wept, asking you to remember her. You gave her a son.

King Solomon asked for a discerning heart to govern your people. You gave him the gift of wisdom.

Esther declared a fast and prayed for favor with the king. You spared her people.

The disciples Peter and John prayed for boldness. You shook the ground and filled them with the Holy Spirit.

An unnamed woman poured out her brokenness at Christ’s feet. He forgave her sins.

Jesus himself prayed for us to be followers who are continually sent. You send us as you sent your Son.

O Lord, help us to be people of prayer, willing to cry out to you, humbly naming our needs, desiring to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and constantly praying for one another’s ability to serve you.

We take a moment now to reflect on:

where we need to give or receive forgiveness. (Pause for a moment of silence.)

The people we know who are in need of your grace and healing. (Pause for a moment of silence.)

Our community, our nation, and our world. (Pause for a moment of silence.)

Almighty, attentive God, Thank you for being a personal Lord whom we can approach with honesty, with frustration, and with hope.

We pray these things together, as your grateful people. Amen.

Ellen R. Dawson