Prayers of the People/Intercession on Help
O God, the Father of the forsaken, the help of the weak, the supplier of the needy, you have distributed and proportioned your gifts to body and soul, in such sort that all may acknowledge and perform the joyous duty of mutual service; you teach us that love towards the human race is the bond of perfection, and the imitation of your blessed self; open our eyes and touch our hearts, that we may see and do, both for this world and for that which is to come, the things which belong unto our peace.
Strengthen us in the work we have undertaken; give us counsel and wisdom, perseverance, faith and passion, and in your own good time, and according to your pleasure, bless our work. Pour into us a spirit of humility; let nothing be done but in devout obedience to your will, thankfulness for your unspeakable mercies, and love to your adorable Son Christ Jesus. Amen.
Anthony Ashley Cooper, Language modernized and adapted for Corporate Worship by Stuart Strachan Jr.
Prayer For God’s Help
O God, from whom to be turned is to fall,
to whom to be turned is to rise,
and with whom to stand is to abide for ever;
grant us in all our duties your help,
in all our perplexities your guidance,
in all our dangers your protection,
and in all our sorrows your peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Augustine of Hippo
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
Precious Lord, take our hand, Lead us on, help us stand; We’re tired, we’re weak, we’re worn; Thru the storm, thru the night, Lead us on to the light, Take our hand, precious Lord, Lead us home. The old spiritual says it well, Lord: We can’t make it on our own—we need You to take us through. We can’t do what needs to be done—we need You to do it.
We aren’t smart enough, compassionate enough, strong enough. We don’t really care enough nor are we able to heal—but You are. So we ask You to heal those we love—heal them in body, soul, mind and emotions; and enable them to know You as Healer and Friend. Today we esp. pray for…
We don’t have enough faith or enough wisdom to confront death (our own and that of others) with trust, hope and peace. We need You and the power of Your resurrection to encourage us and to comfort those we love who have lost loved ones; Right now we especially pray for… We don’t have enough brains or heart, enough smarts or caring, to be able to change our world—whether on an international or national stage, let alone locally and in our own neighborhoods.
Too often, if we’ve got ours, we care little for those who don’t. But that’s not good enough—and we know it. So …Change the world—but begin with us, so that we can be part of the solution and not the problem. Give meaningful work to those who have none. Give food to those who are hungry. Give water to those who thirst.
Give justice to those who suffer for lack of it. Replace war with peace; despair with hope; suspicion with understanding; callousness with compassion; and isolation with reconciliation in marriages, families, communities, schools, neighborhoods and churches. And Lord—help us to know You better.
Then, as You do—may we also come to know more of who You made us to be, created in Your image and redeemed in Your love. This is our prayer, offered with faith in Jesus our Lord. AMEN