Prayers of the People/Intercession on Hope

Sermon Illustrations on Hope

God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You are ever the same in Your grace and truth, Your power and love; yet, You always challenge us to grow, change and become more like Jesus. We’re not yet what we want to be, what we hope to be and what we will be, but thanks be to You, we’re no longer what we used to be. 

Thank you for the hope of change, for without it, we would shrivel up and die. It’s that hope which calls us to pray for those who are sick or injured, those challenged physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually and to ask You to heal them, to restore them, to make them whole. It’s that hope which also beckons us to pray for those who mourn, whose grief is deep and real, whether it’s new or long-lived, and to ask You to comfort them, to give them hope and to walk with them day by day. 

It’s that hope which dares us to pray as well for peace on a planet dominated by war; for safe places and safe people on life’s way through a dangerous world for food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, water for the thirsty, justice for the oppressed, companionship for the lonely, healing for the sick. 

Pour out Your love to all who are created in Your image for whom You died and rose. It’s that hope which summons us to pray for our nation’s leaders: president and vice-president, legislators and judges; as well as to pray for state and local officials: give them wisdom, courage and ability, the wisdom to know the right, the courage to do it, and the ability to lead us in right paths for your name’s sake. 

Enable us as citizens of this nation, state, and town, and even more, as citizens of Your kingdom, to be the leaven of love and truth, grace and mercy that flavors our community and world. Make us wise and discerning people able to care about more than our own interests…but to care about the welfare of others and of all, particularly those whose voice is muffled–the poor, the disenfranchised, and powerless. 

The hope of change also invites us to pray for the church. Your church in all places and us as your people in this place. Guide us in challenging times to live according to Your Word and to willingly risk being misunderstood in order to be faithful where You put us and call us to be. Enable us to stay faithful in the midst of the tension that comes with being kingdom people living in a fallen, sinful world. In a world prone to divisions, make us one people, loving one another as You’ve loved us. We thank you for Your Word declared today…enable us to hear, believe and live out Your truth. This we pray in Jesus’ name and to His glory. 

Richard Herman

God of grace, abundance, and joy, who pours out your love on us every day: When we had no hope–You came as a light in our dark time. When we were weak–You came in power to lift us up. When we were lost–You showed us the way. 

When we were confused–You told us the truth when others lied to us. When we were alone–You came to give us life, and life abundantly. Thank you! 

Because of Your faithfulness in our yesterdays, we place our tomorrows in Your good hand. For those who are sick–we pray for you to heal them. For those who grieve–we ask you to comfort them. 

For families divided, marriages stressed and disintegrating, even churches coming apart–we pray to you as Mediator asking that you heal broken relationships, reconcile the estranged. Enable humility and forgiveness to replace pride and anger. 

For our nation–come as Lord of lords and King of kings who holds the world’s nations in Your palm: heal our land. Forgive our pride–which thinks we always know what’s best. Guide our nation’s leaders in your ways of truth and holiness, justice and grace; and give us the courage to follow in them. 

For those doing the work of missionaries–in [Central America, Kenya, Egypt and India], in our nation’s cities, prisons, college and high school campuses, and seminaries–nurture the gospel they share, that it may take root and change lives; and keep them faithful to your calling. 

For this church–lead us in your Ways; and where you lead us, sustain us and provide for us, so that we can hold out your Word of truth as light for dark days, as water for dry souls and bread for hungry hearts. And, thank you for the fellowship of new brothers and sisters who join with.This is our prayer, which we pray in the name of Jesus, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Richard Herman

Lord of Hope and God of all that’s new—Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We’re filled with wonder, gratitude, and joy inspired by the gifts of new life You freely give us. There’s the joy and wonder of every new day, that calls to mind Your resurrection with each rising sun. There’s the joy and wonder of the new beginnings that come with marriage. 

There’s the joy and wonder of the living miracle of birth. And we’re moved by the wonder and joy of mature love seen in decades of marriage—the kind of love that echoes Your ever-faithful love for us: so we thank You for your steadfast love and faithfulness.  

We pray for newly married couples and for every married couple here, that you provide grace—for hard times that will come; mutual forgiveness, understanding, patience, and the willingness to change ourselves and not our partners as we grow and mature in our love. We pray for all of us who are parents and grandparents, new and old, asking for you to give us patience with ourselves as well as our children; and wisdom to know when to speak and what to say, as well as to know when not to speak but just listen. 

Sovereign Lord: we pray for our world, Your world—that peace would displace war, health replace sickness, contentment replace hunger and thirst, understanding replace suspicion, compassion replace apathy, hope replace despair,  and that Your Good News would be heard, known, and understood in every community, bringing hope and salvation in Jesus Christ. 

For Your church—pressed on every side to conform to the pattern of this world rather than the shape of Your Kingdom, and to abandon Your Word’s clear teaching rather than stay faithful to the Truth: we pray that Your Spirit’s power would strengthen us for living the Gospel, equip us to declare the Good News, unite us to demonstrate the Truth and enable us, as Your followers, to be more like You, Jesus, since we are your Body on earth. These are our prayers, offered in the name of Jesus our Lord. AMEN

Richard Herman

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

Richard Herman


God of hope and anticipation—who’s constant in love and with us always and everywhere: We need you! …For we do nothing of value on our own. 

We need you to heal—because we can’t do it.  Please make the sick among us, well.  Please fix what is broken—whether it’s physical, relational, emotional, or spiritual.  And sustain those who are caregivers—family, friends, and medical personnel.  

We need you to comfort those distressed and grieving a loss—whether it’s a loved one who died, a job that was lost, a marriage that’s come apart, dreams that have been dashed …Come, Jesus, as the Lord and giver of hope.  

We pray for healing and hope for those caught in the tensions and conflicts of the Middle East, and the anxieties in Asia: as the Prince of Peace, we ask You for peace, understanding, and reconciliation. 

For those in congress, for our president and his administration, for members of the judiciary, those who lead states, counties and communities—we ask for wisdom to chart a good, steady, just and righteous course, along with the courage to lead the way in it, the humility to acknowledge mistakes, and a gracious spirit in moving forward.  

We pray for resolve and energy in rebuilding places devastated by fires and storms and floods—and for many to say: Here I am Lord…send me to help!”  For Your church, Lord—keep us from majoring on the minors, from being distracted by what’s nice or good, forgetting to do what’s holy and best.  Entrust us with resources necessary to fulfill Your calling to make disciples, grow disciples, and multiply disciples of Yours.  All this we pray in the name of Jesus our Lord and Savior. AMEN

Richard Herman

God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. You are Good and You are Strong; You are Faithful and You are Loving. You care about our deepest needs: what keeps us awake at night, and distracts us all day long. You know what causes us to cry—both tears of joy and tears of loneliness, pain or sorrow.  

In it all—you promise never to leave or forsake us: Which is why we turn to You with what is on our hearts:  We pray for those who are sick or injured, those recovering from surgery or anticipating it.  We pray for healing…wholeness…and strength.  

We pray for all who grieve—whether the sorrow is recent or lingering.  We pray for the peace of Your presence to bring strength and comfort, and the hope of Your resurrection to encourage them.  

For Your world—pole to pole and shore to shore:  We pray for those who hunger and thirst, victims of famine and drought: provide what they need to live—food, water, shelter, clothing, and hope; especially the hope of the Gospel.  Where there is war—bring peace: Your peace.  Overcome lies with truth; injustice with righteousness; despair with hope; hate with love; and in all things—may Christ be glorified!  

We pray for missionaries who live and declare Your Gospel and for all who name Your name in places where to do so is to risk life itself.  Keep them safe, faithful, and strong.  For Your church—for this church: May we become and be who You made us to be: The Light of the World, the Salt of the Earth, the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth, Your True and Holy People—living our lives wherever we areto the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord.  AMEN

Richard Herman

God of Love and Lord of Hope: Nothing is too difficult for you …while so much is beyond our abilities to understand, to do, and to care for. Therefore we turn to You knowing that you do all things well, and all for the sake of love.  

We rejoice with those who rejoice today: whether it’s in a new marriage, a new life, a new job, or a new relationship. And we grieve with those who grieve the loss of a loved one or friend. Bring comfort to all who mourn.  

We pray also for those in need of healing—make them whole, strong and well …and give special grace to their care-givers.  

We also pray for our nation: give our leaders wisdom and courage for the long haul.  Take them beyond political expediency to righteous action.  Take them beyond self-interest and bravado, to humility, truthfulness, and courage to do what’s right.  

For the world—we pray for justice for the poor and downtrodden; food and clean water for the deprived; humility and grace for those in power that they might serve their people and come to the aid of the powerless.  

Finally, we pray for Your church, Your people, in this place for such a time as this and as now: meet us at the point of our deepest needs: to Know You, to love You, to follow You and to serve You–by serving those for whom You died and rose.  Make us a true colony of heaven, a people after Your own heart, and a light that draws all people to You who are The Light of the World.  This is our hope, our heart’s desire andour prayer—offered in Your name.  AMEN

Richard Herman

God of grace, power, and peace: This is Your world—not ours.  You are the hope of all people—not us.  Your love is infinite and eternal—ours is small and short-lived.  We pray for a world bigger than just us and our own concerns.  We pray for the orphan and widow, for those starving amidst drought, and for communities ravaged by natural disasters and the everpresent disasters of human sin.  

Lord—remember, reach out in Your compassion, and act.  

For those who are ill or injured, we pray for healing.  For those who grieve—we ask for Your comfort and hope.  

For those who have too little—meet their needs …with a job if unemployed, … or by the help of a friend or kindness from a stranger.  For those who have too much—give them a generous heart and open hands.  

For those whose relationships are stressed and strained—for parents and children, husbands and wives, colleagues, friends, and co-workers—open up avenues of communication and reconciliation.  

For our own nation and our leaders: replace posturing and rancor with wisdom and the courage to lead us in what is right, even when it’s not popular; raise up the leaders we desperately need.  

For Your church—keep us faithful, gracious and truthful, compassionate and just; as we live and declare Your saving gospel to a lost and hopeless world.  This we pray in Jesus’ name.  AMEN

Richard Herman