Prayers of the People/Intercession on Joy

Sermon Illustrations on Joy

Loving God—who’s with us always and everywhere; who knows all our hurts and sorrows, our joys and celebrations …and goes through them with us: Thank you for the hope we have in you—nothing is impossible for you. Thank you for the love we know— love in marriages, love in families, love in your family, the church. 

Thank you for moments of great joy and laughter, for those moments that just make us smile; and we thank you for turning even our darkest moments to your good purposes. To those grieving a loss of any kind, we ask you to give solace and hope, and the strength to go on. 

For those hurt by your church–we ask you to heal wounds and enable forgiveness. For those who feel alone–we ask you to be their strength, and to give them loving friends to encourage them. For our country, in need of a revival of compassion and grace, of generosity and peace, and of hearts after your own heart, we pray for such to happen. 

For a world that desperately needs the Gospel of Your Son, Jesus, we pray for those who bear the name Christian in places where it’s dangerous to do so, and for those they serve. For your church–show us your way: your way to live the truth with our lives, and declare the truth with our lips, with gentleness and love. This is our heart’s prayer—offered in the name of Jesus the Christ.  AMEN

Richard Herman

Joyful, joyful we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, Opening to the sun above. With joyful thanks, we turn to You, with our hopes and dreams, our anxieties and hurts, our wondering and worrying…knowing that You hear us, you care about us, and that You’re able to make all things new. 

Lord: hear our prayers for the sick and injured; for those recovering from surgery and those anticipating surgery. We ask you to heal them physically, encourage them emotionally, and strengthen them spiritually. Hear our prayers, Lord, for all those who grieve. Be their friend, Lord; help them to make it through one more day. 

Enable them to have peace, and to know the hope Your life, death, and resurrection bring. Hear our prayers, Lord, for a world riddled with violence and war, disease and poverty, injustice and despair. Come, Lord—and come soon. 

Come in power to liberate captives. Come with righteousness to free the oppressed. Come with truth to put an end to lies. Come with the light of the Gospel into the dark corners of our world to give hope to the hopeless, new life to all. Hear our prayers, Lord, for our nation. We pray for those affected by natural disasters and the lingering effects of natural disasters: protect them and give them the aid they need. 

For our President and Vice-President: Guide them in their governing, and give them wisdom beyond their own. For the unemployed–provide meaningful work. For those who are afraid of the future—give the power of faith in You.  

For those without the basics–provide a warm place to call home, food, clothing and friends who care. And hear our prayers for Your church…that we might have eyes to see those no-one else sees, hands to reach out, ears to listen, voices to speak encouragement, and feet to go anywhere and everywhere to share the Good News of your love. Lord, hear our prayers, lifted up with joy in the name that is above every name, Christ Jesus 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

A Prayer attributed to St. Francis

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church (1979)