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  Prayers of the People/Intercession on Justice

Sermon Illustrations on Justice

Almighty God,

in Jesus Christ you taught us to pray,

and to offer our petitions to you in his name.

Guide us by your Holy Spirit,

that our prayers for others may serve your will

and show your steadfast love;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Let us pray for the world.

Silent prayer.

God our creator,

you made all things in your wisdom,

and in your love you save us.

We pray for the whole creation.

Overthrow evil powers, right what is wrong,

feed and satisfy those who thirst for justice,

so that all your children may freely enjoy the earth you have made,

and joyfully sing your praises;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The Worshipbook: Services,The Westminster Press, 1970.


Good and Gracious Lord, You hold us in the palm of Your strong hand, working all things for our good and to Your glory. There’s no place we can go that escapes Your notice and is hidden from Your loving attention. We’re amazed by Your power and in awe of Your grace: You take what’s inadvertently or intentionally evil and bend it to Your will and ways. 

So, remembering Your wondrous grace and awesome power, we open our hearts, lifting our burdens and cares to You. For our world, we pray: For peace: end the warring madness that threatens to destroy all. 

For the victims of natural disasters and for social and political unrest around the globe: Protect the poor and needy from exploitation. Give food to the hungry and freedom to captives. For our nation, we pray for justice and honesty for elections in states and cities, that individuals with a heart for your ways of truth would find their way into office. 

We also pray for our nation’s president, vice-president, congressmen and senators – that they would lead us in Your ways of justice, righteousness and truth. We intercede also for those who have been touched by the grief of loss this week. We pray on behalf of friends and family, brothers and sisters in Christ who are ill or injured, recuperating and recovering; we ask Your healing power and restorative touch for them. 

May they know Your presence to comfort and encourage. May they rise up to call you “Blessed” for Your goodness in their lives. For the anxious among us – give them confidence and peace. For those feeling the pain of broken relationships – bring Your reconciliation, love, forgiveness and grace. To the lonely – be a friend and bring a new friend. 

For the hopeless – show them a way and give them a light in the darkness. For all of us, never leave us nor forsake us, remind us always of your love and power. For all this, and more in our heart of hearts, we pray in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Richard Herman


Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: You taught us to pray not only for ourselves but for people everywhere, so now hear us as we pray for others, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. We ask that You inspire Your whole church in power, unity, and peace. Grant that all who trust you may obey Your Word, and live together in love. 

As we pray for the world, we ask that You lead all nations in the way of Your true justice and righteous goodwill. Direct those who govern, that they may rule fairly, maintain order, help those in need, and defend the oppressed; so this world may know your rule and experience true peace. Lord, awaken all people to the danger we’ve inflicted upon the earth. 

Implant in each of us a reverence for all you’ve made that we may preserve the delicate balance in creation for all who will come after us. Please give your grace and strength to all who proclaim the gospel through Word and Sacrament and in deeds of mercy, so that by their teaching and example they may show your love for all people, at all times and in all places. Comfort and relieve, O Lord, all who are in trouble…sorrow…poverty…sickness…grief…

especially those known to us, and those whom we hold before you in silence…Heal them in body, mind, or circumstance, working in them, by your grace, wonders beyond all they may ask for, dream or hope. In addition, bring to our minds and hearts all those who, having served you on earth, now sing your praise always in heaven. May the endurance of your faithful ones give us courage and their faithfulness give us hope. This we ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN

Richard Herman


God of all nations, Savior of the Church and Lord of our hearts: We come to You, at this time, with our hands empty and our souls crying out: “Lord, help us!” “Do what only You can do!” Change the course of nations through the power of Your gospel proclaimed from continent upon continent to every tribe, culture, language and people. 

Move the hearts of kings, presidents and leaders as a watercourse, that Your Spirit of justice and righteousness, reconciliation and peace may flow freely.  We pray that one day wars will cease; but that, in the meantime, You also protect loved ones who faithfully serve in harm’s way. Sustain Your church around the world. 

Keep Your people faithful, strong in the face of opposition, loving in the face of hatred, and truthful in the living declaration of Your gospel. We ask You to comfort those who mourn –  We pray that You will sustain and heal those recuperating from sickness and injury, and those still affected –  We release to You as well, those who need employment, those who are estranged from spouses or children, parents or friends, those who struggle with discouragement, depression, anxiety or loneliness.  Meet their life-needs in Your power, Your love and Your grace. All this we pray together, in your name, Lord 

Richard Herman


Most Holy God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We celebrate Your presence and rejoice in Your light that shines in our lives and our world. Thank You for Your sustaining presence in the past year…that we’re even here is a work of Your grace. Thank You for strength when we were weak. Thank You for peace amidst our turmoil. 

Thank You for comfort in our anxious moments. Thank You for wisdom when we’ve been confused, and for guidance when we were lost. As an old year passes and a new one comes, full of promise, hope and potential, we pray that your Holy Light will shine on all nations, all people and all of creation, leading us in love, peace and joy. 

We ask You to bless all who look to the future not with peace but with anxiety. We pray for those ill and fearful of what the next year may bring. We Pray for those with family difficulties who wonder how to solve them. We pray for those financially stressed and those afraid for their job as the new year begins. Lord, for all of the future is unknown—please help us to have faith to trust You, wisdom to know the right thing, and the courage to do it. 

We pray for all affected by conflict and war, the displaced, the victimized, those grieving the death of loved ones, those living in refugee camps or exiled to foreign lands, those who have no home to call their own, immigrants, the homeless poor, those who’ve suffered a natural disaster. May your presence and your peace surround all who are in need. 

We pray thatYour grace and wisdom direct all the world’s decision makers; may hearts be softened to Your ways of peace and justice, may negotiations be fair and may dignity be restored to all people. May peace and justice prevail. 

We pray for those who suffer loneliness, those who ache with pain or hunger, those who tremble in fear or anxiety, those who feel empty and unfulfilled, and those who feel unloved and unwanted. 

We pray for the ill, the injured, those anticipating surgery or recovering: please heal, restore, comfort, and encourage each one; and we especially pray for … and we ask special blessings on their caregivers. God, Spirit, our Comforter—we pray for all who mourn, whether the grief is fresh or lingering. Console them with Your presence and give them resurrection hope. We pray especially for …

May all who mourn feel your light upon them this day and always. Heavenly Father we bring to You our loved ones, and in the silence we pray for them. For our family…for our friends…for all whom we know. May this year be good for all whom we love, Lord God. We pray that You guide us in the coming year; that Your voice will encourage us to live Your kingdom way, and that your Spirit will enliven us as we grow, learn and work together. May others see Your love shine through us. May our words and actions constantly point to You. 

May Your living word call to us and may we, in faith, answer. May we put You first in everything and serve You always; so that whatever the year holds, we never lose sight of you. This is our prayer, offered in the name of the Son who came to us all those years ago and who lives among us today in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Richard Herman


God of Grace and Power … and our Friend, who sticks closer than a brother: You know when we stumble … and You know when we manage to get it right.  You know when we forget you, but You don’t forget us. You know when we are weak, for then You are strong.  

Today—because of Your grace, we can come to You just as we are, not as we might want or pretend to be. Because of Your power, we know You can do what we can’t. So, we humbly ask you to hear us as we pray for those who are ill or injured, for those whose sickness is incurable by us, for those unjustly imprisoned, for those without hope, and those who are homeless or abandoned.  

As You move toward us in love, lead us in Jesus’ name to be with them in their suffering as Your Spirit is close to them. We ask You to sustain those who need Your healing touch; please… restore the wounded and make the sick whole… and strengthen their caregivers.  Please, Lord, give hope to the dying and comfort all who mourn–whether their grief is fresh or lingering.  Indeed, please uphold all who suffer in body or mind, not only those we know and love but also those known only to You … that they may know the peace and joy of Your upholding care.  

We also ask that You hear the cries of the world’s hungry and suffering–and answer them. Give us, who consume so much of the world’s resources, the righteous will to reorder our lives so all may have a necessary share of food, water, medical care, and shelter; and have what they need to live a life of dignity.  

Lord, we ask that You guide rulers and leaders of all nations. Move them to set aside fear, greed, and vain ambition, and to bow to Your gracious and sovereign rule.  Inspire them to strive for peace and justice, so all people may dwell securely, free of war and injustice.  Today, we pray especially for the people of the Middle East—and most certainly those who name the name of Jesus.  Protect them.  Give them hope, and may Your justice prevail.  

For our nation, we ask You to renew us in the ways of godliness and grace, justice and peace. Guide those who make and administer our laws. Erase prejudice that oppresses; free us of crime and violence; guard our youth from the temptations of alcohol, drugs, immorality and materialism. Give all our citizens a new vision of a life of harmony that reflects Your eternal kingdom.  

Lord, we pray for Your church around the world: that You would empower its life and witness.  Break down barriers that divide us and, instead, unite us in Your truth and love, so that our witness brings glory to You and hope to the world.  

And strengthen us in this congregation in our work and worship.  Fill our hearts with Your self-giving love; enable our voices (as one voice) to speak Your praise; and may our lives conform to the image of your Son, Jesus our Lord.  Continually nourish and nurture us in your Word so that we may faithfully serve others in Your name and demonstrate Your love and grace towards all.  These are our prayers, offered in the name of Jesus our Lord.  AMEN

Richard Herman


God of Grace and Power—our Friend, who sticks closer than a brother: You know when we stumble… and You lift us up.  You know when we forget you … but You never forget us.  You know when we’re weak, for then You are strong.  

Today—because of Your grace, we can come to You just as we are, not as we might want to be or pretend to be.  Because of Your power, we know You can do what we can’t.  So, we humbly ask you to hear us as we pray for those who are ill or injured, for those whose sickness is incurable by us, for those unjustly imprisoned, for those without hope, and those who are homeless or abandoned.  

As You move toward us in love, lead us in Jesus’ name to be with them in their suffering as Your Spirit is close to them.  We ask You to sustain those who need Your healing touch and strengthen their caregivers.  

Please, Lord, give hope to the dying and comfort all who mourn–whether their grief is fresh or lingering.  Indeed, please uphold all who suffer in body or mind, not only those we know and love but also those known only to You … that they may know the peace and joy of Your upholding care.  

We also ask that You hear the cries of the world’s hungry and suffering–and answer them. Give us, who consume so much of the world’s resources, the righteous will to reorder our lives so all may have enough food, water, medical care, and shelter; and have what they need to live a life of dignity.  

Lord, we ask that You guide rulers and leaders of all nations. Move them to set aside fear, greed, and vain ambition, and to bow to Your gracious and sovereign rule.  Inspire them to strive for peace and justice, so all people may dwell securely, free of war  and injustice.  

For our nation, we ask You to renew us in the ways of justice and peace.  Guide those who make and administer our laws.  Erase prejudice that oppresses; free us of crime and violence; guard our youth from the temptations of alcohol, drugs, immorality, and materialism.  Give all our citizens a new vision of a life of harmony that reflects Your eternal kingdom.  

Lord, we pray for Your church around the world: that You’d empower its life and witness.  Break down barriers that divide us and, instead, unite us in Your truth and love, so that our witness brings glory to You and hope to the world.  

And strengthen this congregation in our work and worship. Fill our hearts with Your self-giving love; enable our voices (as one voice) to speak Your praise; and may our lives conform to the image of your Son, Jesus our Lord. Continually nourish and nurture us in your Word so that we may faithfully serve others in Your name and demonstrate Your love and grace, your just and peaceable kingdom, towards all.  These are our prayers, offered up in the name of Jesus.  AMEN

Richard Herman