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  Prayers of the People/Intercession on Life

Sermon Illustrations on Life

Father God: You know our thoughts, before we speak them. You know our needs, without us saying them. So, You invite us into Your presence, with arms wide open, not to hear our laundry lists of wants and needs. You want us to know You, to love You and to be withYou. Forgive us for treating You more like a heavenly vending machine and less like our Heavenly Father who loves us. 

We want to know You more–for who You are. We want to be more like You–as Your children. We want to follow You wherever You want to take us, for You know what’s good, right and best for us. Today, we give You all our worries and anxieties, which come from bearing burdens we’re never meant to carry; for You are God and we’re not. 

We acknowledge only You can handle them; and we cannot. You’re the healer–and so we place loved ones and friends in Your healing hands. Do for them what only You can do–heal them. Restore bodies to health and wholeness. Calm troubled minds. Break chains of addiction. Overcome disease, and repair injury and wounds. 

We pray today especially for…You’re the Resurrection and the Life–giving hope, peace and comfort to those who mourn loved ones. You’re Lord of the Church–so we thank you for blessings we’ve known as a congregation …the joy of mission, the wonder of learning new things from Your Word, the encouragement of friends who stand with us in tough times, the support of brothers and sisters. 

May we be faithful in living and declaring your good News in our community, our nation and to the ends of the earth. Empower and protect those who are our voices, our hands and our feet in mission–on the West bank in Israel, on the US-Mexican border. This, and more, we pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen. 

Richard Herman


Father: You shape and form us so each is unique yet all are in Your image, when You breathe into us the breath of life. We praise You! Jesus, God the Son–Resurrection and Life: You chose to die and rise from the dead to free us from sin and death, and give us eternal life. 

We praise You! Living Spirit, who sustains our life by Your presence: You give us strength, when we are weak; direction, when we are lost; and love at all times. We praise You! We praise you for hope that’s ours because of Jesus’ resurrection: Hope to face life with courage and meet death in peace; Hope to sustain us in dark times, for we know our life’s light comes with the rising Son. 

Therefore, we can pray with expectant hope …For those who need healing in spirit, soul, mind and body; For those who need comfort in grief and guidance when confused; For those who celebrate new life, but who also face the call to parent; For those who are without necessities of life; For those who have no gospel witness in their own tongue and culture. This we pray, in the name that is above every naGod–Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We praise you at the opening of this day of days! me–even the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

Richard Herman


 

Jesus–Savior, Friend, and Lord: When we’re lost, confused and anxious–You are our Way. When we misunderstand–and are misunderstood, when we are lied to and lied about, and when we lie or believe the lies–You are the Truth. And when we feel drained of vitality, or afraid of death and dying–You are our Resurrection and the Life. 

You guide us, speak to us the Truth in love and You give us hope … always. For that we praise You, now and forever. And because of that, we come to You with all we are and aren’t, knowing You’ll help us, and those we care about. We pray for friends and loved ones who are ill or injured, recovering and recuperating: Mend their affected bodies. 

Quiet their anxious minds. And assure their fearful hearts; for You are our Great Physician. For those who grieve losses, recent or long past: Give them the gift of thanksgiving in good memories and positive influences. Cover any lingering hurts with Your love. And surround them with Your gift of peace, given in Your resurrection. 

For those in depression’s darkness–be the Light of their world. For those lacking life’s essentials–be the Giver of Bread; and move the hearts and hands of your people to express your care with love in action. For those whose relationships are strained, damaged or broken–be their Mediator and Reconciler, bring them back to their heavenly Father and to one another. 

We pray also for Your church–meeting today to worship joyfully under spreading trees in Africa, reverently in European cathedrals, hopefully in storefronts on the streets of cities in the Americas and even secretly enthusiastic in places where it’s a crime against the state to name Your name. Wherever we are–keep Your church faithful to the Truth you declare, loyal in the Way you give us to live, and joyful as we live for You. May we grow in our love for You and for one another, so that the world might know that You are our Lord, we are Your people …and that the same can be true for them, too. 

For your world–we pray the Gospel would be known from pole to pole, horizon to horizon; and that between nations: peace would overcome war, hope replace despair, love conquer hate, and understanding supplant suspicion. Now, for us here this morning–we pray for ears to hear Your voice to the glory of Your name, Jesus; for You are our Lord and Savior. Amen. 

Richard Herman


Father-God, our burden bearer; Jesus, God the Son and lover of our souls; Spirit of God–giver of life and power: Thank You! Thank You for those we love and those who love us. Thank You for mothers and fathers; for grandparents and siblings; for families and friends; and brothers and sisters in Jesus. 

Thank You for protection in moments of danger and Your leading in moments of decision. All good gifts come from Your hand–and we thank you! We are grateful, too, for Your invitation and promise to cast our cares on You because You care for us. 

So we place our burdens in Your arms–arms that are strong, arms that are good, arms that are loving. We pray for those for whom today is a mixed blessing: for those who miss their moms–separated by distance or death … and for those who miss their children. 

Comfort and encourage them. Give joy and gratitude in remembering; along with courage and peace through Your constant presence. For those who have wanted children–but not able to have them: hold their tender hearts in Your hand today. Reveal Your love in unique and wonderful ways. And where possible, in Your will, work a miracle of your grace. 

For those whose families have not been a source of joy but of hurt, of contention or painful separation: restore & redeem relationships, but not to the way they were–make them better than they were: stronger, more gracious and open, more centered in Your honest love, and built on the rock-strong truth of Your gospel. 

We ask You to comfort those whose grief is fresh this week–comforting by your presence and by the good news of life that overcomes death by Your death and gives us hope by Your resurrection. We ask You to heal those who are ill or injured, recuperating or in rehab–strengthen them in body and soul with Your peace, hope, and power. 

For our nation–we pray for Your leading and direction, and for our willingness to walk in Your ways rather than run on our own. Guide our leaders in righteous and just ways–making them godly, courageous, wise and just according to Your truth. We are wrong–correct us; where we are right, confirm us. 

For our world–we pray for peace to replace war, compassion to replace bitterness, justice to replace oppression, truth to overcome lies and for all to honor You one day soon. For this church–grant us gifts of hospitality, grace and confidence in the Gospel, which we can share with our community. Make us light, salt and leaven–giving hope in dark times, flavor and life at all times–to Your glory and the good of our neighbors. All this, and more, we pray in the name that is above every name–the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

Richard Herman