Prayers of the People/Intercession on Light

Opening Prayers

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, 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 young men and women far from home this Thanksgiving week, serving in harm’s way for our nation and our world–protect them, encourage them and sustain them by your strength when their strength waivers. 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 Jesus–You’ve come, are coming and will come again. Whether we know it or not, we live on the edge of Your advent every moment of every day either with anticipation or with anxiety. As if stumbling along a dark path in a thick forest, with only a flashlight at our feet, we see so little … while You see everything, being Yourself the Light of the World. 

That’s why we put our hands in Yours, follow where You lead us and give to You all the people and experiences that lay beyond our ability to see clearly and our strength to act. In a world tainted by terrorists, we pray for hostages and families in tense hours of waiting. 

Protect captives and soften the hearts of their captors. Comfort families and encourage their loved ones. We pray also for young men and women who put their lives on the line, asking Your protection and strength. 

Where people are ravaged by AIDS–overseas and in our backyards–make us compassionate and make Yourself known as the Healer and Comforter. Where poverty breeds hopelessness, where hunger causes desperation, where addictions bind the soul and dull the mind, where unemployment saps initiative, where ignorance destroys opportunity–come Lord! Come with Your compassion and grace, with your strength and love, with Your truth and justice. 

Through Your Holy Spirit, move Your people to be Your ears that listen,Your hands that serve, Your voice that advocates,Your feet that enter in, and Your arms that love. Where families grieve–comfort them with your peace and your presence as the Resurrection and the Life. 

Where loved ones are fighting illness, recovering from injury, anticipating surgery–heal them in Your power and love. 

Where birth makes two people parents and baptism calls them to care for the children–give grace, wisdom, love and all the fruit of Your Spirit and especially patience. Wherever we are tempted to trivialize Your incarnation as a child in Bethlehem, an adolescent in Nazareth, and an adult who had no home to call His own …who came to died that we be redeemed: Remind us of Your great love and compassion. Remind us that Christmas red is the crimson blood shed for us and Christmas green is the evergreen of eternal life. This we pray in Your name, Lord Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman

Gracious God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit: You are the light of life, the One who speaks light into darkness and gives us hope like the rising sun as night gives way to morning.  

With the light of joy: we thank you for grace that saves us eternally and grace that brings small miracles each and every day.  Into Your healing light we lift those in need of restoration and cure this day.  Into the light of your comfort and peace, we lift those who mourn this day.  

With the light of faith and hope: we pray for the peace of Jerusalem; for peace between Israeli and Palestinian.  Shield our service men and women in places torn by war.  Provide for those affected by drought and storm, by a lack of food, clean water, and a safe place to live.  Protect the children.  Strengthen our brothers and sisters who live and serve in places hostile to the gospel of the Lord Jesus.  

Guide, direct and empower our national, state and local leaders…our president, vice president, senators and representatives and those who serve in the courts of law–may they know Your way and lead us in truth and righteousness.  

With the Light of Gospel: enable your Church to be the lighted city on a hill, salt and light—giving hope, showing compassion, speaking truth with love to all.  This is our prayer—offered in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  AMEN

Richard Herman