Prayers of the People/Intercession on Longing

Calls to Worship on Longing

Lord, Teacher, Savior, Friend: We need Your grace, which forgives our sins; Your truth, which anchors our lives; Your presence, which calms our fears; Your call, which gives us purpose; Your hope, which overcomes our despair; and Your love, which satisfies our deepest longings. We need You. We need you to do what we can’t: for You are strong and You are good, and we are not. Jesus: Heal our friends and loved ones. Heal their bodies. Save their souls. Lift their discouraged and depressed spirits. Calm their troubled minds and tossing emotions. We pray especially today for…Rebuild crumbling homes and families. Lay a strong foundation in Your Truth. Fill them with the light of Your Grace. Warm them with the fire of Your Spirit. Enable each person to say, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you.” 

Make our homes, marriages and families models of your love so that others may see Your gospel lived out and we may know joy in right relationships. We pray for our world: Where there’s fighting, bring peace. Protect those who seek to promote peace, and who serve as agents of justice. 

Empower Your people to live the gospel of peace, to be reconcilers between peoples, and between persons and You as Savior and Lord. We pray for our nation: Send the cleansing fire of your Holy Spirit. Call us to righteousness and away from immorality. Guide us in ways of truth. Judge our sin and our leading others into sin. 

Make us a holy nation. Forgive us by Your grace and lead us in Your ways. We intercede for our leaders: Nationally: for our President, Vice-President, Senators & Representatives; Justices and Judges; Locally: or freeholders and township officials, for those on school boards and other public servants; And for our church: for it’s pastors, and staff, its elders, deacons, trustees, teachers and volunteers. 

May all know your strength to serve,Your wisdom to teach and lead, Your courage to do what’s right, Your grace when they stray and Your truth to return them to Your way. Now, we pray for our preacher:May we hear Your voice in his/hers. What is not of You–may we forget immediately. What is of You–may we always remember. And when we Hear You, may we follow where You lead. This we pray, in Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

Richard Herman

Good and Gracious God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: we come to You as an impatient people filled with a multitude of desires and needs. We yearn for simple things–the arrival of warm weather, enough time for friends or family, a feeling of competence in our workplaces, the ability to have a day of simple rest. 

We also have desires that are more complex–that our national leaders would work for the common good, that the nations of the world would cooperate, that war would be no more, that children would be loved and valued, that women throughout the world would be treated as equal persons under the laws of any nation or village or tribe, that hunger and poverty would be eradicated. 

So, we ask, O God, that You would pour out Your grace this day on each one of us, that You remind us of Your love, and that You would replace any despair with the power of love. Today we rejoice with all who rejoice–in the birth of a child, the healing of relationships, financial provision, health restored, an opportunity for meaningful work…for all Your good gifts to us each day, we give You thanks and praise. 

We also weep with those who weep, asking that You would comfort those who grieve. We also pray for those who are ill or struggling with chronic conditions. We ask You to provide work for the unemployed. We pray for those who have no place to call “home” and for those in prison, for those with too little and for those with too much. 

We even pray for those we would call our enemies and ask for the gift of forgiving hearts. Lord, we see the Bible stories of mighty warriors contrasted with the peace Jesus brings. We wish there was no need for fighting, no need for defending, but we live in a fallen world. We long for the day where there will be no more fighting, no more sickness and no more tears. Until then, Lord, we thank you for those who have stood in harm’s way and who have given their lives to defend others. We ask that You bring comfort to the families of those who have lost loved ones while serving. We remember, as well, those who face struggles of any kind and thank you for all who step in to make a difference. 

For those who fight their battles alone, bring hope and help them find the support they need. If we are to be the ones to step into that gap, strengthen us. As well, today, we thank You for those who have gone before us in faith: especially those who conceived of a vision to build this place of worship where, year after year, scripture has been proclaimed, anthems have been sung, loved ones have been commended to your care, children received their first Bibles, couples have spoken their vows, your people have been transformed and commissioned and sent out. 

We pray You would enable us all to look to You for strength, comfort, and guidance. Grant us wisdom from your mind, courage from Your heart, and loving protection by Your hand…this day and always. We’ve been blessed, dear God, to share in this family of faith; and we humbly ask for Your guidance into the future for years to come. We pray these prayers in the name of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman