fbpx

  Prayers of the People/Intercession on Love

Sermon Illustrations on Love

O God,

whom we cannot love unless we love our neighbors,

remove hate and prejudice from us and from all people,

so that your children may be reconciled

with those we fear, resent, or threaten;

and live together in your peace;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Let us pray for those who govern us.

[Silent prayer]

 

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,

we, your unworthy servants, give you humble thanks

for all your goodness and loving-kindness

to us and to all whom you have made.

We bless you for our creation, preservation,

and all the blessings of this life,

but above all for your immeasurable love

in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,

for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.

And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies

that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,

not only with our lips, but in our lives,

by giving up ourselves to your service,

and by walking before you

in holiness and righteousness all our days,

through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,

be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer


Triune God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit: our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer; you created, redeemed, and sustain all who call on Your name in any language, place and time.  We come to you as Lord of all … and our Lord …with thanks for the life of grace you give us as we live amidst this tumultuous world.  

Where fear grips us—give us faith to overcome fear; and give us love—Your perfect love—to cast out fear.  For those who are sick—give them Your best: healing, strength, good help, and hope.  

For those who grieve—comfort them with your presence, and with the love of Your people, in the joyous expectation of resurrection life in You.  For our nation: we ask you to raise up leaders who will bring out the best in us and who can further the cause of righteousness, justice and truth for all… not just for some.  

And for Your church—for this church: We want to be compassionate toward the poor, as you are.  We want to declare the Gospel, as you call us.  We want to be bold and courageous in our living it, as your Spirit gifts and empowers us.  Help us, Lord, to be more like You. 

Lord: hear our prayers—those spoken and those left unspoken, for we offer them all in the name above every name, the name of Jesus.  AMEN

Richard Herman


God, our Father: Your love gives us more than we can ever hope for, and far beyond what we deserve. You clothe us in the righteousness of Christ. You give us dreams and visions of what we can become by Your grace, power and in Your will; and You work in mysterious ways to make them happen.

As Your beloved children, we dare come boldly to ask You to hear the cries of our souls and the prayers of our hearts: We pray for our world, torn by hatred, suspicion and fear. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the land of Jesus. We pray for those who name the name of Christ Jesus there – whether Jew, Arab or Palestinian. Protect them. Encourage them. Enable them to shine like lights in a dark place. We pray for our brothers and sisters in difficult places –Be their rock and refuge, their constant companion  and their source of strength. 

We also pray for our own land. Enable us to walk a higher path as a nation – walking in Your ways of humility and truth, justice and compassion, grace and righteousness.  Guide our leaders and protect those who serve in uniform, near and far. 

We pray Your comfort for those who have lost loved ones and now walk the road of grief; may they sense your presence alongside them on the way; especially we pray for … We pray for those who face surgery, for those who are ill or injured, and those who are recuperating, at home or in a hospital – heal them in body and soul.  

We especially pray for …

And we pray for our church.  May we be a shining example of Your kingdom.   May we be a family to those who are alone, a hospital for those who are hurting, a community of sinners forgiven that extends Your gospel and grace to other sinners and to one another. All this, and what still remains tucked deeply within our hearts, we pray, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

Richard Herman


Gracious and loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We praise you for how wide, how high, and how deep is Your vast love for all people. Incarnate in Jesus, You offered Your life for the healing of the world through the forgiveness of all our sins. Your arms outstretched on the cross embrace us all as Your love transcends our divisions and differences. 

Breaking out of the tomb, You broke the powers that bind us and released us to live new and free. Your wide and welcoming love for all challenges us. Forgive us when we find it hard to forgive others. Teach us how to value and respect one another. Give us the necessary strength and courage to reach beyond ourselves. 

To those who are unfamiliar, and even those we find disagreeable: Make us a safe place in a dangerous world, a people in which Your Hope lives, Your Love welcomes, Your Compassion restores and Your Grace lifts all who are downcast. We pray for our deeply divided world: for peace in all lands that are war torn or threatening violence or retribution. We pray for those affected by the racism that injures us all. 

We pray that our state and federal officials can find ways to work effectively across partisan lines, valuing the common good above all else. We continue to lift up to You those who mourn, whether their grief is fresh or lingering. We pray for the ill and injured of this community and congregation. 

Heal body, soul, mind and spirits … and strengthen caregivers. All these things we lift up to You, our loving God, confident that You hear our prayers and care for us in all seasons of our lives. Now, Jesus Christ, Son of David, have mercy upon us. Amen. 

Richard Herman


God—Father, Son and Spirit; You are a God of compassion and love. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, we’ve known Your love, and experienced Your care and provision. Repeatedly You’ve answered our prayers and met our needs—often in ways we never imagined possible. So, because we’ve known Your love, we come to You with confidence, offering our prayers for the world You love. 

We pray for the many who don’t have enough: not enough food to eat, or shelter to keep warm; not enough employment, or money to pay their bills; not enough medicine or medical care. We also pray for those who have more than enough, but still struggle to find meaning and purpose in life; who indulge in dangerous or self-serving activities to dull their pain or loneliness. 

We look around and see so much pain and suffering; so much anger, frustration and despair–near and far. We pray for the regions of our world caught up in violence and uncertainty. We also pray for those caught up in conflicts as well as the victims of gun violence in our own land. 

We pray for those who live with serious illness, those with chronic pain, those without access to proper medical care, those for whom treatment is no longer an option, those whose names we don’t know and those whose names we know and particularly on our hearts today. We pray as well for all who grieve today—for those who mourn loved one lost to sickness, for those whose loss is recent and fresh, for those whose loss still lingers though long past, for those whose loss was thrust upon them suddenly, and for those who knew it was coming but it still hurts. 

We pray for your church, Lord Jesus—the Church global and the church local. Enable us to be your faithful disciples as Your grace and love leads us. You call us to live as citizens of heaven, working together with one heart and mind. Strengthen us to live in a manner worthy of the Good News we’ve received, offering our lives in service to Your kingdom, where the last are first, and the first are last, and there is grace enough for any and everyone. 

Give us courage to follow faithfully, and with integrity—with actions that bear witness to the words we speak, and worship that overflows into our daily tasks and relationships—so that our lives will bring glory and honor to You, our Redeemer and Lord. AMEN

Richard Herman


 

Gracious God of love–Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We are grateful that You’ve revealed yourself to us, telling us that each of us are loved by You as children, each precious in Your sight, each a reflection of You, each bound together by love, which is Your presence among us. We come to you, O God, weary and carrying heavy burdens. 

Some of us bear the yoke of illness–and so we lift to you our needs for healing, and for others in need of being made well. Some of us, as caregivers, bear the yoke of caring for those who can’t care for themselves: enable us to not grow weary in well-doing, continuing to love and serve with our compassion. 

Some of us bear a yoke of loss and grief–comfort all who grieve with Your presence and love as expressed through we who bear the name of Christ. Compassionate God: there are other yokes, too. For some of us bear the yoke of unemployment or underemployment; some of us bear the yoke of hunger; some of us bear the yoke of homelessness; some of us bear the yoke of violence; some of us bear the yoke of anger; some of us bear the yoke of loneliness; some of us bear the yoke of depression; some of us bear the yoke of addiction. 

Free us from these and other yokes, dear God, as …we pray for rest; we pray for healing; we pray for release; and we pray for wholeness. This week we recognize that our nation also bears many burdens: we don’t trust our leaders; we can’t find ways to work together for the common good; we allow the least among us to suffer and languish; we lose our children to endless conflicts and wars; we fixate on what divides us rather than on what unites us as one people. Remind us this week of our calling. 

Remind us of our common creed that all people are created equal. Inspire us to ensure that all of your children enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Help us to be profoundly grateful for our freedom and security, to never take these gifts for granted, and to use them for the betterment of all. God of all life, may peace and justice fill our land and, indeed, the whole world. We pray today for escalating tension and violence in the world…and for places around the globe where people are victimized, where safety is threatened, where freedoms are denied, where life is treated as anything less than sacred. Gracious God, grant us the yoke of Christ, binding us together, tethered by your love, guided by your presence, bringing your kingdom into this world. It is for this kingdom that we now pray. Amen.

Richard Herman


God of love—Father, Son and Holy Spirit: You loved us before we ever knew You. Give us such a deep love for You, that we can see the world as You see it, feel the compassion You feel, and be a people whose lives facilitate Your love to others. So open our eyes that we might see what the Good Samaritan saw. 

Grant us the insight to see the need in others, the wisdom to know what to do, and the will to do it. Therefore, we pray for all those, who in many and various ways, have been stripped, beaten and left for dead; for those devastated by natural disasters; for those whose lives were irrevocably changed by a mass shooting, or other act of terrorism. We pray for children who must grow up in the most awful of circumstances, especially for those starved of love, or food, or shelter or security. 

May they receive the future you have planned for them. We pray for those we might cross the road to avoid; who’ve been excluded socially because of their race, their financial status, or their history. May the dignity that is theirs be restored to them. 

We pray for those whose needs we would rather not face up to, because it requires action from us, those who suffer atrocities because of war, unjust trade rules, or oppressive governments. May the world truly see their suffering and what causes it… and justice be done. 

Open our eyes, that we might not cross the road from human need. Give us a deep love for You, that we might see Your love at work in this world, and that we might “go and do likewise.” With eyes wide open to Your love and grace, we humbly ask You to hear our prayers for those 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 pray for your hand of blessing to be upon all those on our prayer list…We also ask you to bless those we now name before you in the silence of our hearts… and we ask You to strengthen their caregivers. 

Jesus, please 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. 

Lord Jesus, we pray for Your church around the world: that You’ll 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. Strengthen this congregation in its work and worship. Fill hearts with Your self-giving love; enable voices to speak Your praise; and bring lives into conformity to the image of your Son, Jesus our Lord. Amen. 

Richard Herman


God–Creator of the universe, Redeemer of humanity, Sustainer of your people, and our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. 

You hold the galaxies in the palm of your hand–and yet You know each of us by name, is beyond our conceiving or understanding. You love all who You’ve made in Your image: and You love each of us individually. That’s why we praise You! That’s why we love You. That’s why we trust You. 

We trust You to heal our friends and loved ones who are sick or injured, anticipating surgery or recuperating; and we ask You to give strength and grace to their care-givers. We trust You to comfort the grieving, be a companion to the lonely, encourage the disheartened, empower those whose strength is failing and free those imprisoned by addiction or depression. 

We trust You to love those who feel like they’ve never been loved …and pour out Your love through us, though not only in words. Move us to action, push us to express Your love in deeds of kindness, in risky compassion and intervention, in giving our very selves to others and in meeting the needs they have for even food, shelter, clothing and protection. We trust You to bless the work of missionaries who openly live the Gospel each day, who boldly share the Gospel in word and action, and who persevere for the gospel in the face of opposition or indifference. 

And we trust you to guide and direct us as a congregation–that we might please You in all we do. Make us a community, known by its love for you and one another, which causes the Gospel to be attractive to a watching world. Enable us to do the hard work of love with one another, that the world may know us as Yours, and that they may come to see You as Lord of all and their Lord. This we pray in Jesus’ name. 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


Lord–Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Thank You that there’s no place we can hide from Your Spirit, no place we can flee from Your presence. We can’t go beyond the reach of Your love, nor out-distance the strength of Your power. 

Therefore, we feel safe coming to You with all that plagues us in the daytime and keeps us awake at night. In a world constantly plagued by wars and the rumors of war, where prejudice, hatred and suspicion pit peoples-against-peoples, and nation-against-nation: we dare to pray for peace–real peace, with understanding. 

Hasten the day when swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, when we will study war no more, and, instead, desire to know You and live according to Your kingdom values & ways. 

As a nation that plays at church when it’s convenient or expedient, and one that makes a religion of playing games, seeking pleasure and holding power–we need a revival! Pour out Your Spirit–Your Holy Spirit. 

Make us ashamed of our sin and give us a hunger for what is good and right, just and true. May righteousness and holiness, compassion and justice, mark this land from the White House, capitol and courts, right down to our houses, town halls and courtrooms. 

And make Your church–through local congregations like this one–to be like leaven to influence the moral and social climate of our communities, like light to bring lost and lonely people out of darkness and set them free with the gospel, and like salt to make people thirst for the pure, living water of Jesus and the Spirit. 

And may Your church always look beyond its own walls–to care, love and minister Your gospel grace locally and globally. We pray as well for our friends and loved ones who are ill or injured, who are recovering from surgery or who are confronting mental illness–we ask You to heal them fully and completely. 

Restore them that You would be glorified in them and through them. We ask You to comfort those who mourn, to reconcile those who are separated one from another either relationally, emotionally or physically; and to guide those who are lost or confused. 

Give hope to the hopeless, courage to the fearful, companionship to the lonely and strength to the weak. Meet us all at the point of our deepest need with Your greatest resource–Your own presence! So, all this, and more that still lies deep within our hearts, we pray in Jesus’ precious name. AMEN

Richard Herman


God of all mercies, Father Jesus and our Father–You know us intimately … and you still love us immensely. Therefore, we come confident of your welcoming embrace, your gracious attention and your loving action responding to our needs … and those we care about. We pray, therefore, …For those who are ill or injured, who are recovering from or anticipating surgery this week. We ask for you to heal them, Lord; to arrest advancing cancers, to heal torn tendons and broken bones; to clean out infections and knit together new knees with natural bone and sinew. 

Clear congested lungs and hearts, Lord. Cure flu. Lift flagging spirits and encourage tired care-givers. For the ones who mourn today, for whom grief is fresh, personal and real: we ask you to comfort them, Lord. 

Comfort them with Your presence and the power of Your resurrection. Surround them with your people to lend a hand to help, a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. For the lonely–that you provide a companion, a friend, and the presence of your Holy Spirit as the Comforter. For the addicted–that You will set them free from their self-made prison. 

For the poor–that you provide safety, sustenance and shelter; and that you would grant justice for victims of injustice, and hope to those without it. For our nation–may we be and become “one nation, under God, “where there is truly “liberty and justice for all.” Make us wise people and good stewards of blessings you’ve bestowed on this land. 

Guide our leaders in your ways that are holy, true and just; give them courage to both walk in those ways and lead us in paths of righteousness. And for your church–in this country, and around the world: make us light in a dark world–living lives of love and grace, holiness and truth. Keep us faithful when it’s easier to give in and become like everybody else. 

And where it’s not just hard, but dangerous, to be a believer, we pray for you to protect our brothers and sisters and keep them loyal to the gospel. This all–and more that’s still unspoken–we pray in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Richard Herman


Thank You, Lord, for the gifts of life, of love and of care that come from You, wrapped in our moms and step-moms, in our grand-moms, great-grandmas, daughters, sisters, and aunts. 

We’re grateful for the good gifts they’ve given us …The lessons taught and learned. The hugs shared and tears shed with us. The late nights and early mornings given in love. The faithful life shown and the gospel-told. Thank You Jesus for these special women in our lives.

Why are we so blessed while others are alone–who’ve lost a mother’s love to diseases like AIDS, to divorce, to distance or death? Comfort those whose table will have an empty chair where a mom sat last Mother’s Day; and those who still feel a loss after many years.

For all our loved ones who are ill-by Your grace, we pray for healing and wholeness to ….

For all who mourn–by Your grace, we pray for comfort; whether the grief is fresh or lingering.

For marriages, once good and strong but now disintegrating–by Your grace, we pray for understanding, reconciliation and restoration.

For alienated kids–by Your grace, enable them to come home.

For our world, so full of hatred and war–by Your grace, we pray for peace and hope.

For your church—often too much like the world—by Your grace, we pray for You to set us free, to make us more like you and less like the world, to make us a pure light that shines in the dark world like stars on a clear, dark night.

We pray this all, in Your name. AMEN

Richard Herman