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  Prayers of the People/Intercession on Mercy

Sermon Illustrations on Mercy

You are our strength, Lord, we will love you, under the shadow of your wings, protect us. Jesus, son of David, have mercy on us, that you may open the eyes of our hearts. We shall call to you with the Canaanite widow, since our souls have been wounded. 

“Even the pups eat the scraps which fall from the lord’s table (Mt 15:27).” Speak, health of the world, and our souls shall be healed. Forgive the wickedness of our sin. If we touch the fringe of your garment, we shall be saved from our sins. Amen.

Modernized and adapted for Corporate Worship by Stuart Strachan Jr., Taken from “The Prayers of Moucan”, in Celtic Spirituality (Series: Classics of Western Spiritiuality) Trans., Oliver Davies, Paulist Press, 2000.


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