Prayers of the People/Intercession on Patience

Sermon Illustrations on Patience

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

God of wonder and strength, compassion, grace and love–all of which we see revealed through the power of a storm and its aftermath: You’re so big–and we’re so small. Your might is unlimited–ours is finite. Your patience lasts–ours quickly fades. Your purposes can’t be frustrated–we are frustrated a lot. 

Coming face-to-face with our limited wisdom, abilities and resources (as we have this week), we turn to You, for Whom there are no such limits, to ask: Lord, help us. For those battling sickness or amid a lengthy rehabilitation, recuperation or recovery, for all who need healing of body, soul and mind; we pray–Help them, Lord. 

For those who grieve, whose lives are turned upside down and need the comfort and encouragement of Your presence and peace, for those whose names we know; we pray–Help them, Lord. For those fighting their way out of addictions that have bound them for too long to a bottle or needle, to pornography or food, even to work or pleasure; we pray–Help them, Lord. 

For teachers and students, staff and administrators, school bus drivers and parents, as schools open and classes resume, as relationships are formed and learning continues, give discerning spirits, renewed minds, positive attitudes, searching hearts, that when any truth is taught or grasped it’s Your truth that’s taught or grasped; we pray–Help them, Lord. 

For scared parents holding their first child in their arms, or scared parents sending their child off to college, for couples discovering the gifts of being married for the first time or empty-nesters rediscovering one another, we thank You and also pray–Help them, Lord. For our nation and for its leaders–our president, vice-president, legislators and judges; for those any who govern and lead, protect and assist, for all who need guidance in decisions, who need courage for acting, who need to be able to admit mistakes and celebrate successes, we pray–Help them, Lord. 

For us as Your church, trying to do the best we can to show your love to the world but who sometimes struggle with a neighbor next door or even in the pew next to us; for pastors and staff, elders and deacons, trustees, teachers, youth leaders and all who try to be faithful in our giving, our serving, our living and caring in Your name–Help us, Lord. 

And now, for our preacher who wants to declare Your truth with clarity, compassion and conviction, and we who listen desiring to receive, believe and live that same truth, we pray–Help us, Lord. For it’s in Your name, Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman