Prayers of the People/Intercession on Politics

Sermon Illustrations on Politics

God of grace and God of glory on your people pour your power…Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of this hour.  Lord—we need You…today, tomorrow and forever.  We need you to heal those we love—we can’t do it.  We need you to restore the injured and cure the ill, to lift the depressed, to strengthen care-givers and give hope to all.  

We need you to comfort the grieving.  We need you to be a shoulder to lean on and arms that hold, to be ears that listen and eyes that cry with, and to be the one whose resurrection brings hope and solace.  

Lord, may your church be that ‘Body of Christ.’  Lord—We need you to act. We need you to revive your church and heal our land—we can’t do it.  We need to move, even to force, your people out of our safe enclaves and out into the world.  

Make us more like you—the friend of sinners, who came to seek and save the lost; going to them with love and grace, forgiveness and the good news of the Kingdom of God.  We need your help to do the same; and we need you to heal our land—divided between red and blue, rich and poor, native and immigrant, old and young, conservative and progressive.  

Bring us together not just in tragedy but unite us in righteousness, holiness and justice in answer to the prophet’s prayer to:“Let justice roll on like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”(Amos 5:24).  Lord—We need you to act.  

We need you to redeem and relieve our pain—we can’t do it.  There are those here today whose relationships dangle by a thread: with a distracted spouse, with a wayward child or distant siblings: bring honest and healthy reconciliation, Lord.  And lots of us are wrapped up in fear: fear from losing a job, fear of financial ruin in hard economic times; fear of test results and the fear of being found out.  

Our fears are eating us alive.  Lord—we need you to act. We can’t do it by ourselves.  And Lord—we need to hear your voice. We need to hear and believe the Gospel that changes us; and we need to hear your Word and do your will. We need you, Lord … in these and all things.  This is our desire.  This is our prayer.  Offered in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  AMEN

Richard Herman

Lord—you not only know all things… You notice all things.  You notice when we are joyful—and You laugh, too. You notice when we are in grief or despair—and you cry with us.  When we are alone or confused, anxious or discouraged—You notice us then, too; and you come alongside to guide, inspire and encourage us.  

So we know You can be trusted with anything that’s on our heart today.  For our nation, we pray, as we move closer to an election this fall.  Please enable us to discern the best, to see a person’s convictions and character through all the rhetoric, promises and appeals.  Make it possible for us to choose wisely those who’ll lead us; not because of mere self-interest nor driven by fear, prejudice or manipulation.  

Your best for us … that is our desire.  For Your world, we pray.  Empower Your gospel of reconciliation and Your missionary people so that those of every tribe and tongue, nation and race,would be drawn into Your kingdom, reconciled first to You and then to one another—to your glory and our peace.  

We pray, as well, for Your church—in such a nation as ours and such a world as this: May we be the Light of the World not hid under a bucket but out illuminating the darkness; and may we be the Salt of the Earth, not kept hidden in a salt-shaker but sprinkled about to flavor and preserve the world with Your compassion, truth and grace. 

Forgive us for hiding behind our walls of separation in our tight little holy groups—rather than being those who courageously go into all the world making disciples of all nations.  For those who are ill or injured today—we ask You to please heal them in body, heart, soul and spirit …to Your praise and their joy. 

For those who mourn, with grief that is fresh or lingering—we ask you to comfort them in the hope of the resurrection, and by the presence of Your Spirit. These are our prayers spoken, and you know the unspoken prayers of our hearts this day… we offer them all to You in the name above every name, Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman

You know all about us–our weakness, our failing, our sin; and you still love us enough to give your Son to redeem us. Hear the cries of our hearts today. There’s someone for whom it was hard to get out of bed today. They’re tired, discouraged or stressed out. It was an effort just to get here. Give them hope today: a light in the darkness, a whisper in the silence. 

There’s one for whom everything they touch comes apart: She’s having a hard time holding the marriage together; his project at work is going poorly; there’s a divide between him and his son, between her and her daughter; everything he touches turns to sawdust; and no matter what she does, she can’t get well. 

Come, Lord Jesus, come. Come and redeem the relationship. Take the lessons learned in failure and build a new life. Use the pain to create compassion. Create something delightful out of what feels like disaster. Restore what the devil has stolen; turn what was meant for evil to good. We pray on behalf of those who can’t pray for themselves. 

We pray for those afflicted in body or soul, who need your healing. Put your hand on them. Touch a mind that’s tormented; a body that’s ill or injured, a heart that’s broken. Restore them all. We ask your peace for families whose loved ones in the military paid the ultimate price, giving the last full measure of devotion, that we might live free and we ask your shield and protection for those still serving in harm’s way, especially in Iraq. 

We intercede for our nation; that as a country, we might find our moral bearings in you and your truth as we are tossed around by the winds of confusion and the waves of self-interest. This year, we’ll be awash in political rhetoric and posturing. Save us from those who’d give us image without substance, spin without conviction. 

Save us from putting our own interest ahead of the nation’s. Make us wise and discerning, that we might see your path and choose to walk in it. And we pray for your church in this land, that we might be salt and light, making a real difference; and for our church around the world. Encourage our missionaries. Protect them. Keep them faithful–and keep us faithful to them in prayer and in our support. This and more, we pray in the name of your Son and our Savior–Jesus Christ. Amen.

Richard Herman

God–our Father, Lord and indwelling Spirit of grace and power: Thank you for hearing us when we pray whether in songs of rejoicing or through tears of sorrow. Thank you for gifts–for the gifts of music; voices to sing, hands to play; ears to hear and hearts to give you praise. Thank you for the gift of our musicians–grant them creativity, joy and energy as they lead us to your throne in worship. 

Thank you for gifts of new life–in the birth of a child, the beginning of a marriage, the beginning of a relationship with you or in a coming back home to you. Thank you for a nation where we can worship freely; and on which we ask you to pour your Spirit of holiness and revival, truth and righteousness. 

Guide our nation’s leaders–our president, vice-president, representatives and senators, judges and officials. Show them your ways, give them strength to walk in them and courage necessary to lead us in Your paths. 

Protect our young men and women serving the military around the globe–may they serve with honor and grace. [And, through the coming election, raise up men and women of integrity and wisdom, truth and justice, people who are after your own heart, to lead us.] 

Thank you for your church. Thank you for opportunities to encourage one another, serve one another, forgive one another and work alongside one another in sharing your love and truth with neighbors and friends around the corner and around the world. Give elders wisdom and grace as they lead; deacons, compassion and energy as they serve; and give trustees faith and courage as they guide fiscally. Give us all your love, grace and care to share day by day when we are scattered as well as when we are together. 

And bless the church around the world, this day gathered in a storefront in urban America, under a tin roof in Africa, a tent in Asia, and under a tree in South America; in a cathedral in Europe or a mission church in Mexico–show your mighty presence, empower the gospel witness and change the world one man, woman and child at a time. 

Thank You, Lord, for caring enough to heal those who are sick or recovering from surgery, and for protecting and curing those who will have surgery this week. Thank you for the good news of life over death, resurrection over crucifixion, and hope over despair–for we can then pray with confidence that you comfort those who mourn. 

Finally, we thank you for the gospel–the Good News of new life in Christ Jesus for all who trust in Him. Thank you for our preacher who proclaims the gospel–and for the opportunity we have to hear, believe and receive it for ourselves. All this–and more–we pray, with thanks and praise, in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen. 

Richard Herman

God of grace–generous Giver of all good gifts: You bless us abundantly every day—In Your Son our Savior who makes us new creations; in the smile of child, the greeting of a friend and the hug of a loved one; in shared laughter, tears, words of encouragement and words of discipline. You’ve met so many of our basic life needs for warm shelter, food and clothing; and for many of us in this room–you even bless us at the point of our desires. 

We are a very blessed people! We want to be a grateful people and a caring people. Help us, Lord! Help us, Lord, when we’ve lost our way–guide us. Help us, Lord, when we’re discouraged–give us hope. Help us, Lord, when we’re anxious and worried–give us peace. Help us,Jesus …and those we love, when we are sick or hurt, when we are looking ahead to surgery or recovering from it–heal us, Lord. 

Help us, Jesus, when we grieve a loss …the loss of a loved one to death, the loss of a job to downsizing, the loss of a relationship when a friend moves or when we have a disagreement. When it’s a loss we must accept–help us to mourn well, as those who have hope and comfort in the resurrection; and when it’s a loss we can recover–help us to do the hard work of reconciliation, restoration or renewal. 

Help us, Father–to see the world as You see it, and care as you care. Help all those who name the name of Jesus in difficult places like Sudan, China, Indonesia or Cuba; like India, Iraq, Egypt or Israel. Protect them. Keep them faithful. Give them courage to speak the Truth of the gospel and to live the truth of the Gospel. 

Help those who continue to serve in the military–shield them with your power and support them with your love. Help us as a nation, Lord–guiding our president and vice-president. Enable us to heal divides widened in the recent campaigns and return us to paths of holiness, truth, grace and gratitude. All this, and more, we pray in the precious name of Jesus our Lord. Amen. 

Richard Herman

God of Grace–Father, Son and Holy Spirit: You are good. You are strong. And, You are loving.  Therefore, we trust You–even as we often are people with trust issues who live in a world that has trust issues. But You alone—are worthy of our faith and trust. You are faithful … wise … and just; and You invite us to come to You with our hopes and hurts, our disappointments and dreams … and we do.  

There are close friends, family, and acquaintances of ours in need of healing and encouragement today. We lift them to You because we can’t do it. Make the sick well; aid the recovering; strengthen the weak; and mend the injured. Give care-givers what they need to be able to help.  There are others who are grieving today—as we all do some time.  Comfort them with Your love in the presence of those who care. Give them Your restorative peace, and fill them with hope.  

Lord, we have made this world a scary place in many ways—and we feel powerless to do anything: but You can. So we pray that You will. There’s turmoil in our own land—maybe especially swirling around our nation’s capital. Give leaders wisdom beyond their own to find a way. Grant them the grace and humility to overcome petty partisan pride in order to move forward for the common good of country. Give them courage to do what is right rather than just what is politically expedient;… show us the way, Lord. Show us the way.  

In the world-wide church: strengthen Your people to serve others, to give a clear testimony to your love and Good News, and to face opposition and persecution with perseverance and grace. Encourage those who serve in mission. Empower those who minister, preach and teach.  Enable our missionaries to serve with creativity, imagination, and love so that more may be brought into Your kingdom of light and love.  

For this church … for us … enable us to likewise live faithfully, serve faithfully and devotedly share the Gospel in word and deed with our families, neighbors and friends.  Meet our financial needs and raise up volunteer servants.  All this, and more, we pray in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. AMEN

Richard Herman