Prayers of the People/Intercession on Power

Sermon Illustration on Power

Inspired by Psalm 8

LORD our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth. You set Your glory above the heavens. We see your power in galaxies that spin in space, and see your care in the sparrows feeding in the snow. You are strong and You are good–therefore, we trust You, our heavenly Father. 

Hear our prayers, Lord. Hear our prayers for the world: 

For justice and freedom, protection and peace; 

For refugees: to have a place called “home” to live safely and without fear; 

To tsunami victims working to rebuild their lives give hope and help, persistence and grace. 

For leaders of nations–for our own president, legislators and judges: wisdom and courage, hearts after truth and a commitment to justice. 

For our own community: may we be even more committed to Your kingdom, loyal to its truth and demonstrating its ways, than we are to the local sports team. 

Hear our prayers, Lord. Hear our prayers for those in need: 

For the ill or injured, those recovering from surgery or preparing for it: 

We pray for healing and restoration, a lack of fear and a lot of patience; esp. for … (names) 

For those who mourn: we ask You to give them comfort and genuine peace in the resurrection. For those going through a dark valley of depression: hope–Your presence to encourage, Your word to assure. 

Hear our prayers, Lord. Hear our prayers for Your church: 

For Your global church: keep strong our brothers and sisters facing oppression and persecution. Encourage and protect missionaries declaring Your gospel. 

Spread Your Good News to every tribe and nation, language and culture so that all may know! For this local church–make us light and salt, 

Father, so that we will live and proclaim the Good News in a dark, dying and tasteless world. Strengthen our leadership and enable our followership. 

Show us Your calling and equip us to carry it out. Give us one heart, one loyalty, one vision–as we give ourselves to You: our One God! Hear our prayers, Lord–these prayers and more, as we join our voices together. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Richard Herman

Father God: It is sometimes hard for us to understand what You do. We are in trouble. We want You to come rescue us right now, like the cavalry riding over a hill or the Lone Ranger appearing out of no-where, when we cry out. Sometimes it feels like we cry and no-one’s there. Sometimes we’re stuck in a hole for what seems like a long, long time … and we’re tempted to think You don’t notice. 

Then, You come into our prison cell of despair or discouragement, arriving almost unnoticed … like You did with Paul in Corinth. You’re beside us; and You’ve given us brothers, sisters and friends who also stand with us. Somehow, You find a way.  

Somehow, You make a way. For that, we thank and praise You. So we know we can lean on You, that we can entrust our deepest hurts, anxieties and needs to You. We pray for our world spinning out of control. Hold it in the palm of Your right hand, Your nail-scarred hand. 

Breathe out Your Spirit, bringing hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, justice for the oppressed, courage to take Your path … and give Your grace and love to all. We pray for peace in places torn by strife and where tensions are running high. We come on behalf of Your people and Your missionaries in those places – protect, inspire, empower and encourage them. 

For our nation, sold out to the gods of power, lust and wealth set us free from bondage to gods we’ve made. Inspire our leaders to follow Your just ways, and give them courage to lead us in your ways. 

We also pray for those whose lives have been turned upside-down, keep them from despair, give them strength, provide help and support, and enable them to rebuild lives and homes. We also pray for loved ones we know by name and whom we hold in our hearts.  

We pray, in quiet, whispering the names of those who need your healing touch to body or soul … (silence). We quietly whisper names of loved ones who are with You, and of those who grieve wives and parents, children and friends today … (silence). 

We pray for neighbors and friends, trapped in a hamster cage running on the wheel going nowhere: making money at a job they hate, to pay for a big house and fill it with stuff, where they go to sleep late and get up early to go to work and make money to pay for the big house … and so on. Jesus, break open the cage; set them – and us – free as in the stillness we pray for them, whisper their names … (silence). 

Father, we also pray for ourselves.  We want to be different – but don’t know how.  We want to change – but lack strength to do it.  We know there’s much in us that must become something else – an attitude to change, a fear to let go of, a step to take, a person to forgive and one from whom we need to ask forgiveness.  Whatever it is, we ask in the quiet for You to touch us and heal us and to restore a relationship we now hold up to You … (silence) 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


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