Prayers of the People/Intercession on Presence

Calls to Worship on Presence

God of Grace and Power—our Friend, who sticks closer than a brother: You know when we screw up …and You know when we manage to get it right. You know when we forget you … but You never forget us.You know when we’re weak, for then You are strong.Today—because of Your grace, we can come to You just as we are, not as we aren’t nor even as we might pretend to be. 

Because of Your power, we know You can do what we can’t. So, we humbly ask you to hear us as we pray for those who are 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 ask You to sustain those who need Your healing touch; please… restore the wounded and make the sick whole and strengthen their caregivers. Please, Lord, 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. 

We also ask that You hear the cries of the world’s hungry and suffering–and answer them. Give us, who consume so much of the world’s resources, the righteous will to reorder our lives so all may have a rightful share of food, water, medical care, and shelter, and have what they need to live a life of dignity. Lord, we ask that You guide rulers and leaders of all nations. 

Move them to set aside fear, greed, and vain ambition, and to bow toYour gracious and sovereign rule. 

Inspire them to strive for peace and justice, so all people may dwell securely, free of war and injustice. For our nation, we ask You to renew us in the ways of godliness and grace, justice and peace. Guide those who make and administer our laws to build a society based on trust, respect and faith inYou.

Erase prejudice that oppresses. Give all our citizens a new vision of a life of harmony that reflects Your eternal kingdom. Lord, we pray for Your church around the world: that You’d 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. And strengthen us in 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.

Richard Herman

Lord, Teacher, Savior, Friend: We need Your grace, which forgives our sins; Your truth, which anchors our lives; Your presence, which calms our fears; Your call, which gives us purpose; Your hope, which overcomes our despair; and Your love, which satisfies our deepest longings. We need You. 

We need you to do what we can’t: for You are strong and You are good, and we are not. Jesus: Heal our friends and loved ones. Heal their bodies. Save their souls. Lift their discouraged and depressed spirits. Calm their troubled minds and tossing emotions.

We pray especially today for…Rebuild crumbling homes and families. Lay a strong foundation in Your Truth. Fill them with the light of Your Grace. Warm them with the fire of Your Spirit. 

Enable each person to say, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you.” Make our homes, marriages and families models of your love so that others may see Your gospel lived out and we may know joy in right relationships. We pray for our world: Where there’s fighting, bring peace. Protect those who seek to promote peace, and who serve as agents of justice. 

Empower Your people to live the gospel of peace, to be reconcilers between peoples, and between persons and You as Savior and Lord. We pray for our nation: Send the cleansing fire of your Holy Spirit. Call us to righteousness and away from immorality. Guide us in ways of truth. Judge our sin and our leading others into sin. Make us a holy nation. Forgive us by Your grace and lead us in Your ways. We intercede for our leaders: Nationally: for our President, Vice-President, Senators & Representatives; Justices and Judges; Locally: or freeholders and township officials, for those on school boards and other public servants; And for our church: for it’s pastors, and staff, its elders, deacons, trustees, teachers and volunteers. 

May all know your strength to serve,Your wisdom to teach and lead, Your courage to do what’s right, Your grace when they stray and Your truth to return them to Your way. Now, we pray for our preacher:May we hear Your voice in his/hers. What is not of You–may we forget immediately. What is of You–may we always remember. And when we Hear You, may we follow where You lead. This we pray, in Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

Richard Herman

Lord God Almighty: our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer: There is no place where You are absent. There is no corner of our world that’s hidden from You. There is nothing about us You do not know, no actions that surprise You, no thoughts that are mysterious to You, and no attitudes that shock You. You know all about us and You love us. 

And there is nothing that concerns us about which You are apathetic. Therefore, confident in Your love and strength, we come to You with our hope and heartaches. We pray for those who are ill or injured, hospitalized and homebound, anticipating surgery or recuperating. May Your blessing of healing be upon them. 

Take away anxiety that can overwhelm and replace it with peace, patience and trust in You. Encourage families. Strengthen caregivers. We pray today especially for…For those who grieve–we pray for comfort and courage. For the discouraged–we pray that You will bring a friend alongside to share the burden. 

For the unemployed or underemployed–we pray for meaningful work and patience in the search, for opportunities to help others, and the strong love of a supportive family. For those who are alone–we pray for companionship. 

For those in families–we pray love for one another, wisdom in difficult moments, patience in trying times and the grace to forgive each other, always. For this church–we pray for young people on retreat, for those who serve in leadership as elders, deacons …for those who teach, who serve meals, who sing …may we know You more and may You be glorified in all. 

For our nation–we pray for Your Holy Spirit to bring about justice and righteousness, to give our leaders wisdom to know Your way and the courage to lead us in it, and to guide our president, vice-president,our legislators and justices. And we pray for the world 

… Your world–that where there is war, You will bring peace; where there is hunger, You will provide food; and where there is poverty, that You will give resources to sustain and grow life, that where there is evil, You will bring good; and where there is no witness to the Gospel of Christ, that you will send Your missionaries and sustain those who name Your name that they might stay strong. Now we pray for our preacher. All, and more, we pray in the strong name of Jesus. Amen.

Richard Herman

God of the heavens and the earth, Giver of sun and showers, wind and calm: 

We praise You for Your grace and power, Your beauty, grace and care. You sustain us daily, and encourage us constantly. Thank You that there’s no season of life when You’re not present with us: You’re there at our birth. You celebrate passages through baptism and commissioning, graduations, weddings, retirements and funerals. 

We lean on you when we’re weak, weep with You when we’re heartbroken, and laugh with You when we’re joyful. All life is lived and experienced in Your presence. You care about each moment we live and each anxiety we feel. So, we can ask You, in Your grace, to…Heal those who are sick, injured and recuperating–heal hurt bodies, wounded souls and discouraged spirits. 

Comfort the mourning, as they feel the loss of being separated from loved ones or any other loss. Find the lost–those whose relationships are so broken that they’re estranged and distant, those who’ve wandered far from Your love and separate from Your Church–and bring them home … all of the lost. 

Protect the innocent: the children, the unborn, the poor, the abandoned and the abused. Surround them with Your love and open the doors of Your kingdom and of Your church to them. Guide our nation’s leaders–giving wisdom, courage and grace to our president, vice-president, congressmen and senators. 

Restore the soul of our land, humble our boastful pride, cleanse our sullied character and make us righteous, conformed to Your character and will. And we pray for Your church. Thwart personal and political agendas, and advance the cause of Your gospel. Make the church to be a light on a hill, a lamp shining in the darkness and salt, flavoring and preserving a community and a nation with Your truth, love and life. This we pray, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.  

Richard Herman

Gracious and faithful God–our Creator, Redeemer and Comforter: 

When we don’t know the way–You show us the way; and when we can’t find a way–You make a way. Thank you! 

Thank you for Your gift of a Savior–not a savior who stays distant and aloof, but one who enters the warp and woof of our existence as Emmanuel–God with us; and who then sanctifies every place and time in which we live.

Therefore, we come to You confident You care about whatever concerns us. For those who are infirmed, ill or injured, for those who are recuperating from or anticipating surgery–we ask for your healing, in a word of grace, a touch of compassion, an act from skill or training. 

Make those we care for whole physically, emotionally and spiritually. For those who grieve–we ask for your comfort, in the companionship of your Holy Spirit, the encouragement of Your Word, and the warm presence of a friend. 

Take them through the way of grieving to a place of peace and hope. When families gather around trees and tables this week, may You birth in them renew joy in your love and life which is ours in the cradle, the cross and the empty tomb. For marriages stressed and stretched by conflict, for relationships broken by hurt or conflict, for families torn apart by everything from pride to envy, selfishness to greed: 

Come to rule as the prince of peace to restore, reconcile and renew. Break hard and proud hearts so that “I’m sorry” “You’re forgiven” and “I love you” are uttered afresh. For those uncertain about what lies beyond the New Year–give them the peace that comes from knowing You are in charge–and You are good and You are strong. 

For the hungry of our world–provide food and nourishment for the body and the soul; for the homeless–give them a place and a people to call “home”; to the unemployed or underemployed–give them worthwhile work by which they can serve You, and meet the needs of a family; and to nations, including our nation–give leaders wisdom and mercy, and the courage to do what is good, right and just in Your eyes for the people. 

For your church–may we be a light on the hill in a dark world, showing the way home to Your kingdom. May those we send out and support in mission be given strength to remain faithful to You and loyal to the gospel. All this … and more … we pray in the name of Jesus, our precious Lord and Savior. Amen. 

Richard Herman

Father: today we celebrate your gift. At creation you gave us the gift of life; through the life, death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus, you gave us new life; at his ascension, we gained a mediator who prays for us every day. 

But today we celebrate another gift: the gift of your presence with us all the time and everywhere ;the gift of your life living in us and through us; the gift of Yourself in the Holy Spirit come to us–to enable us to live the way you call us to live, to equip us to serve you as you call us to serve, and shape us more and more into the image of Jesus. 

THANK YOU for the gift of you. And may others know the same gift of your Spirit. So, grateful and confidently we pray …For those who are ill or injured: may your Spirit bring healing. Lift them in body and in soul. For those finishing up another year of college or graduate school–enable them to reconnect with family, to find summer work that is meaningful as well as profitable, and grow and strengthen them in spirit and soul this summer. 

For a world that feels like it’s coming apart at the seams at times, pour out a spirit or wisdom and truth, of conviction and courage, of holiness and faithfulness. Pour out your spirit on this land–on its people and on our leaders, that we might be forgiven and cleansed of our sins, and become a nation that reflects your truth and grace to the world. And for us–for each of us in this place today, send a shower … no, a flood and downpour … of your Spirit. Wash us clean. Refresh our tired souls. 

Brighten our dull eyes and loosen our timid tongues  that we might praise you with both our lips and our lives lived for you. Restore our strained or broken relationships. Renew our love–for one another, and most of all, for you! And may we see You in glory. All this we ask, and more–grateful for the gift of your Spirit. 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

Risen and present Lord: There’s no place we go–near or far, high or low, familiar or strange–where you aren’t there with and even before us. There is no experience we have or feeling we feel that’s unknown to you or outside the boundary of Your care for us. You meet us in our moments of doubt. You are near us in our moments of fear. 

You are with us in celebration and in grief. You are not shocked by our sin, and you are not disheartened by our failures. Therefore, we know there’s nothing we can’t take to You. Today, we stand with our friends in Christian faith who mourn. 

Comfort them, Lord. Guide them, and enable them to trust You to care for the continuing life of Your church. For those who suffer from natural disasters. Protect them, meet their need for the basics of life, and enable Your people to show Your love in deed and in word. In our own land: we ask Your grace, mercy and truth to lead us all: 

From the White House, the halls of congress and the judiciary, to the state capitals, county seats and town halls. May we know Your ways … and walk in them. May we treat one another with grace while upholding Your truth. For those who grieve, may they know your peace, the hope of Your resurrection and Your presence. 

For those ill or injured in body and in soul: may your healing grace come to speed recovery, to protect fragile emotions, to encourage hearts and to lift discouraged spirits. For families struggling with strained or broken relationships, for marriages pulled to the breaking point, for siblings who are cut off from one another, and friends who are estranged: 

we ask your miracles of reconciliation–not to the way things were, because obviously that wasn’t good enough, but into a new relationship with You at the center. May they be given grace to ask for and give forgiveness, humility to say “I’m sorry” and the strength for genuine repentance and change… Knowing you care, Jesus, we pray all this, in Your name. AMEN

Richard Herman

God of nations and Lord of all creation: You were there at the beginning of time and at our beginning, and You will be there at the ending and when we finally come home. There is no time You are not there, no place you are not present and nothing You cannot do. 

It’s because You are strong and You are loving that we can turn over to You what drags us down. We ask that You heal our friends and loved ones who are ill or injured, recuperating or rehabilitating from surgery or sickness… whether physical, emotional or mental. 

We also hold up to You those families who grieve, whether the loss is recent or lingering, encourage them, comfort them, sustain them and keep them from despair by the hope of eternal life that comes through faith in You. 

For those with loved ones serving overseas in the military–guard their loved ones who serve, protect them from anxiety and despair, comfort those who have lost loved ones in war, and bring the remainder home safely. 

Where there is unrest, division and war–bring peace and justice. Where there is poverty and despair–give food and water, clothing and shelter; and restore dignity and hope. Where children are abused, neglected and mistreated–watch over them, give them hope and give them kind adults who will show Your love. Set the addicted free of the bondage that will otherwise destroy them … and their families. For our nation, its leaders and legislators, judges and officials–we ask not just for Your blessing, but that You will guide them, showing them what is good and right to do, and then give them the strength and courage to lead us in your ways.

For Your church–make us a colony of heaven, a body of people who make Your love, Your joy, Your hope and Your peace visible. Enable us to be both loving and truthful, gracious and holy, in such a way that others are drawn to You. All this, and more that we have not spoken aloud, we pray … in the name of Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman