Prayers of the People/Intercession on Purpose

Sermon Illustrations on Purpose

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

God, our heavenly Father–from whom all families gain purpose, direction and life: When we need bread, you don’t give a stone; and when we ask for fish, you don’t give a snake; for you are good, you are strong and you are loving. As your children we come to you asking, seeking and knocking and you respond: “Come, child–and open your heart.” 

Confident in your grace, then, we come as children asking you to hear our prayers ……as we pray for those who need healing physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. We ask you to overcome infections, restore broken bones, eradicate cancers, strengthen weakened hearts, clear fluid from lungs, reduce swelling, take away pain, overcome depression and speed recoveries. 

We also pray for strength of mind for sick souls, for successful surgery. Hear our prayers for grieving families: Comfort them. Protect them from despair; and keep hurt from damaging fragile relationships. Hear our prayers for your world, Lord–as tensions run high. 

Give your people in such places “daily bread”–basic necessities of food, shelter, clothing and protection; and may their compassionate action and clear declaration of the gospel bring hope and life to all. And, we pray for this nation, Father; please guide our leaders and representatives; and give your wisdom to judges. May we as a nation know what is good, holy and right; and have the courage to do it. And wherever young men and women serve in harm’s way–protect and enable them to act justly and with compassion. 

Wherever relief workers work tirelessly to aid the homeless and hungry, the dispossessed and poor–give them strength to care, and to care some more. Hear our prayers, Lord, also for this your church: stir up our faith to trust you more and to risk more for you in our community. 

Give us spiritual eyes open wide to your vision for us. Deepen our love for you, for each other and for those who have yet to call you “Lord”. Meet us on the road and change us as we learn more of your grace and love in our Lenten journey. In all things, hear our prayer that we might be more like Jesus, in whose name we pray. AMEN

Richard Herman