Prayers of the People/Intercession on Revelation

Prayers of Confession on Revelation

Gracious God of love–Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We are grateful that You’ve revealed yourself to us, telling us that each of us are loved by You as children, each precious in Your sight, each a reflection of You, each bound together by love, which is Your presence among us. We come to you, O God, weary and carrying heavy burdens. 

Some of us bear the yoke of illness–and so we lift to you our needs for healing, and for others in need of being made well. Some of us, as caregivers, bear the yoke of caring for those who can’t care for themselves: enable us to not grow weary in well-doing, continuing to love and serve with our compassion. 

Some of us bear a yoke of loss and grief–comfort all who grieve with Your presence and love as expressed through we who bear the name of Christ. Compassionate God: there are other yokes, too. For some of us bear the yoke of unemployment or underemployment; some of us bear the yoke of hunger; some of us bear the yoke of homelessness; some of us bear the yoke of violence; some of us bear the yoke of anger; some of us bear the yoke of loneliness; some of us bear the yoke of depression; some of us bear the yoke of addiction. 

Free us from these and other yokes, dear God, as …we pray for rest; we pray for healing; we pray for release; and we pray for wholeness. This week we recognize that our nation also bears many burdens: we don’t trust our leaders; we can’t find ways to work together for the common good; we allow the least among us to suffer and languish; we lose our children to endless conflicts and wars; we fixate on what divides us rather than on what unites us as one people. Remind us this week of our calling. 

Remind us of our common creed that all people are created equal. Inspire us to ensure that all of your children enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Help us to be profoundly grateful for our freedom and security, to never take these gifts for granted, and to use them for the betterment of all. God of all life, may peace and justice fill our land and, indeed, the whole world.

We pray today for escalating tension and violence in the world…and for places around the globe where people are victimized, where safety is threatened, where freedoms are denied, where life is treated as anything less than sacred. Gracious God, grant us the yoke of Christ, binding us together, tethered by your love, guided by your presence, bringing your kingdom into this world. It is for this kingdom that we now pray. Amen.

Richard Herman

God our Father, Savior and Sustainer—You are the God who knows our name, and the God who revealed Your name as “I Am Who I Am” and shows us Your face in the face of Jesus. You are known to us … and we are known to You.

You know what brings us joy, what makes us laugh, what we celebrate and are most grateful for—the birth of a child, the healing of a loved one, the restoration of a relationship, a new job, a wedding anniversary …and You rejoice with us.

This morning we are especially thankful for …You know what brings us to tears, what makes us sweat, what grieves our hearts, what we worry over, whether large or small, whether shared or felt alone—the death of a loved one, the illness of a friend, a financial setback, a child in trouble, an elderly parent all alone. 

Today we especially pray for …We also pray for what can overwhelm us, the fear that lurks in the world, the pain resulting from a natural disaster, the desperation that drives people to flee the places they have called “home,”the worries about war—both for those who fight them, and those who are victims of the violence. 

We ask that You make leaders of nations wise, caring more for peace than power, for justice than personal gain, for what is good and right for all rather than protecting personal agendas. We also pray for Your grace to be felt among Your people–in Your global church where missionaries witness to Your love for all people, where faithful disciples live for You at the peril of their own lives; and we pray for Your church local—right here…

For elders and deacons who serve, for all who serve in mission and ministry; those who show the love of Jesus to one another and to the community. We give You thanks and ask Your blessing. Lord—this and all closely held in our hearts,in faith and trust, we lift to You. Amen. 

Richard Herman

Lord–You speak, and things happen. At the beginning—you spoke and creation happened; and you keep on speaking, giving us promises we can count on, and admonitions to heed. When we need comfort—you speak our names and remind us of your love. When we need to be challenged—you call our names, and confront us with the truth. 

When we need forgiveness—you speak words of grace, hope, and salvation, calling us by name again. And when we need someone to hear our voices crying for help, You also are a God who listens; so please hear our prayers: for those who are sick, in need of healing; for those who mourn, in need of comforting; for those who are confused, in need of guidance; and for those who are lonely, in need of a friend. 

We pray, as well, for our nation—which is in need of a revival of spirit and soul, of compassion, grace, humility, and a greater trust in You than in ourselves, our wealth and power. For those in need of reconciliation at home, in the family, at school or work—we pray. 

For those who need the basics of food and water, shelter, clothing and safety—we pray.  For those who have just about given up on life, who wonder if there’s a way out, a way through, or a way around all the pain they endure—we pray. For friends in distant lands who worship you in places where it’s dangerous to faithfully bear the name “Christian”—we pray. We offer up our prayers in the name above every name, in the name of Jesus our Lord. AMEN

Richard Herman

Living and present Lord: You often surprise us, coming when we least expect it; or, You simply fold back the curtain to show us You’ve been there all along to give us hope and to open our eyes to see You, and Your world, in new ways. 

You walk where we walk. You feel what we feel. Although You love as we are,You love us too much to leave us that way. Thank You! That’s why we dare come to You with all that keeps us awake at night or causes our minds to race. 

We pray for those who suffer due to illness or injury, for those facing hospitalization or surgery, for those recovering and recuperating at home. Heal them, Lord. Mend broken bodies, and broken souls. 

Uphold them in Your peace and restore them with Your saving power. For those who mourn, we ask for Your comfort. Lift downcast eyes and heavy spirits; lighten hearts weighed down and feeling lonely. Mourn with those who mourn, Jesus; and come alongside them to reveal the hope of Your resurrection and the peace of Your presence. 

We thank you for births and for new life this week–reminding us that when we lose hope for our world, You hold a great and wonderful future for us in Your grace. We pray for parents and grandparents, for step-parents and especially for single parents: that they have the necessary strength, patience, wisdom and love to shape lives entrusted to their care according to Your image and truth. 

And we pray for children to value those you give them as mentors, guides, and protectors. For our nation: we ask Your truth to guide us in the way we should go, Your forgiveness for when we’ve strayed, Your courage to do what is right, and Your strength to persevere in it. Forgive our nation’s self-pride, racism, immorality and materialism. 

Strengthen our resolve to reflect the true values of Your kingdom in who we are and what we do; and the resolve of our national leaders who lead the way. And for your church: make us a colony of heaven on earth, we pray that we might point women and men, strong and weak, old and young, well-off and not so well-off… all people to You. 

May we, as Your church, bring You honor and not shame in our nation and world in what we do and by what we say. All this, and more, we pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. 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 the common and of the uncommon. You meet us in the ordinary routines of life–when we play and when we rest, while we work and while we worship. And You reveal yourself in the extraordinary, too–in answered prayer and unforeseen providence, in miracles of healing and of saving. Wherever we are, You seek to get our attention–even in church. 

You call us by name and give us a new life of vision, purpose, and mission. As we remain in You: the old life is gone–the new life is come! You give us a life of grace and hope, of holiness and truth; and a life of dependence on and trust in, not ourselves but, You. 

So, we look to You for all we need and want, with thanks for the gifts of women and men You place in our lives. We ask your healing touch for friends and loved ones who are ill or injured, anticipating or recovering from surgery, facing tests or awaiting results. Cure bodies and minds by Your compassionate power and loving care. Encourage discouraged spirits and ease anxious hearts. We praise You for being with us at either end of life and at all points in between–celebrating births, graduations, engagements and weddings by laughing and shouting with us; and also grieving losses at the passing of loved ones, the loss of a job, the departure of friends, by shedding a tear with us and holding us close. 

In our joys, cause us to praise and thank You–the giver of all good gifts. In our losses, bring comfort and restore hope for us. Forgive and free us from our idolatries of power, pleasure and possessions. Forgive our arrogance and self-importance. 

Show our leaders the ways of godly justice and gracious love; enable them to lead us in those ways and enable us to walk in them. We pray for Your church–that we would be a true colony of heaven on earth, a kingdom people who reflect the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to a dying world. 

May others see Jesus in us, and be drawn to Him through us finding in Him the Way, the Truth and the Life of hope and salvation. Empower us by Your Spirit to stay on course and on message, when we are tempted to get caught up in trivial pursuits and intramural squabbles. Keep us, all of us, faithful to Your Gospel in how we live and in what we say. All this we pray, turning to You as our God, our King and our Friend. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Richard Herman