Prayers of the People/Intercession on Silence

Sermon Illustrations on Silence

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

Father, Son, Holy Spirit–our God, Mysterious, Awe-Inspiring, Wonderful, One-in-Three/Three-in-One: You surprise us not with flashing lights, loud crashing noises, and constant activity. You surprise us in stillness and silence, in quiet and peace. Forgive us for equating motion, volume and activity with significance, truth and what really counts. In stillness we come now with our burdens and our worries, with our commitments and our dreams, with our hopes and fears–knowing you alone can do something with them. 

You are good and you are strong, you are compassionate and you are sovereign in all things, so we trust you. We trust those whose bodies are ill or injured, and whose minds and emotions are confused or disrupted: please heal them. 

Restore them to health and wholeness; and strengthen caregivers who support, help and encourage them. We also entrust to you those who mourn. For those whose losses are most acute at this time of year–the loss of a loved one, the loss of a marriage, the loss of a job, the loss of a friendship, the loss of a future dream, the loss of hope … all of it: please, Jesus … Lord, come. 

Be born in hearts that feel empty, to fill them with the peace that passes all understanding, and to satisfy them with faith, hope and love. We trust our nation and world to you as it seems somewhere to convulse every day with our suspicions, hatreds and wars, or is held in bondage by our addictions, compulsions and desires. 

Savior, come and save us from ourselves with your grace and truth as declared in the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord. Direct national leaders. Protect soldiers and civilians in places where wars rage. End drought and famine. Halt poverty and disease. And may your will be done–on earth as it is in heaven. We also trust you with the church that bears your name. 

Teach us your truth—and enable us to do it. And when we fail to live it–correct us, so the light which shines through us is pure and genuine, a clear light reflecting your goodness and truth. Make us strong when we need to be strong for your kingdom of grace and truth, holiness and love. Make us forgiving as we are forgiven. This we pray in the name that is above every name–Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

Richard Herman