Prayers of the People/Intercession on Soldiers
Good and Gracious God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: we come to You as an impatient people filled with a multitude of desires and needs. We yearn for simple things–the arrival of warm weather, enough time for friends or family, a feeling of competence in our workplaces, the ability to have a day of simple rest.
We also have desires that are more complex–that our national leaders would work for the common good, that the nations of the world would cooperate, that war would be no more, that children would be loved and valued, that women throughout the world would be treated as equal persons under the laws of any nation or village or tribe, that hunger and poverty would be eradicated.
So, we ask, O God, that You would pour out Your grace this day on each one of us, that You remind us of Your love, and that You would replace any despair with the power of love. Today we rejoice with all who rejoice–in the birth of a child, the healing of relationships, financial provision, health restored, an opportunity for meaningful work…for all Your good gifts to us each day, we give You thanks and praise.
We also weep with those who weep, asking that You would comfort those who grieve. We also pray for those who are ill or struggling with chronic conditions. We ask You to provide work for the unemployed. We pray for those who have no place to call “home” and for those in prison, for those with too little and for those with too much.
We even pray for those we would call our enemies and ask for the gift of forgiving hearts. Lord, we see the Bible stories of mighty warriors contrasted with the peace Jesus brings. We wish there was no need for fighting, no need for defending, but we live in a fallen world.
We long for the day where there will be no more fighting, no more sickness and no more tears. Until then, Lord, we thank you for those who have stood in harm’s way and who have given their lives to defend others. We ask that You bring comfort to the families of those who have lost loved ones while serving. We remember, as well, those who face struggles of any kind and thank you for all who step in to make a difference.
For those who fight their battles alone, bring hope and help them find the support they need. If we are to be the ones to step into that gap, strengthen us. As well, today, we thank You for those who have gone before us in faith: especially those who conceived of a vision to build this place of worship where, year after year, scripture has been proclaimed, anthems have been sung, loved ones have been commended to your care, children received their first Bibles, couples have spoken their vows, your people have been transformed and commissioned and sent out.
We pray You would enable us all to look to You for strength, comfort, and guidance. Grant us wisdom from your mind, courage from Your heart, and loving protection by Your hand…this day and always. We’ve been blessed, dear God, to share in this family of faith; and we humbly ask for Your guidance into the future for years to come. We pray these prayers in the name of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus. AMEN
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
God of wonder and grace: You knew us from even before we were born; You loved us from eternity. Then, when we needed to know you most, You called us by name and saved us. Nothing escapes Your notice and is beyond Your care.
We remember and thank You for those who’ve gone before us. Thank You for those who lived, fought and died for our freedom. Thank You for those who loved us enough to share the gospel with us.
We ask You to protect, support, and guide those who still defend this land—especially young men and women serving in harm’s way; and all who live in places where wars are waged, civilian and soldier alike. And, we ask You to empower, embolden and encourage those who declare Your gospel as missionaries in places as varied as college campuses to urban streets, from Kenya to Mexico, Japan to Egypt.
We pray for those who are ill or injured, anticipating surgery or recovering and rehabilitating: in Your love and by Your sacrifice heal them, restore them and strengthen them in the Spirit. For families in grief, we ask You to comfort them with Your hope and with confidence in Your resurrection.
May they not be afraid to remember, finding peace in Your presence now as then. Bless those who answer Your call today to serve You as elders, deacons and trustees of this congregation. Give them faith, love, wisdom and courage–may they lead us to follow You, not fearing to lead where we may be reluctant to go in order to keep us faithful to Your gospel and mission. Bless Your Word and the servant who declares it today. This is our prayer, prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer for those in the Armed Forces of our Country
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church (1979)