Prayers of the People/Intercession on Thanksgiving

Prayers of Confession on Thanksgiving

Great God our Father, Savior and Holy Spirit: Our hearts are filled with gratitude for your grace and faithfulness. Thank you for caring about those who we care about–for those who are sick or injured, recovering or anticipating surgery: heal them, Lord, to their joy and your glory; and for those who grieve: comfort them with your presence and the hope of eternal life in Christ.  

Thank you for caring about our world that is really your world–a world bent on rejecting You by turning instead to violence, power, wealth, pleasure, and self-interest to try and find meaning, hope and peace.  

May your people truly be salt which flavors and preserves a tasteless, decaying world with the truth of the gospel lived and proclaimed.  Thank you for caring about your church–not perfect, but yours nonetheless.  Help us to see what you see in our families, our community, region, nation and world.  May our hearts break over what breaks your heart.  

May we laugh when you laugh and weep when you weep.  Give us vision, and with it, the wisdom to understand your mission and the energy to faithfully carry it out, now and always.  And thank you for your word of life–which we long for; and your table which spiritually sustains and encourages us as your family, called by your name: Christians.  

Meet us at the table that we might know Jesus and follow Him as His disciples.  This is our prayer–offered in Jesus name. AMEN

Richard Herman

Lord – You are good …and Your goodness knows no bounds. When we were lost, You sought us out, found us and brought us home. When we were alone, You came near to us, and You gave us a new circle of friends and family. Each breath we take, each sunrise we see, each heartbeat we feel and each song we sing or hear – all are gifts from You.

So, we THANK You for Your grace and faithfulness. Trusting in that grace and faithfulness: We come boldly and freely to You carrying those we care about to You and lifting our own needs before You. 

You hold the world in the palm of Your hand: So, we ask for your comfort and we pray for your justice and righteousness to prevail.We are a violent people and we live in a violent world – whether it’s seen in an epidemic of domestic violence or abuse; whether it’s seen on the streets of our cities or in our school yards, or even in our games and sports!  

Lord: teach us Your ways, help us to walk the paths of reconciliation and peace, of truth and justice. We pray for those in need of Your healing grace … We ask you to comfort the grieving with Your peace in the gospel of Your resurrection love. We pray for families, who gather this week to laugh, remember, sometimes to weep and to share in saying “Thank You, Lord” for how blessed we are! 

Yet, there are families stretched to the limit – emotionally, fiscally, relationally, spiritually.  Give each one in those families the grace to admit needs, to ask forgiveness, to seek ways to change and to grow together in You. 

Finally, we pray for the hearts of all of us in this room. Where there is confusion – show the way. Where there is fear – replace it with peace. Where there is discouragement or even depression – encourage and restore hope. Where there is emptiness – fill it with Your own presence that can fully satisfy the longings and quench the thirsty soul. We look to You, today, Lord, saying, “Thank you, Jesus.” And it’s in Your name we pray … AMEN.

Richard Herman

Risen Lord, Loving Father … and Ever-Present Spirit: Thank You for reaching into our doubts, giving us the faith we lack. Thank You for Your gracious condescension reaching from the glories of heaven into the everyday routines of our lives where things distract us in daytime and keep us awake at night. 

Knowing You care: We offer prayers of thanks and rejoicing for new marriages, for births, for the beginnings of new pastoral ministries, for good news of college acceptances and job offers, for provision that came at just the right time and for a phone call or visit from a friend just when we needed it. Thank You, Lord. 

Knowing You care: We pray for the injured or sick, hospitalized or homebound, who need Your healing touch. Lift them in body, soul and spirit. Restore them. Give them strength and hope in You. Knowing You care: We pray for those touched by grief and shaken to the core by loss–the loss of a loved one or friend, loss of a job, the loss of hope or of health, the loss of a relationship in disagreement or misunderstanding. Comfort those who mourn. 

Give each one Your peace. Open a path in the wilderness. If it be your will, restore now what was lost that the latter times may be even greater than the former; or restore it in heaven forever. Knowing You care: We pray for the world. 

Where there’s war–bring peace, not just cease-fire but new relationships of well-being and understanding. Where there’s poverty–give hope & provide a way out. Where there’s hunger–provide food, and sustain it. Where nations flounder–raise up godly and capable leaders; and so we pray for our own leaders, may they know Your ways and courageously lead us in them.

And where there’s no witness of the gospel of Jesus–send a light, raise up a witness, and bring missionary ambassadors of Your kingdom. All this we pray in your name, Jesus. Amen. 

Richard Herman

God of grace, abundance, and joy, who pours out your love on us every day: When we had no hope–You came as a light in our dark time. When we were weak–You came in power to lift us up. When we were lost–You showed us the way. 

When we were confused–You told us the truth when others lied to us. When we were alone–You came to give us life, and life abundantly. Thank you! Because of Your faithfulness in our yesterdays, we place our tomorrows in Your good hand. For those who are sick–we pray for you to heal them. 

For those who grieve–we ask you to comfort them. For families divided, marriages stressed and disintegrating, even churches coming apart–we pray to you as Mediator asking that you heal broken relationships, reconcile the estranged. Enable humility and forgiveness to replace pride and anger. 

For our nation–come as Lord of lords and King of kings who holds the world’s nations in Your palm: heal our land. Forgive our pride–which thinks we always know what’s best. Guide our nation’s leaders in your ways of truth and holiness, justice and grace; and give us the courage to follow in them. 

For young men and women far from home this Thanksgiving week, serving in harm’s way for our nation and our world–protect them, encourage them and sustain them by your strength when their strength waivers. For those doing the work of missionaries–in Central America, Kenya, Egypt and India, in our nation’s cities, prisons, college and high school campuses, and seminaries–nurture the gospel they share, that it may take root and change lives; and keep them faithful to your calling. 

For this church–lead us in your Ways; and where you lead us, sustain us and provide for us, so that we can hold out your Word of truth as light for dark days, as water for dry souls and bread for hungry hearts. And, thank you for the fellowship of new brothers and sisters who join with.This is our prayer, which we pray in the name of Jesus, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Richard Herman

Lord of All Creation … Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer: With Thanksgiving close upon us, we’re reminded again of the gifts You have given us by Your grace and mercy: children and grand-children, parents, grandparents, and family. A place to call “home” and people to call “friends”… and those who call us “friend.” 

You give us life itself and Eternal Life in Your Son, Jesus. You fill our days with labor and hope, and our nights with rest and protection. So, with grateful hearts we pray: Lord in Your mercy–Hear our Prayer. For our world–we pray for peace, Your peace … not the peace of mere co-existence but the peace of reconciliation and under-standing. 

For our nation—we pay for Your forgiveness for our misplaced trust in money and influence, political power and weapons. Enable us to live up to our best aspirations to be just and compassionate, wise and true as You are just and compassionate, wise and true. Lord in Your mercy–Hear our Prayer. For those who are sick–we pray for healing. 

For those who are sorrowful–we ask Your comfort. For those who hunger–please fill them. For those who have no roof over their heads–provide a safe, simple place to call “home”.  

For those who need a job–we ask for meaningful work. For those addicted–we ask for freedom from chains that bind. For those alone–we ask for a safeguard and companionship. Lord in Your mercy–Hear our Prayer. For Your church–make us one even as You are one: Father, Son and Spirit. Lord in Your mercy–Hear our Prayer. This we pray in the name of Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman

God of grace and glory, compassion and power—Father, Son and Holy Spirit: 

You meet us right where we are at—not asking us to put on any masks, false fronts or airs. You love us just as we are while also loving us too much to leave us that way. 

So no matter what we feel, what we’re worried about, what’s got us mad, sad, glad, discouraged or excited, we can come to you with it. 

Some of us feel down today–it’s been a hard week at work; we argued with one another on the way to church; we stayed up too late last night; we’re still not sure how to take news we got in a phone call or from a doctor. 

We need You to come and lift our spirits, give us hope and restore our confidence. We need your help. Please, Lord. And, some of us had a great week–we did well on a test or got a good review at work; we were able to meet all our bills; we landed the job we were after or got good news. So, we just want to say, “Thanks, Lord. ” 

We too often take good things for granted–and we don’t want to do that today. Some of us are worried about sick friends and loved ones at home… in a hospital or care home. We want them to get better, but we can’t make them get well–only You can heal them. 

Please, Lord, restore them. Mend an injured body; make a sick one well. Cure a distressed mind. And, for those who care for our loved ones—give them wisdom, compassion and strength to persevere in the ministry of care-giving. Some of us have loved ones in the military—please guard them, protect them and bring them home safe and soon. 

For those whose homes are in war zones—also protect them. Lord: please let peace prevail over war, justice overcome wrong, and sufficiency overcome poverty and hunger. May those who don’t have enough, have enough. We pray for the day when people will study war no more–and all people know Your rich “shalom” of peace. And with all this in our hearts, we pray in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Richard Herman

Meister Eckhart, the late 13th century German Christian theologian and mystic, reminds us that “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was,”thank you,” that would suffice.” 

So, let’s pray: When I say: With open hearts and open hands… please join me praying: We thank you, Lord.  Let’s pray.  

Our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: You’ve blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ, You chose us and made us Your children.  You redeemed us by His blood forgiving our sin and freeing us from it.  You’ve given us a glorious inheritance now and forever.  And You’ve sealed us with Your Holy Spirit to guarantee it …With open hearts and open hands: We thank You, Lord. 

You declare You are the LORD God our Healer; and You’ve been our Healer from generation to generation. So, to You we lift our friends and loved ones who are ill or injured, anticipating or recovering from surgery—infant or child, teen or adult. For those who are caregivers and encouragers, for medical personnel and counselors, for healing in the past and healing to come …With open hearts and open hands, We thank You, Lord.  

In You, Lord, we have victory over the grave, and hope for this life and for the life to come. Your resurrection gives hope. Your presence gives comfort. Lift up those who grieve today. You are the Resurrection and the Life so …With open hearts and open hands, We thank You, Lord.  

You are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble—when the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, when its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging—Therefore we will not fear but instead we trust You to care for those who’ve lost so much in recent storms. Provide for necessities of life. Enable them to rebuild homes and places of work, to rebuild lives and communities and to thrive in Your love …With open hearts and open hands, We thank You, Lord.  

You are Lord and Head of Your Body on earth—the Church. You are our one foundation and chief cornerstone, You live in us and among us by Your Spirit. You are the Light—and You make us the light of the World.  You are the Truth—and You make us a pillar of the truth.  You love us—and enable us to love our neighbors as ourselves … even to love our enemies.  Lord—enable us to live into Your will for us.  

May we live Your Word and not just talk about it.  May we show Your grace to others not just receive it for ourselves. May we be Your hands and feet to a world in need.  You have blessed us richly, and so …With open hearts and open hands, We thank You, Lord.This we pray in the name of Jesus. AMEN

Richard Herman

God of Grace and Love—Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We come to you in prayer knowing that your steadfast love endures forever…and we give You thanks; thanks for the gift of life, the gift of new life, and for the many ways you sustain and nurture us.

We come to You today as we are—not as we aren’t. Some of us are tired and hungry, looking for your word to sustain us,Your Spirit to comfort and empower. Some of us come to You bruised and sore, beaten by life in this world. We come looking for healing—physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually—longing for wholeness for ourselves, and for those we love.

Some of us come despairing, wondering what has happened and where the joy of life has gone. 

Some of us come with heavy hearts, praying for broken homes, damaged marriages, for families on the brink; praying for young people harmed by those who should protect them; praying for those who look different and so are suspect by others; praying for a world on edge, tense with fear and hate and violence; praying for those who grieve the loss of those we love to death.

We come to You, looking for good news in the midst of the world’s bad news. We come to You, seeking forgiveness for our wrongs, seeking to know your presence when we feel so alone, seeking to know your heart and will for a world with so much need. 

We pray for those who are imprisoned or alone today . . .We pray for people in places of conflict and danger this day . . .for those who give their lives to keep their families, friends, and neighbors safe . . .and for our leaders—to have wisdom beyond their own, to know what is good, right and just …and the courage to lead in right paths.

We pray for your Church in all lands, sent to heal and deliver our world, and set there as the light and salt of Your kingdom. 

So, we come to You in prayer, O God; with praise and thanks for your steadfast love and your wonderful works. Remake our lives as living sacrifices of thanksgiving. Send us forth to tell of your deeds with songs of joy. Hear these and all our prayers, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, whomYou sent to save us. AMEN

Richard Herman

God of grace and compassion, love, and mercy ~ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: While there’s no season when we’re not thankful for your love and care, gratitude marks this week in a special way as families gather together in homes and around tables.  

So, now we pause to reflect on how good you are and to remember how blessed we are; and to say …

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for answered prayers—prayers for healing and strength.  Since You’ve been faithful in Your love to those we care about already, we continue to lean into Your mercy on their behalf by asking once more that You heal, restore, mend, and cure those we know in need.  

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for your comfort in times of loss and your presence in times of difficulty.  As You have been, so you forever shall be our hope for this life and the life to come.  Give peace to all those whose Thanksgiving table will have an empty chair where a loved one sat last year.  

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for your sovereign power in a world more uncertain each day.  Recent events have shaken the ground on which many stand, bringing uncertainty about our nation’s future, or about anxiety over their individual tomorrows.  Protect us from ourselves, Lord; as fear or anger for some, pride or self-importance for others, can drive us to do things that divide, say things that injure, or hold on to ungodly attitudes that poison relationships.  Forgive us, Lord.  Free us, Lord.  Change us, Lord.  Make us more like you.  

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for your care for all.  So, we ask you to provide food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, water for the dry and thirsty, peace for the war-torn, wisdom for the confused, reconciliation for the alienated, liberty for the bound, freedom for the addicted, hope for the discouraged, and love for all.  

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for Your church, local and global, that shares in your life and declares Your gospel.  Thank you for all those who give of themselves in service, for those who give of their resources in support, for those who give themselves to praying for, caring for, and reaching out to one another, as well as to the neighbor and the stranger with the love of Jesus.  And we thank you for the Word—your Word—lived and spoken here by your grace and through the power of your Holy Spirit.  We pray all this with thanksgiving, in Jesus’ name.  AMEN

Richard Herman