Prayers of the People/Intercession on The Image of God

Sermon Illustrations on the Image of God

Lord–some of us are running or dancing into the celebration to come; others of us are tired, limping or stumbling into it. Either way–You are standing there in Your love, with arms open wide, to receive us as we are. Your invitation today is to come to You as we are; to come honestly without  false pretense or pretending. 

We’re not much—but we’re Yours, and that alone makes us everything, by Your grace! So, because of Your love and not our efforts, because of Your compassion and not our devotion, we come asking You to move and make a difference in the lives of those we care about. We pray that You’d heal those who are sick, injured, or recuperating; and that You’d comfort all who mourn, whether their grief is fresh or lingering. 

We pray also that You would free the addicted ones from chains that rob them of freedom to love You and others fully; and that friendships, families, and communities ripped apart by addiction will be reconciled by Your redeeming power. 

For those with too little, for whom this year held economic set-back and even disaster, for those fighting to save a home, put food on the table, afford heat or life-preserving medications: Lord, meet their needs … and if that be through those of us who have enough and more than enough, move our hearts and open our hands in compassion. 

You made us in Your image to reflect your glory, to love You and one another–but we have lost our way. We pray for peace in a world that loves conflict and war. We pray for understanding in a world that thrives on suspicion and hatred. We pray for justice and compassion in a world set on pecking orders and getting ahead by pushing others aside. 

We pray for Your truth to prevail in a world that clings to lies and spin-doctoring. We pray for contentment in a world that feeds on dissatisfaction and a lust for more. We pray for hope in a world enveloped in the darkness of despair, ignorance. and poverty–and may we be an answer to these prayers through the leading and power of the Holy Spirit.  These are our prayers, offered in the strong name of Jesus. AMEN 

Richard Herman

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