Prayers of the People/Intercession on the Yoke

A picture of two cows with a yoke attached to them

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

Lord: In our times of weakness and our hours of need, Yours is the strength that enables us to carry on,Yours the shoulder we rest our heads upon. When our load is heavy and too much to bear, Yours are the arms that stretch out to help us and the grace that we depend on. When we’re weak and in need, Yours is the voice we hear saying: ‘Come to Me, and find rest for your weary soul.’ So, we come to you today in prayer. Please Lord—heal those we love who are sick; strengthen those who are recuperating, encourage those who care for our loved ones, and may all know that You are the Healer and Great Physician. We especially pray for____________. 

Please Lord—comfort all who mourn with the peace of Your presence, that peace which passes all our understanding as it keeps our hearts and minds in love.

We especially pray for the families of _______. Please Lord—in a world gone crazy with hatred and suspicion, replace anger with reconciliation and hatred with understanding. Enable us to live as agents of Your Kingdom in our nation and neighborhoods; and for those serving as missionaries in dark places and dark times—give them courage to let the light of Your gospel shine in and through them with clarity and power…we think especially of those in _______.

Please Lord—guide us as a nation so that we can live up to the best of who we are and who we aspire to be. Allow us to look beyond our selves to see the needs of the neighbor, the stranger and the needy. Please Lord—Empower us as Your church to be different, to be the Salt of the Earth and to be the Light of the World. Give us the heart of our Savior, the mind of the Holy Spirit, and the creativity of our Father that we might be an outpost of Your Kingdom And a colony of heaven on earth.And bless Your Word as it is taught today—please, Lord. May Your Thoughts Be faithfully spoken, heard, understood, believed and lived;so that in all things we might be more like Jesus…

Richard Herman