Prayers of the People/Intercession on Waiting

Sermon Illustrations on Waiting

Lord—we’re so anxious we can’t wait! 

Some of us can’t wait for Christmas to come, while (honestly) some others of us can’t wait for it to be over. We’re not proud of it—but that’s just the way it is today. Nevertheless, we’re glad for these moments to worship You, allowing You to reset our hearts, our minds, and our souls. While it’s so easy to get distracted and lose sight of Your great gifts, may we stop the merry-go-round we’ve made of this season in order to get off and find the hope, peace, and love that comes to us in Jesus—Savior, Emmanuel—God with us. 

We pray for those overwhelmed by circumstances beyond their ability to handle and those inundated by cultural expectations of the “holiday season” that can’t be met. Enable them to lean into You in whom all things are possible. Give us strength to do all things well and to do them graciously. 

We pray for the ill and injured, those anticipating or recovering from surgery, those in therapy or treatment–Lord heal them! Heal them to Your glory and to their joy. 

We pray for those who grieve—whether it’s recent or long past, and whether it’s the loss of a beloved member of their family or a friend, or whether it’s a close friend or neighbor they’ve lost. As the One who overcame death by first submitting to it–I pray for Your resurrection hope and lasting peace to comfort those who have lost a loved one recently. Lord, strengthen all marriages as a sign of Your love for us and our love for You; enable the parents of children baptized this morning–and all parents–to nurture their sons and daughters in faithfulness to You; and walk close to those who have felt the pain of separation and distance in order to bring right and just reconciliations where possible. 

We pray for our Christian brothers and sisters whose homes are in lands beyond our sight and outside the borders of our nation. Keep them strong and faithful, truthful and loving as they serve You there. And enable our missionary partners in the gospel to persist—sometimes amidst great opposition and persecution. 

We pray for the church—keep us loyal to You in our words and our deeds. Pour out your wisdom and courage on elders and pastors; and give deacons and others a truly compassionate, serving heart. May we be a praying people, Lord; people always learning more of Your true Word, and reaching out to others in grace and truth. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN

Richard Herman

Loving God~ Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We are a people who are waiting: waiting to celebrate our Messiah’s birth; waiting to see what this day–and every day–holds; and waiting to see who we can bless with Your love or from whom we may receive a blessing.  And we are waiting for our Messiah’s return to make whole what is so terribly broken in us and in our world.  

Now, in the meantime, we come to you with our needs and our worries, our hopes and our dreams, because You have invited us saying,“Come unto me, all you who labor and are overburdened.” 

So in prayer, we come.  We come praying for the church throughout the world… for Palestinian Christians in the town where you were born; for Haitian believers ministering amidst devastation; and for all who bear your name in places where it is dangerous to do so.  Sustain and strengthen them in grace.  

We come, as well, with prayers for the church in this country… and for this congregation: for our leaders—elders, deacons, trustees, pastors, and for all who serve in various other ministries.  We pray that we may all benefit from the various gifts we offer in the service of Christ; that in faith and unity we may be constantly renewed by your Holy Spirit and empowered for mission, mercy, and love.  

We come praying, too, for peace in our world, and for an end to violence.  May there be peace in our homes and in our hearts so that we may live and work together in harmony and with genuine concern for one another.  Remind us all that we share your world with others, many who are less fortunate than we are; and enable us to be faithful stewards of both the resources and the gospel which You have entrusted to us.  

We come with prayers for our families, friends, and neighbors that we may serve Christ in one another and love one another as he loves us.  Help us to make our homes patterns of your love, places of mutual trust and forgiveness, places of true sharing and caring, of deep joy and peace; and unite us all, one to another in the circle of your love.  

We also come with our prayers for all those who suffer from any form of illness.  We pray for those who are anxious, sorrowful, or in any kind of need or distress; especially for loved ones and friends who are ill or injured, anticipating or recovering from surgery, or who are in any kind of need.  We know that you love them, and you know their every need far better than we do.  We ask that you do for them as you see best, and bless them with your love and peace.  

We come with thanks to you for those who’ve died trusting in Christ; and we thank you for allowing us to share life with them.  Merciful God–as we await the coming of Christ, hear these prayers that we lift up in his wonderful name. AMEN

Richard Herman