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                                                                                                  Prayers of the People/Intercession on Weakness

Sermon Illustrations on Weakness

We bring before you, O Lord, the troubles and perils of people and nations, the sighing of prisoners and captives, the sorrows of the bereaved, the necessities of strangers, the helplessness of the weak, the despondency of the weary, the failing powers of the aged. O Lord, draw near to each; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Anselm of Canterbury


Precious Lord, take our hand, Lead us on, help us stand; We’re tired, we’re weak, we’re worn; Thru the storm, thru the night, Lead us on to the light, Take our hand, precious Lord, Lead us home. The old spiritual says it well, Lord: We can’t make it on our own—we need You to take us through. We can’t do what needs to be done—we need You to do it. 

We aren’t smart enough, compassionate enough, strong enough. We don’t really care enough nor are we able to heal—but You are. So we ask You to heal those we love—heal them in body, soul, mind and emotions; and enable them to know You as Healer and Friend. Today we esp. pray for… 

We don’t have enough faith or enough wisdom to confront death (our own and that of others) with trust, hope and peace. We need You and the power of Your resurrection to encourage us and to comfort those we love who have lost loved ones; Right now we especially pray for… We don’t have enough brains or heart, enough smarts or caring, to be able to change our world—whether on an international or national stage, let alone locally and in our own neighborhoods. 

Too often, if we’ve got ours, we care little for those who don’t. But that’s not good enough—and we know it. So …Change the world—but begin with us, so that we can be part of the solution and not the problem.  Give meaningful work to those who have none. Give food to those who are hungry. Give water to those who thirst.

 Give justice to those who suffer for lack of it. Replace war with peace; despair with hope; suspicion with understanding; callousness with compassion; and isolation with reconciliation in marriages, families, communities, schools, neighborhoods and churches.  And Lord—help us to know You better. 

Then, as You do—may we also come to know more of who You made us to be, created in Your image and redeemed in Your love. This is our prayer, offered with faith in Jesus our Lord. AMEN

Richard Herman


God of Grace and Power—our Friend, who sticks closer than a brother: You know when we screw up …and You know when we manage to get it right. You know when we forget you … but You never forget us.You know when we’re weak, for then You are strong.Today—because of Your grace, we can come to You just as we are, not as we aren’t nor even as we might pretend to be. 

Because of Your power, we know You can do what we can’t. So, we humbly ask you to hear us as we pray for those who are ill or injured, for those whose sickness is incurable by us, for those unjustly imprisoned, for those without hope, and those who are homeless or abandoned. As You move toward us in love, lead us in Jesus’ name to be with them in their suffering as Your Spirit is close to them.

We ask You to sustain those who need Your healing touch; please… restore the wounded and make the sick whole and strengthen their caregivers. Please, Lord, give hope to the dying and comfort all who mourn–whether their grief is fresh or lingering. Indeed, please uphold all who suffer in body or mind, not only those we know and love, but also those known only to You … that they may know the peace and joy of Your upholding care. 

We also ask that You hear the cries of the world’s hungry and suffering–and answer them. Give us, who consume so much of the world’s resources, the righteous will to reorder our lives so all may have a rightful share of food, water, medical care, and shelter, and have what they need to live a life of dignity. Lord, we ask that You guide rulers and leaders of all nations. 

Move them to set aside fear, greed, and vain ambition, and to bow toYour gracious and sovereign rule. 

Inspire them to strive for peace and justice, so all people may dwell securely, free of war and injustice. For our nation, we ask You to renew us in the ways of godliness and grace, justice and peace. Guide those who make and administer our laws to build a society based on trust, respect and faith inYou.

Erase prejudice that oppresses. Give all our citizens a new vision of a life of harmony that reflects Your eternal kingdom. Lord, we pray for Your church around the world: that You’d empower its life and witness. 

Break down barriers that divide us and, instead, unite us in Your truth and love, so that our witness brings glory to You and hope to the world. And strengthen us in this congregation in its work and worship. Fill hearts with Your self-giving love; enable voices to speak Your praise; and bring lives into conformity to the image of your Son, Jesus our Lord.

Richard Herman


You know all about us–our weakness, our failing, our sin; and you still love us enough to give your Son to redeem us. Hear the cries of our hearts today. There’s someone for whom it was hard to get out of bed today. They’re tired, discouraged or stressed out. It was an effort just to get here. Give them hope today: a light in the darkness, a whisper in the silence. 

There’s one for whom everything they touch comes apart: She’s having a hard time holding the marriage together; his project at work is going poorly; there’s a divide between him and his son, between her and her daughter; everything he touches turns to sawdust; and no matter what she does, she can’t get well. 

Come, Lord Jesus, come. Come and redeem the relationship. Take the lessons learned in failure and build a new life. Use the pain to create compassion. Create something delightful out of what feels like disaster. Restore what the devil has stolen; turn what was meant for evil to good. We pray on behalf of those who can’t pray for themselves. 

We pray for those afflicted in body or soul, who need your healing. Put your hand on them. Touch a mind that’s tormented; a body that’s ill or injured, a heart that’s broken. Restore them all. We ask your peace for families whose loved ones in the military paid the ultimate price, giving the last full measure of devotion, that we might live free and we ask your shield and protection for those still serving in harm’s way, especially in Iraq. 

We intercede for our nation; that as a country, we might find our moral bearings in you and your truth as we are tossed around by the winds of confusion and the waves of self-interest. This year, we’ll be awash in political rhetoric and posturing. Save us from those who’d give us image without substance, spin without conviction. 

Save us from putting our own interest ahead of the nation’s. Make us wise and discerning, that we might see your path and choose to walk in it. And we pray for your church in this land, that we might be salt and light, making a real difference; and for our church around the world. Encourage our missionaries. Protect them. Keep them faithful–and keep us faithful to them in prayer and in our support. This and more, we pray in the name of your Son and our Savior–Jesus Christ. Amen.

Richard Herman