Prayers of the People/Intercession on Wilderness

Sermon Illustrations on the Wilderness

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—Father, Son and Spirit; You are a God of compassion and love. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, we’ve known Your love, and experienced Your care and provision. Repeatedly You’ve answered our prayers and met our needs—often in ways we never imagined possible. So, because we’ve known Your love, we come to You with confidence, offering our prayers for the world You love. 

We pray for the many who don’t have enough: not enough food to eat, or shelter to keep warm; not enough employment, or money to pay their bills; not enough medicine or medical care. We also pray for those who have more than enough, but still struggle to find meaning and purpose in life; who indulge in dangerous or self-serving activities to dull their pain or loneliness. 

We look around and see so much pain and suffering; so much anger, frustration and despair–near and far. We pray for the regions of our world caught up in violence and uncertainty. We also pray for those caught up in conflicts as well as the victims of gun violence in our own land. 

We pray for those who live with serious illness, those with chronic pain, those without access to proper medical care, those for whom treatment is no longer an option, those whose names we don’t know and those whose names we know and particularly on our hearts today. We pray as well for all who grieve today—for those who mourn loved one lost to sickness, for those whose loss is recent and fresh, for those whose loss still lingers though long past, for those whose loss was thrust upon them suddenly, and for those who knew it was coming but it still hurts. 

We pray for your church, Lord Jesus—the Church global and the church local. Enable us to be your faithful disciples as Your grace and love leads us. You call us to live as citizens of heaven, working together with one heart and mind. Strengthen us to live in a manner worthy of the Good News we’ve received, offering our lives in service to Your kingdom, where the last are first, and the first are last, and there is grace enough for any and everyone. 

Give us courage to follow faithfully, and with integrity—with actions that bear witness to the words we speak, and worship that overflows into our daily tasks and relationships—so that our lives will bring glory and honor to You, our Redeemer and Lord. AMEN

Richard Herman