May 2, 2011

Easter 4: Prayers of the People

Here is a litany-style approach to intercessory prayer on the fourth Sunday of Easter (sometimes called Good Shepherd Sunday).  It’s structured around Psalm 23, one of the lectionary readings for Easter 4. 

Prayers of the People
(from Psalm 23)

Gracious God, you care for me; I need nothing more.

Hear the cry of those who are hungry;
hungry for justice, and dignity, hungry for freedom, and love.  

You lead me into a haven of peace and rest.

Hear the cry of those who are alone;
those who grieve a relationship broken by death or human failing,
those who live in the isolation of a hospital room, a prison cell,
a frail body, a confused mind.

You breathe new life into me and lead me in new ways.

God whose breath is life itself,
we pray for a just and caring use of your creation;
a fair sharing of its abundance, an ethical searching of its mysteries.

You are with me, and comfort me,
even when the darkness of the world looms large.

We pray for those who seek the truth;
those who cannot speak, and those who cannot be heard,
that the light of your Word
may shine in the darkness which overshadows their lives.

In the face of those who trouble me
you provide for me, and pour out your blessings.

Hear the cry of those trampled by racial or religious intolerance,
disoriented by homelessness, defeated by unemployment;

God of justice and compassion you are with me always
and have promised to sustain me all my life.

Enlarge our vision of life, and make us bold in our hope,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
let our cry come to you;

. . . and with the saints in every age we pray, 

Our Father in heaven . . . . .

—from The Billabong website. 

For worship resources related to Psalm 23, click on Psalm 23 in the list of “Labels” to the right.