Aug 15, 2011

Prayers of the People: August 21, 2011

Here is a possible prayer of intercession for August 21, 2011 (Proper 16A).  I’ve based it on three of the suggested scripture passages for that day:

Exodus 1:8-2:10, where the people of Israel are forced into slavery in Egypt;
Romans 12:1-8, where Paul encourages the believers to see themselves
            as members of one body; and
Matthew 16:13-20, where Peter identifies Jesus as the Messiah.

Feel free to adapt and use this prayer as you see fit.

Prayer of Intercession
(based on Ex. 1:8 - 2:10; Rom. 12:1-8; Matt. 16:13-20)

Gracious God,
In love You created us,
and in love You sustain us, day after day.
So it is with confidence that we bring our prayers to You,
knowing that You hear us, and will respond.

We offer our prayers for the world around us.
We pray for those who find themselves in bondage:
            those forced into slavery or prostitution,
            those oppressed by governments or economic systems,
            those enslaved by personal addictions.

Gracious God, hear our prayer,
and in Your love, answer.

We pray for those who struggle to raise their children 
in the midst of violence or poverty;
those who can only stand by and watch as their sons or daughters die
           of starvation or malnutrition,
           of preventable disease,
           or from gang violence.

Gracious God, hear our prayer,
and in Your love, answer.

We pray for those who refuse to participate in violence or injustice,
            who courageously stand up for what they know is right,
            regardless of the personal consequences.

Gracious God, hear our prayer,
and in Your love, answer.

We also pray for those who oppress others,
            who are unable to break free from cycles of violence and anger,
            who are no longer able to empathize with their victims.

Gracious God, hear our prayer,
and in Your love, answer.

We pray for all who suffer this day,
            whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
May Your presence surround and sustain each one,
            so that they may know your love and live.

Gracious God, hear our prayer,
and in Your love, answer.

Finally, God, we pray for ourselves—members of Your Body here on earth.
Break down the barriers that divide us from one another.
Unite us in our common allegiance to You as Lord and Saviour.
Grant us compassion and humility in our relationships.
Release the gifts You have given to each one,
            so that in us and through us,
            Your kingdom might come and Your will be done,
            on earth as it is in heaven.

Amen.