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The Prayers of the Church

May 8, 2022: 4th Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday), also Mother’s Day

 

Acts 20:17-35 (Paul, on his way to Jerusalem, exhorts elders to watch over the flock they are entrusted with, for there are dangerous wolves that threaten them)

                RCL: Acts 9:36-43 (Peter raises Tabitha)

 

Psalm 23 (the Lord is my shepherd)

 

Revelation 7:9-17 (salvation belongs to God and to the Lamb; behold a host, arrayed in white)

 

John 10:22-30 (my sheep hear my voice; no one shall snatch them from my hand)

 

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Let us pray to our risen Savior on behalf of the Church, the world, and one another.

A brief silence

Lord Jesus, you alone are worthy! You are worthy of blessing and honor, glory, and praise. Give us grace to praise your greatness, to bless your name, and to live lives worthy of you, our Shepherd and Savior.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

St. Paul exhorted the elders of the churches to protect your flock from the wolves that threaten them. Bless your Church with pastors and theologians who rightly proclaim your Word, defend against heresy and schism, and lead your people into lives of holiness, faithfulness, and love.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Your martyrs stand before your throne, praying for all who are persecuted for your Name’s sake. Join our prayers to theirs. Give courage and endurance to those who suffer on account of you. By their example, cause their enemies to repent, so their lives may be transformed, and their minds renewed.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Bless and direct this congregation. Call us by name and lead us in love. Guide us in paths of discipleship and service. Let all be done to your glory, and for the good of our family, community, and world.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Bless our littlest lambs: our infants and toddlers, and all newborns in the faith. Lead them safely through the dangers of this world. Crown their innocence with holiness. Teach them to know your voice and to gladly follow wherever you would have them go.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Thank you for mothers, foster mothers, and for all who care and love with a mother’s heart. Adorn their lives with wisdom, goodness, common sense, and patience. Give them endurance – and a good night’s sleep – to carry out their many tasks with a light heart and ready smile. Be their strength and shield when their burdens are great and sorrowful. And bestow your dearest comfort to all who have lost a child, or who are unable to have one.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Give a shepherd’s heart to the leaders of all nations, especially our own. Teach them to seek the welfare of their people above power, wealth, or re-election. By their labors, grant the simple blessings of decent food, clean water, and the chance to raise families in freedom and safety. Give wisdom and integrity to all who risk their lives on behalf of others. And to all people, especially those whose lives have been shattered by violence, grant a measure of your peace.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O great and good Shepherd, carry on your shoulders all who are suffering in body, mind, and heart. Especially we remember before you: {List}. Give a double portion of you Spirit to all who care for them, and restore them to wholeness and hope.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, we pray the Shepherd’s Psalm when a member of your flock has died, confident that you bring them through death’s dark vale into your Father’s house. We therefore entrust to you all our dear departed. Lead, feed, and protect us, as you have done for them. Prepare our place at your festive table, where with all whom you have redeemed, we will feast on your goodness and mercy forever.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Grant to us all that is in accordance with your will, dear Jesus, and accomplish your salvation among us; for you are risen from the dead and dwell in majesty with your Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.