Liturgical people: a question for you

Intercessors who attend liturgical churches – this question is for you:

As part of our Sunday morning liturgy, we have a time for guided corporate prayer. A person from the congregation leads us in praying for the needs of leaders, the congregation, the nations of the world. The scripted prayers read by the leader are general, focusing us on a particular category. There is time immediately following each general prayer for people in the congregation to pray a brief prayer around that theme.

Some of the categories are easy for people in our church to grasp: “Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind or spirit; give them courage and hope in your troubles, and bring them the joy of your salvation.” This prayer request always brings specific intercession for those in distress or in need of healing.

However, some of the categories are have a bit of an awkward “God bless the whole world – and Toto, too” nature to them: “Guide the people of this land, and of all the nations, in the ways of justice and peace; that we may honor one another and serve the common good.” (We don’t always pray this one, but it has been part of the liturgy during Lent.) It is a nice, sing-a-longable Up With People kind of sentiment, but is this what sparks our shared intercession as we rehearse together our calling to be a house of prayer?

School me on this, please. I am in the learner’s seat.

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2 thoughts on “Liturgical people: a question for you”

  1. I know what you mean, Michelle – prayers like that sound impossible! But to me, praying that sentence is akin to praying, “Your kingdom come…”

    I actually think there are a lot of things we pray that sound impossible, even as we speak the words. Maybe this prayer seems more impossible than most because it is focused on whole people and nations… but it’s a good reminder that, even as we read and see horrible stories of injustice all over the world, God is still in control – and we can lift up these “huge” prayer requests to him alongside our more manageable petitions.

    Just a thought…

  2. It’s a very good thought, friend, and a helpful redirection as I’ve wrestled with this language.

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