Reign of Christ Sunday Intercessory Prayer — Tod Gobledale, UK

As we enter into this intercessory time—thinking and praying for others—let us first seek to still our spirits’ restlessness.

I invite you to close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply.
Inhale, filling your lungs….
Exhale, emptying your lungs….
Inhale, fill your lungs….
Exhale, empty them….
Inhale…
Exhale.

Pray with me.

Jesus, they hanged you on a cross and mocked you as an earthly king. But we understand you so differently from any king, queen, Caesar, president or prime minister whom the world has ever known. We pray to you as our sovereign, echoing the words of the hymn, ‘There is a longing in our hearts for love we only find in you, for justice, for freedom, for mercy.’

Christ our sovereign… Hear our prayer.

Jesus, they hanged you on a cross and mocked you as an earthly king. You are so different from earthly rulers.

We pray for [Hong Kong and China, for Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Iran], places which tremble with turmoil, violence and war. We pray for Gaza, Palestine and Israel, the heart of those lands where once your feet trod. Where injustice rules, bestow your justice; where hatred prowls, make your love prevail; where warfare rages, establish your peace, salaam, shalom.

Christ our sovereign… Hear our prayer.

Jesus, they hanged you on a cross and mocked you as an earthly king. You are so different from earthly rulers.

We pray for our country/nation: our [head of state/monarch/ruler] and our government. Grant all wisdom, courage and honesty—which these days seems in short supply. Strengthen the weak, encourage the fearful, comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Christ our sovereign… Hear our prayer.

Jesus, they hanged you on a cross and mocked you as an earthly king. You are so different from earthly rulers.

We pray for our communities and for those forgotten, those marginalized, those side-lined: for the elderly, for those infirm at home and hospital, for those with special needs, for the foreigner far from family, friends, home and living as our neighbours, for those sleeping rough. We pray for our families near and far, for grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren, and yes, some of us even have great grandchildren. Sovereign One, make your presence known to all these people spiritually and through our gifts of time, talent and treasure.

Christ our sovereign… Hear our prayer.

Jesus, they hanged you on a cross and mocked you as an earthly king. You are so different from earthly rulers.

In the silence of these moments, we lift to you in prayer those places, people and issues that nestle deep within our hearts and minds. As we picture those for whom we pray, we lift into your care their needs in body, mind and spirit.

Allow time for people’s silent prayers.

Christ our sovereign… Hear our prayer.

Sovereign One, you are an unusual ruler. You save us and take pity upon all for whom we pray. You bring light into our darkness and into theirs. Thank you for hearing our prayers, spoken and unspoken. Amen.

Featured image: ‘Kingdom of heaven’, by Cristina Rodrigues; altar frontal, Manchester Cathedral, United Kingdom