Prayers of the People Liturgy

By: Reality SF

Yesterday at our gatherings, we tried a liturgy (i.e. a ritual for public worship) that is new for us, but is certainly not new in the history of the Christian church. The Prayers of The People is a tradition that has become woven into the liturgical fabric of the global church through the centuries. It is a call-and-response prayer that gives us an opportunity to share our requests and lamentations with God. After each phrase or short prayer is read by the leader, the congregation responds with the words “Lord Have Mercy.”

In case you missed our gatherings yesterday, you can listen here to RSF Director of Music Ministry Tyler Madsen lead our congregation through the prayer. We will also practice this prayer at tonight’s All Church Prayer gathering at 7PM at the RSF Headquarters.

 

Here is the text from yesterday’s Prayers of the People liturgy:

Let’s pray this way now, remembering that in doing so, we join the saints of past and present, ages and ethnicities, to be formed in our capacity to lament, to have compassion, and to be generous of heart. I will read the first part of the prayers, and then after each one, let’s respond together by saying “Lord Have Mercy.”

For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the Holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For San Francisco, for every city and community, and for those who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our President, Donald Trump, for our Governor, Jerry Brown, and our Mayor, Ed Lee, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, for the refugee and immigrant, and for all who remember and care for them, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the homeless in this city and all those who are mentally ill. And for those bound by spiritual possession and oppression, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our justice systems, that they would protect and affirm the dignity of all communities and peoples, and that evil would not overcome good, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the ways we ourselves have not acted justly, and for the absolution and remission of our sins and offenses, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

Defend us, deliver us, and in Thy compassion protect us, O Lord, by thy grace, we pray,
Lord, have mercy.

For Your Kingdom come and Your will be done, in our city as it is in Heaven.
Lord, have mercy.

 

If you are experiencing this prayer for the first time, be mindful of what may be stirring in your heart. Notice which of these prayers may have resonated within you. Notice which of these prayers may have stirred up some tension within you. Now bring those experiences to the Lord, and ask Him to meet you in them. Tonight at All Church Prayer, we will again practice this prayer with space for deeper reflection and prayer into each area and topic. We’d love for you to join us.