Prayers of the People........specialized
One of the ways to make a Eucharistic celebration even more special is to customize the Prayers of the People to be used for that Sunday or that special occasion.
Here is an example of POP I have written for the Deacon's Conference Eucharist in the Diocese of New York to be held next weekend.
Prayers of the People
As deacons we are called to be both bold and humble, wise and just. Let us with gratitude petition our God for the courage and wisdom to inspire and support the Church.
For the Church Universal - in its many and diverse forms and many members - that all may listen to the needs of the world and respond in action as well as word, we pray
Compassionate and just God, strengthen us to do your will.
For this nation and the nations and tribes of the world - may we strive to raise up and support leaders who promote overall peace, dignity for every individual, a reverence for the world and a just and humane sharing of its vast resources, we pray
Spirit of creativity and harmony, inspire us to do your will.
For skill in communication, negotiation and understanding that our conflicts may be diminished and our minds set on finding the true common good, we pray
God of wisdom and good, empower us to do your will.
For this diaconal community, for priests and bishops; for this geographical community, county and state and all who inhabit them, we pray
Friend of all who turn to you, help us to pray for your will.
For immigrants, migrant workers, day laborers, the unemployed and underemployed, for service members, for workers of many colored collars; for all upon whose labor we depend, we pray
God of mercy, give us grateful hearts to do your will.
For prisoners, those who are persecuted or tortured; for all who mourn; for those who struggle with depression, addictions, loneliness, prolonged or painful illness; for all the ill and infirm, especially ( ), we pray
Tender God, help us to care for those in need by doing your will.
For all those who have died - for those who left recently or long ago - for those we have never known as well as those we have loved - for those who have been killed, for those who have left while dreaming, especially ( ), we pray
Embracing and forgiving God, bless and welcome those who have done your will.
Holy God, immense and infinite, give ear to the prayers and requests of your messengers, prophets and servants. Give us clear minds to turn to you for guidance in all our petitions and the purpose of your guiding Spirit to accomplish in us that which you would have us do. In Jesus' wonderful name. AMEN.
Now, that is only an example. Wouldn't it be wonderful if special prayers could be written for individual weddings, changes in the parish, induction of vestries, celebrations for anniversaries? It is also a helpful to write POP based on the lectionary for the week or current events.
Keeping the Prayers of the People fresh and pertinent also helps a congregation be interactive and 'on their toes', encouraging people to pray rather than say their prayers.
If you find this suggestion helpful - or are already using 'tailored' prayers, send them to me @ firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to post them here and share them with our fellow Farmers.