1. Father of compassion and God of all comfort, we come before You this Sabbath, the day You consecrated for our rest. On this day You rested from all Your work of creation, having pronounced everything You created as good.
2. Father, though Your work of creation was perfect in every way, sin entered our world through our own disobedience. We thank You for the Sabbath rest that You have provided for our souls through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. We pray for the grace to enter into this rest and remain in it all the days of our lives.
3. Jesus, You are mindful of our hardships and suffering on this earth, for You said, “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give You rest.” So as an act of will, we enter Your rest. Help us Lord to remain in You, so that You may remain in us and through You we may bear much fruit.
4. Father, we mourn for all the sin and sorrow of our world, yet Your promises fill us with hope as we await the coming of Your Son. On that day all things will be made new and we will once again experience the perfect rest within the embrace of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
5. Lord, we truly long for that day when You will return to renew all things. Then sin and death will flee away, wars will end, and there will be no more sickness, weeping or sighing for the old order of things will have passed. Then all creation will rejoice together, and the curse will be forever broken.
6. Father, on this day as we reflect on Your mercies and our future hope, we also remember all those who suffer and we pray for Your comfort and help in their lives.
7. Father, we pray for the poor and hungry around the world. Grant us grace that we may never harden our hearts toward them, but always stretch our hands to help as many as we can for Your word says that “He who gives to the poor, lends to their Maker.”
8. Father, we pray for the widow, the orphan and the alien in our midst. You love the alien, You are the defender of the widow and a Father to the fatherless. May we share Your heart of compassion to them and be willing to help them in their hour of need.
9. Father, we pray for the sick, especially those suffering from terminal diseases. May we remember to visit them on their bed of sickness to minister Your love and healing to them. Strengthen them in body and spirit. Grant them the grace to seek You and to receive the comfort that only the Holy Spirit can provide.
10. Father, we pray for those in prison and those condemned to death. Have mercy on them and deliver them from their sin and sadness. Open doors for Your people to minister to them, so that for the rest of their lives, they may live in peace and in obedience to Your will.
11. Father, have mercy on people who are demon possessed and those trapped in their addiction to drugs or other harmful substances. We remember the youth whose minds have been enslaved by rock music and evil video games. We also pray for those in the snare of sexual sins and pornography. Have mercy on our children and let them come to You for only You can set them free.
12. Father, we pray for those who suffer from the effects of war, famine, earthquakes and floods. We also pray for the wanderer, the refugee and the homeless. You are deeply concerned for them for You have promised to set the lonely in families. We pray that we will never harden our hearts toward those who suffer, but actively seek them out to comfort and bless them.
13. Father, have mercy on the children growing up in broken homes or in situations of abuse and neglect. Cover them under Your wings of protection and defend them for Your own name’s sake. Help them to grow up finding their hope and security in You. May we seek out these children to help them and their families.
14. Father, our hearts go out to Christians who are being persecuted because they bear witness to Your name. Shield them and deliver them, and help us remember that we are one Body. Grant them strength and comfort, and let their sacrifice not be in vain.
15. Father, as we lift these people to You in prayer, we acknowledge that our trials and sufferings are small in comparison to theirs. We bless You with grateful hearts for Your goodness to us. Help us never forget Your kindness to us. Rather let us remember that You expect more from those to whom You have given more. Forgive us our shortcomings and for the times when we have forgotten the distress of others. Have mercy on us and renew us, so that we may show Your love and kindness to all who suffer.
16. Jesus, on the day You return You will separate the wicked from the righteous. Those who have been selfish and uncaring will hear the terrible words, “Depart from Me you who are cursed. For I was hungry and you gave me no bread, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me. For whatever you did not do to the least of my brothers, you did not do for Me.”
But You will set at Your right hand all those who have shown love and kindness to the weakest and the poor. They will enter the joy of the Father and His eternal rest with all the saints. Grant us the wisdom to heed Your warning now and do all we can to comfort the suffering in our world. For we ask all these things in Jesus’ name.