Prayers of the People for Trinity Sunday

I love the prayer called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate”. There are little bits and pieces in it that I’ve known since I was little without realizing what they were (I remember a great Sunday School song based on the “Christ within me…” passage. What a gem that is for a child, a reminder that Jesus is always and ever with you and all around you!) The opening line seems perfect for use on Trinity Sunday:

I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity…

But it can take some work to fit it into your run-of-the-mill worship service. It’s lovely, but long. It’s not really written for a corporate worship setting (it’s really a personal prayer to gird oneself for the day ahead). The language is a little archaic (though, that’s one of the things I love about it.)

Here’s my attempt to adapt parts of it for use in the prayers of the people on a very busy Trinity Sunday, with guest preachers and communion and recognition of high school graduates…

It turned out great for use beyond Trinity Sunday, too. And there’s room for adaptation in the middle: for different petitions, for a time for open petitions. If I were to adapt it for open petitions after each section in the middle, I’d suggest closing the time for people to add their prayers with the following response:

One: Lord Jesus Christ,

Many: Be with us, within us, behind us, before us.

I’ll be using it again, and I hope it will be helpful for other worship leaders (if you want to use it, and there’s a way to give me some attribution, I’d be honored!)

We bind ourselves, O God, today, to the strong name of the Trinity.
And we name you: Three in One, One in Three; and claim our place in your community of love.

We are embraced, loving God,
embraced in the community that is the heart not just of our church,
but also in the community that is the very heart of who you are:
Three in One;
Creator, Redeemer, and Giver of life.
Within that great love, we are held and treasured.

And we know, as we pray, you have heard us before the words cross our lips. You ever and always hear our prayers. Hear our prayers this morning.

We pray for our hurting world. That war-makers will find peace. That the hungry will find food. That refugees will find shelter. That injustice will be answered with all that is right and good.

We pray for all who suffer. For those we love dearly. For those we barely know. For those whose suffering we have ignored. Be present in the healing touch of all hands that help the sick and suffering. And send your Spirit to comfort and protect all who need you.

We pray for all who struggle. For those who cannot see a way through broken relationships, difficult financial realities, emotional darkness, and deep, deep loneliness. May they find you even in the most hopeless places. May they find your people, too, in those places, bringing good news and hope to all who are longing for something new.

We pray for all who are joyful. We rejoice at the promise of new life, and old lives made new. We celebrate the movement through milestones: births, graduations; new jobs; new relationships; the promise of soemthing wonderful. We remember those moments of blessing in our own lives and we thank you for the opportunity to use our lives to your glory, to live lives that are full, and worthy of your calling.

We bind ourselves, O God, today, to the strong name of the Trinity.
And we name you: Three in One, One in Three; and claim our place in your community of love.
Be with us, within us, behind us, before us.
May we be your comfort, your restoration, and your peace and wholeness in the world.

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