Lay Anglicana, the unofficial voice of the laity throughout the Anglican Communion.
This is the place to share news and views from the pews.

Get involved ...

Help: Intercessions for 17th Sunday after Trinity (Proper 21)

Esther 7.1-6, 9-10, 9.20-22; Psalm 124, James 5.13-20, Mark 9.38-50

The Collect:

Almighty God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you: pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself, and so bring us at last to your heavenly city where we shall see you face to face;…


The reading from Esther is about the help given by King Ahasuerus to the Jews to ‘gain relief from their enemies’. The epistle is about the help received in answer to prayer. The gospel, though more difficult, could be said to be a warning from Jesus to the disciples to use to the full all that is helpful in working for the kingdom, and to reject utterly all that is of no help. Finally, Psalm 124 is as follows:

Psalm 124: Refrain: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

1  If the Lord himself had not been on our side, *now may Israel say;
2  If the Lord had not been on our side, *when enemies rose up against us;
3  Then would they have swallowed us alive *when their anger burned against us;
4  Then would the waters have overwhelmed us and the torrent gone over our soul; *
over our soul would have swept the raging waters. R
5  But blessed be the Lord *who has not given us over to be a prey for their teeth.
6  Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowler; *the snare is broken and we are delivered.
7  Our help is in the name of the Lord, * who has made heaven and earth.


David Adam has a lovely bidding prayer:


Lord our God,
on the way of goodness, if we stumble lift us up;
on the way of holiness, if we stray bring us back;
on the way of kindness, if we toughen soften our hearts;
that we may draw others to you and your saving power
by our words and example.

Our help comes from you, O Lord: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 The Church

Lord, as the Church moves towards the announcement of a new Archbishop of Canterbury, we ask you to be with him as he assumes this role. May he bring healing. May he bring guidance. And may he bring hope to your Church as we seek to unite all the differing strands and go forwards in mission together.

Lord, help us to build on that new unity to reach out to those outside the Church as well as within our walls, so that we in turn may be a blessing and help to others.

Strengthen your Church, O Lord, in its care for the needy, and for all healers and healing communities.

Our help comes from you, O Lord: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The World

As our national aid budget comes under scrutiny, we pray that our political leaders remain mindful that from those to whom much is given, much shall also be expected.

As the resources of the world are not divided evenly among the peoples of the world, help us to do all that is in our power to share so much that we take for granted, even the constant supply of running water which for so many is a luxury beyond reach.

Our help comes from you, O Lord: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Our Community

Lord, teach us to be open and generous in our dealings.

May we dedicate ourselves to the service of others and to you.

Bless the neighbourhood in which we live, and the place where we work.

We pray for our friends and families.

Our help comes from you, O Lord: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Human Need and Suffering

Lord of all power, support all whose strength is depleted, the world-weary, the exhausted, all those who feel that their well of inspiration has dried up.

We pray for those who are finding it  difficult to cope with day to day living on their own.

We remember also all who suffer from malnutrition, from hunger and from thirst.

Our help comes from you, O Lord: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


The Communion of Saints

We give you thanks for the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus,

for the promise of joy and peace in your eternal kingdom.

We pray that our loved ones departed may be numbered with your saints in glory.

Our help comes from you, O Lord: in your mercy, hear our prayer.



Many of the prayers today come from David Adam’s ‘Traces of Glory’, which I once again commend to you as a useful starting point.

The illustration ‘Help’ is by Andy Mackay, downloaded under licence from Twelve Baskets.

3 comments on this post:

UKViewer said...

Thanks Laura

26 September 2012 17:44
SylviaS said...

Just discovered your site. This will be a great help when the inspiration doesn’t happen. Thanks

Lay Anglicana said...

I’m so glad to hear it – my hope is it that it is always easier to correct someone else’s draft than start with a blank piece of paper!

29 September 2012 19:25
29 September 2012 17:55

Leave a Reply

We rely on donations to keep this website running.