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 ...

Intercessions for 12th Sunday after Trinity 2012 (Year B): Put On The Armour of God (Series 1)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the blog post that remains consistently the one most read is the one I wrote on intercessions. And this is not because it contains anything particularly noteworthy, unfortunately, but because help with drafting intercessions is the most pressing need expressed by the laity of the Church of England.  For the last three days, Word Press shows me that someone has been looking for intercessions for Trinity+12 and Google has led them to this site. I feel bound to oblige, and in any case I too am responsible for intercessions this coming Sunday in my parish church. So I thought I would ‘show the workings’ as my maths teacher used to say.


After checking our own rota to see the readings, I go to Visual Liturgy to read all the texts for Sunday’s lectionary. The Old Testament reading is from 1 Kings 8.(1,6,10-11)22-30,41-43 and includes:

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! Have regard to your servant’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today; that your eyes may be open night and day towards this house, the place of which you said, “My name shall be there,” that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray towards this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling-place; heed and forgive.

At our service, we are instead having the Epistle:

Ephesians 6.10-20

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

The Gospel is John 6.56-69:

Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’ He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?’ But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, ‘Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, ‘For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.’ Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’

As a lay person, I immediately feel I can make more of the OT reading and the Epistle than I can of the Gospel. I don’t mean that I don’t derive personal benefit from the Gospel, simply that on this occasion it is difficult to translate this into intercessory prayer, whereas the OT and the Epistle are both about prayer and the Epistle has the appealing image of the Church Militant (When did you last sing ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ in church?)


I take up my two main sources of help on intercessions: ‘Leading Intercessions, Years A, B & C‘ by Raymond Chapman and ‘Traces of Glory‘ by David Adam (this being Year B: there are companion volumes for Years A and C.  To find the twelfth Sunday after Trinity, it helps to know that it is also Proper 16 (but David Adam’s book allows you to find this by date also)

How gratifying! Both authors are full of metaphors about the armour of faith. Now all I have to do is to make a judicious mixture of each (the style of each is rather different, Raymond Chapman’s being more patrician, so you will need to adapt so that it feels and sounds as if you have written the prayers.


Lord, we ask you to protect the Church with the whole armour of faith and righteousness. Strong in the Spirit, may your people work powerfully for the coming of your Kingdom. Under the leadership of a new Archbishop of Canterbury, may all strands of the Church of England come together in unity to fight the good fight against the forces of division.

Let us be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power: Lord, in your mercy (hear our prayer).


Holy Lord,  Holy and Mighty God, all power, all might, all energy and all strength comes from you; equip us, we pray, to stand against the evils of our time. Give us the shield of faith, the sword of the spirit, the helmet of salvation, the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and protect us with the gospel of peace, that we may remain loyal to the end.

Lord, bring peace to the many places of strife in the world. We think particularly of Syria, but also all those places where struggles continue, but no longer fill the headlines, such as Central Africa. Turn the hearts of those who use the weapons of destruction and give them a truer vision. Bless all those who work for peace, including the forces in Afghanistan, and may their people learn the ways of peace.

Let us be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power: Lord, in your mercy (hear our prayer).


Grant to our families the security that can come only from faith. Bless us, our friends and neighbours, and be our sure defence against evil.  Pity and pardon those who have lost the faith which they once held. Come to them with the assurance that, though they have forsaken you, you will never forsake them, and will bring them home. We pray for those who are in sickness, especially……


Let us be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power: Lord, in your mercy (hear our prayer).



We rejoice with those who have triumphed, we join with all who have found their strength in you. We pray for those whom we love, now in your glorious kingdom, particularly today for…….

 Let us be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power: Lord, in your mercy (hear our prayer).

Merciful Fatheraccept these our prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.



The illustration was downloaded from Wikimedia under licence. “Anonymous, attributed to Athanasius: Detail of Blessed is the Host of the King of Heaven (alternatively known as Church Militant). Russian icon, ca. 1550 – 1560. Tretyakov Gallery”

3 comments on this post:

Christine A. Fox said...

I can’t thank you enough for your faithfulness in sharing your work on parish Intercessions! Truly an inspiration and a godsend, every time it’s my turn to do our church intercessions, you’re my first port of call! Bless you!

Xtine, All Saints Church Ulcombe, Kent

21 August 2015 13:27
May said...

I concur with Christine – than you! It is my first time preparing for the Intercessions tomorrow and your blog post is incredibly helpful. I also wish you the best Christine and will pray for you.

May, St George’s Church, Westcombe Park, London

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you so much, May and Alison. :>)

22 August 2015 21:03
22 August 2015 17:57

Leave a Reply

We rely on donations to keep this website running.