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Prayers of the people: 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C – 27 October

17 October 2019

Introductory reflection

The word of God invites us to muse on three figures today.

Two are in stark contrast. The self-promoting Pharisee and the self-effacing tax collector are at opposite ends of the humility scale. The third – the apostle Paul – is more difficult to situate. Boasting like the Pharisee, he claims to have “fought the good fight” and earned the “crown of righteousness.”

On the other hand, he also confesses his sinfulness, though not as humbly as the publican; he wants to claim the title of “the greatest” sinner (1 Tim 1:15).

The word “confess” holds it all together. At one time or another we confess praise, faith and failure. Each admits us into the mystery of divine love.

The week’s prayer focus

For all the baptised, that they will come to a new awareness of their God-given dignity.

Sample intercessions

These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish along with those that express local needs and concerns.


Dear friends, in the kingdom proclaimed by Jesus there is no place for self-righteousness. Standing humbly before God, let us pray in peace for all we need.


  1. We pray for church leaders. May they carry out their ministry of service in a healthy spirit of humility. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  2. We pray for world leaders in this time of global instability. May they go beyond national self-interest and forge a common vision for the whole of humanity. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  3. We pray for local churches in places of poverty, injustice and corruption. May they be a clear sign of the transforming power of the gospel. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  4. We pray for followers of the Hindu faith. May the celebration of Divali, the festival of light, deepen their faith in the triumph of good over evil. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  5. We pray for Christian believers. May this week’s celebrations of All Saints and All Souls renew their trust in Jesus’ promise of eternal life. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  6. We pray for all who are addicted to drugs of any kind. May they seek the help they need to break free from their addiction and regain health of mind and body. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  7. We pray for students undergoing either tertiary or end-of-school exams. May they do justice to their abilities and their hopes. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  8. We pray for ourselves. May we be blessed with a true sense of our worth in the eyes of God. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  9. We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May they receive the crown of righteousness Christ has prepared for them. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.


Holy God, protector of the stranger, the widow and the orphan, hear our prayer. Deliver us from pride and help us walk in freedom of spirit. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


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