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Prayers of the people: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C – 17 November

07 November 2019

Introductory reflection

Destruction, wars, revolutions, earthquakes, plagues, famines, cosmic signs, persecution, betrayal, execution. All-inclusive for its time, Jesus’ apocalyptic litany could be expanded now by adding nuclear armageddon and environmental extinction.

In the face of such a catalogue of woes, Jesus’ words of assurance may seem underwhelming. Not a hair of your head will be lost, he says; your endurance will save you.

Dare we trust him? Not easy at the best of times, all the more difficult these days when faith is shaken by the scandal of sexual abuse and its cover-up. But not to take Jesus at his word is to capitulate to fear and paralysis. It’s time for bold belief and determined action.

The week’s prayer focus

For all who are fearful of the future, that the Spirit of God will stir up fresh faith in their hearts.

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, no matter what turmoil may threaten the world, Jesus counsels us to remain calm and steadfast. With patient trust let us pray for a new heaven and a new earth.


  1. We pray for Pope Francis, pilgrim of peace. May his pastoral visit to Thailand and Japan help free the world from nuclear weapons and bring an end to human trafficking. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  2. We pray for those affected by bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland. May they have the strength to rebuild their lives and communities, and to trust in Jesus' words of assurance. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us
  3. We pray for the peoples most directly affected by global warming. May urgent world-wide action ward off the climate chaos that threatens their survival. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  4. We pray for all who live in poverty, deprived of ready access to clean water and sanitation. May their needs be given the priority they deserve. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  5. We pray for children around the world, especially those who have known nothing but war and insecurity. May they be loved, cared for and kept safe. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  6. We pray for musicians and singers of every kind. Under the patronage of St Cecilia, may they bring joy, beauty and harmony to the human family. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  7. We pray for the under-employed and those who have no work. May their struggle to make ends meet be eased by income support that is fair and just. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  8. We pray for our families, friends and fellow parishioners. May we not succumb to fear of the future but work together for a better world . (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 be led safely through death to the joy of eternal life. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.


Holy God, you have brought all things to birth and destined them for glory. Sustain us with your saving Word and loving Spirit. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


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