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Prayers of the people: 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 28 January 2018

22 January 2018

Introductory reflection

The Jesus of Mark’s gospel presents a paradox.  On the one hand he is a person of power, astonishing the crowds with his command of evil spirits and the authority of his teaching.  On the other, as we find later, he is a figure of weakness, failing to inspire faith in his followers and succumbing to a shameful death.  Mark offers no easy resolution of this tension.  He ends his gospel without the assurance of resurrection, daring readers to take the step of faith on their own.  Those who do must risk seeing the crucified Christ as God’s Chosen One in whose footsteps we are to follow.

The week’s prayer focus

At times life can seem chaotic, out of control, even at the mercy of malign forces.  Keep me close, dear God, to your Son and strengthen my faith in his power to hold me fast.

Sample intercessions

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


Dear friends, from the outset of his ministry Jesus teaches with authority and wields power over evil spirits.  Let us pray for his saving word to make the whole of creation new.


  1. We pray for the global church.  In these unsettled times may it teach with the authority of Jesus and by his word disarm the power of evil in the world.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  2. We pray for the prophets of our time.  May all who speak uncomfortable truths and call accepted ways into question not be silenced but stand by their costly convictions.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  3. We pray for the people of Syria.  May peace prevail in their land and may they be given the resources they need to rebuild their homes and their lives.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  4. We pray for the members of the United Nations peace-keeping forces. May their task of maintaining order in troubled places be carried out safely and justly.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  5. We pray for the staff and volunteers of international aid and development agencies, especially those working in dangerous situations.  May their dedicated service bring lasting relief to the people they care for.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  6. (Most states) We pray for children and teachers starting the new school year. May they set out together with enthusiasm for the adventure of learning.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  7. We pray for priests serving in parishes and in other roles in the Australian church. May they find joy in their ministry and be blessed with the support of loving communities.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  8. We pray for the frail aged, especially those suffering from any form of dementia. May they be looked after with love and respect, whether at home or in care.  (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 raised to eternal life.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.


Father of peace, by the cross of Christ you set us free from the power of sin and death.  Keep our hearts free to bless and praise you and to serve our sisters and brothers in selfless love.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.


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