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Prayers of the people: 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 4 February 2018

29 January 2018

Introductory reflection

The questions haunt us.  Why do the innocent suffer?  Why is there such pain in the world?  Why does God not answer our cry of anguish?  The questions are age-old yet ever-present. Long ago they gave rise to the book of Job.  It wrestles mightily with the issue (though we rarely hear it read in church).  Even the gospel offers no simple answer to our “why.”  What it gives is the testimony of Jesus’ faith in the power and goodness of God, and God’s vindication of that faith in raising him from death.  In that faith we have been baptised; with that faith, we embrace and accompany those who suffer.

The week’s prayer focus

Like Jesus, Paul the apostle announced good news wherever he went.  We pray this week that the lives we lead will “proclaim the Good News to all creation” as Jesus commanded (Mk 16:15).

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, nourished by the word of God that has been proclaimed for us, let us reach out to the world in prayer and place all its needs in God’s loving hands.


  1. We pray for Pope Francis and all the bishops of the church.  May they, like the apostle Paul, be impelled to preach the gospel gladly in season and out of season.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  2. We pray for the Christian communities of Australia.  May they follow the example of Jesus and draw energy for mission from the constant practice of prayer.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  3. We pray for those who, like Job, feel that life is joyless and empty.  May they not lose hope at such dark times but find strength in the support of loved ones.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  4. We pray for all who work in the field of mental health.  May they have the wisdom and patience they need to accompany the troubled through to peace of mind.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  5. We pray for Catholic youth.  May they have their say in preparation for this year’s international Synod on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  6. We pray for public servants in all state, territory and commonwealth departments.  May their dedicated service enhance the wellbeing of all in the Australian community.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  7. We pray for people struggling with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling or pornography.  May they acknowledge their need for help and take active steps to seek it out.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  8. We pray for each other in this worshipping community.  May we walk together in faith and support one another with loving care.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.
  9. We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death around this time.  May they be admitted into the company of the angels and saints.  (Pause for silent prayer)  Lord, hear us.


All-loving God, in you we live and move and have our being.  Fill our minds with your truth and our hearts with your love that we may serve you and our neighbour in gladness of spirit.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.



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