I noticed and commented on this thread on PrayTell. The topic is “praying against.” and a sample intercession reads:
For our church and/or nation,
that God may raise up shepherds
after Christ’s own loving heart,
and bring down from their thrones
those who seek only power and glory,
that the people may rejoice in leaders who are wise and just,
and be spared the yoke of the wicked and self-serving,
we pray to the Lord.
Too many words. It’s a good end to a homily, perhaps. It does preach. As wordy as I might get:
For the Church, our shepherds and people, we pray.
And then silence after the assembly response.
As for the other prong of “against,” one favorite from the old GIA publication Praise God In Song is from evening prayer:
For our nation, its government, and for all who serve and protect us
Simple and direct and most un-preachy. I don’t think God needs to be told what to do with the wicked, the bad, and the evil. None of us have any business rendering judgment–that is for Jesus. I think that certainly we can witness to evil behavior, but prayers for intercession are generally not the time for listing a laundry basket full of sins and offenses.
A second reason I advocate for brief prayers is for the ease of singing. I’d like to see the intercessions sung on any Sunday. But if they are as involved as the sample from PrayTell, no thanks on the musicality needed. At least the samples there weren’t as self-serving as others I’ve occasionally heard, something along the lines of …
That all parishioners wake up and commit themselves to parish ministry as catechists, musicians, committee members, and workers for the community dinner …
I have a two word prayer for that one: spare me!