Easter -- Service Prayers -- 3rd Sunday

From the Heart

Service Prayers for the Third Sunday of Easter


Call to Worship (inspired by  Acts 2: 14a, 36-24; Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19)

Leader:             Sisters and Brothers, what shall we do?

People:            We shall praise God

who hears our prayers,

who draws near to us,

Sisters and brings new life out of death.

and Brothers, how shall we live?

With the confidence of God’s beloved children,

with security and joy of God’s saving grace.                                       

Sisters and Brothers, what is the promise?

New life, forgiveness of sin, the Spirit as gift!

Sisters and Brothers, how shall we praise?

We lift our voices and our hearts in love, thanks, and praise!

We will praise the Lord as long as we live!



Loving God, we welcome your living presence in our midst.

Share our joy and our thanks for the life you give us.

Sing with us! Dance among us! Pray with us!

Shower us with your love! Amen!


Prayer of Confession (Luke 24:13-35)

Heavenly Stranger, our Companion on the Way,

we yearn for your love and grace. We seek your wisdom and guidance.

We relish the joy which burns within our hearts when you are with us.

Yet, sometimes we would cling to you,

hoard the blessings of relationship with you,

and not share your love with others.

            Forgive us, Dear One.

            Remind us that your love is to be carried throughout the world.

            Press us to share the hope and joy of your love,

            so that someone who hungers for spiritual food

            may be filled by our witness to your grace.

            Shine the light of your Spirit through us,

            so that we may show your Way those who long for peace

            and help to revive those in whom hope has died.  Amen.


Words of Assurance

God may come to us, unrecognized, as a stranger.

The Risen Christ reaches out to us in unexpected ways

as we travel our own Emmaus roads.

May the Word of our Stillspeaking God

continue to burn in our hearts.


Invitation to the Offering (1 Peter 1:22-23)

The author of 1 Peter implores us to love one another deeply from the heart,

and assures us that we have been born anew  

through the living and enduring word of God.

In our giving today, let us give, not out of obligation, but from the heart.

Let our gifts be seeds of the living and enduring word of God,

that will sprout in abundance of justice and hope all that is necessary for life,

for sisters and brothers here at hand, and around the world.


Prayer of Dedication

Jesus, God has made you both Sovereign and Christ.

Therefore we pray your blessing upon these gifts, upon us,

and those whose lives will benefit from them.

May your victory over death

empower all whom you call to trust in God.

In faith and hope we pray. Amen.



Friends, rejoice in the mothering and fathering love of God!

Rejoice in the victorious life of our Risen Savior!

Rejoice in the power of the Spirit!

Go, living in the love of Christ!

Go, serving in the name of Christ!

Let your love of God embrace

Your children

Your family

Your enemies

Those who are afar off

Those who are strangers met on the road

May your lives praise the Lord!


From the Heart: Service Prayers for  the Third Sunday of Easter was written by the Rev. Renee C. Jackson, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, presently serving as Pastor and Teacher of the First Congregational UCC in Ypsilanti, Michigan, an Open and Affirming congregation where God is still speaking.

Copyright 2011 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 


Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115