Lent -- Service Prayers
O God of our Hearts
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Call to Worship adapted from Psalm 51
One: Even when we wander, God is always with us.
Many: God knows the depths of our hearts
and shows us tender mercy.
One: God desires truth in our inward being,
Many: and leads us on paths of wisdom and love.
One: God washes us clean from sin,
Many: and wipes away every wrongdoing.
One: With willing and new and right spirits within us,
Many: let us sing songs of gladness in praise of God’s love.
O God of our Hearts
You yearn to be so close to us
that we can know you in every breath,
in every hope, in every relationship.
Meet us here today and
teach us to recognize
the covenant of justice, peace and love
you have written on our hearts.
So may our desires become your desires,
our work become your work,
and our community
the place where you are sought and found.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Call to Confession
God calls us in our lives to be like the grain of wheat which dies, which lets go of
one form in order to be transformed into new, and fuller life. And yet we often fear the
risk and change which new growth involves. Let us ponder for a moment the places of our
lives where we may be resisting God moving in our lives. (silence)
Litany of Confession
When we resist your call to change our hearts and allow a deepening of relationship:
God have mercy.
When we nurse our wounded hearts and withhold forgiveness which may
Christ have mercy.
When fear for our own security leads us to close our hearts from
those who are in need:
God have mercy.
Assurance of Grace
The One who makes a covenant on our hearts is faithful, and forgives us our sins and failures.
In Christ God offers forgiving grace and welcome into a community of trust, abundance, and hope. Let
us give thanks for the mercy of God, and pass the peace of Christ in community among us.
The prophet Jeremiah tells us that God’s law of generosity is written on our hearts. This church
stands because of the faithful generosity of those who came before us, and its ministry grows today because
of the hopeful, expectant generosity that lives in us. Let us gather our gifts together, then, and offer them to God in
gratitude, heartfelt commitment, and praise.
Blessing over the Gifts
Generous God, take our gifts this day and use them so that we may be part of your great work in
this world. Through our giving, bring a brighter day of justice and love, not just in our community but in the
world beyond these walls. Strengthen our church and the whole United Church of Christ so that we grow
together each day into a powerful voice for healing and peace. Amen.
Deep in our hearts, we know that we are children of God. Remember who you are, then, and walk
in the assurance of God’s presence and love with you always, strengthening you for the living of your days.
And may the grace and peace of God the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sustainer come upon you this day and remain with you
Additional suggested hymns from The New Century Hymnal:
#189 Down at the Cross
#195 On a Hill Far Away (The Old Rugged Cross)
#283 Spirit of the Living God
#292 Breathe on Me, Breath of God
O God of Our Hearts: Prayers for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, was written by the Rev. Kathryn Matthews Huey and the Rev. Susan A. Blain of the Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team.
Copyright 2009 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.