Lent -- Service Prayers
O Merciful God
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Call to Worship adapted from Psalm 107
One: Give thanks to God, for God is good;
Many: God’s steadfast love endures forever!
One: God has gathered us in from many places,
Women: from the east and the west,
Men: from the north and the south.
One: In times of sickness and health,
wandering and sin, hunger and thirst,
Many: God has sent out God’s word to deliver us.
One: Let us thank God for God’s steadfast love,
for God’s wonderful works to humankind.
Many: We will tell of God’s deeds with songs of joy!
O God of mercy and abiding love
Your desire is for all your people
To know fullness of life,
Meet us here today with grace
That forgives and heals,
So that we may lift up our hearts to you, and live.
In the name of Jesus, sent from your own heart.
Call to Confession
God invites us to let the light of Christ shine honestly, openly, generously through
our lives in community. And yet we struggle to live so transparently. Let us reflect on
the ways in which we block the light of Christ. (silence)
Litany of Confession
When we hide the light of our talents, and do not use them for the common good:
God have mercy
When we fear to take a stand in the light of justice, and hide in the shadow of fear:
Christ have mercy
When we are less than truthful, and cast shadows of doubt across relationships:
God have mercy
Assurance of Grace
Christ, lifted up to draw all people to 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.
Sisters and brothers, God’s ancient, steadfast love is not a love that simply waits for
us to stop wandering and return home. God’s love comes seeking us, and gives us the gift
of Jesus, so that we might have life abundant. Our giving this morning, whether we have
been lost and wandering, or secure and safe, expresses our firm conviction that God is with
us, no matter what. Let us gather our gifts together and offer them to God in gratitude, heartfelt
commitment, and praise.
Blessing over the Gifts
God of ancient love and future promise, let your blessing come upon these gifts.
Change them into light and love and hope for the world, so that this church,
_________________ United Church of Christ, will be an even greater blessing to those
touched by its ministry in your name. Make us into a more generous and more faithful
people, walking in the light of your love. Amen.
Just as God’s Word was sent into the world to heal and redeem, so God sends you
into the world this day to be light and love, healing and hope. Go now to be light for the
world! And may the grace and peace of God the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sustainer come upon you
this day and remain with you always. Amen.
Additional suggested hymns from The New Century Hymnal:
#410 If You But Trust in God to Guide You
#403 My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
#207 Just as I Am
#499 Pues si vivimos (In All Our Living)
O Merciful God: Prayers for the Fourth 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.