Lent -- Service Prayers
O Covenant God
First Sunday of Lent
Call to Worship adapted from Psalm 25
One: Make us to know your ways, O God:
Many: teach us your paths.
One: Lead us in your truth, and teach us,
for you are the God of our salvation:
Many: for you we wait all day long.
One: Be mindful of your mercy, O God,
and of your steadfast love,
Many: for they have been of old.
One: We come into your presence
trusting in your tender mercy and your everlasting love.
Many: Strengthen us now for the living of our days,
and make us into your people, faithful to your Word.
Invocation based on Genesis 9: 8-17
O Covenant God,
your promise includes all of creation
in your blessing.
Immerse us today in knowledge of your faithfulness,
so that we may carry the refreshment
of your presence even into the desert places of our lives.
In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
Call to Confession
We find ourselves in many a desert place these days, confronted by fear and
anxiety. Economic and employment uncertainties may erode our trust in the Holy
One, and lead us into temptation. Let us take a moment and ponder our own
desert places: (silence)
Litany of Confession
When anxiety blocks us from seeking your presence:
God have mercy.
When fear causes us to seek security outside of community and
the common good of all:
Christ have mercy.
When fear of not having enough keeps us from sharing your abundance:
God have mercy.
Assurance of Grace
Christ in his desert was not alone in facing temptation in his life, but found the
presence of God always there to strengthen, encourage, and guide. In Christ, God with us,
we are forgiven, and called back 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 good news of God’s tender mercy and steadfast love changes our lives. God
leads us away from selfishness and fear, and teaches us to live in generosity and trust. Our
Lenten journey begins with gratitude and gifts for God’s mission unfolding in the world
around us. Let us gather our gifts together and offer them to God in gratitude, heartfelt commitment,
Blessing over the Gifts
Look with kindness on these gifts, tender God, and bless them. By the power of
your love, make them gifts that bless the world. Use them to build up your church into a
sturdy witness for justice and peace, especially for the little ones, the ones on the margins,
the ones without voice. Thank you for your love that sustains us, and your grace that makes
us new again. Amen.
Jesus began his ministry proclaiming, “The reign of God has come near, repent and
believe in the good news.” The reign of God, near to us! Let your life be changed by this
good news, and go now into the world to share it with others. 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.
Additional suggested hymns from The New Century Hymnal:
#18/19 Guide Me, O My Great Redeemer
#46 Hope of the World
#75 Lord, Make Me More Holy
#290 Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart
#497 Guide My Feet
O Covenant God: Prayers for the First 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.