Pentecost -- Ordinary Time -- Service Prayers

The New and Living Way of Christ:
Service Prayer for the 24th Sunday after the Pentecost

Daniel 12:1-3
Psalm 16
Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25
Mark 13:1-8

CALL TO WORSHIP (based upon Hebrews 10:22-25)
One:    Come into this time of worship by the new and living way in Christ Jesus.
Many:    We come with true hearts in full assurance of our faith.
One:    Come with joyful expectation.
Many:    We gather in full confidence of the gospel’s promise.
One:    Let us praise God together and open ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit
Many:    That we may encourage and support each other to love our neighbors as ourselves and to be God’s instruments of grace.

In you, O God, we find refuge from our turbulent world.  
We work each day to bear witness to your justice through our ministries.  
While the journey towards true peace that lies ahead is long,
our incremental steps continue to take us closer to that promised day.  
Renew in us the strength, faith, and courage we need to persevere
so that the promised day will come when your will
will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Amen.

The church year begins with Advent’s hope,
the coming of Christ and the reign of God.  
The last liturgical season, Pentecost, is a time to grow spiritually and faithfully.  
Today, we are almost at the end of the church year.  
Despite our labors, individually and collectively,
Advent’s hope remains far away.  
Let us take this time to confess our sins
of omission and commission
that keeps afar that day
when the sound of weeping across the land will be no more.

In response to the words, We beseech you, O God, please sing the following:

Despite our best efforts, O God, we have not always lived as we should.  
While we have not willfully disobeyed your commandments,
our own short-sightedness and impatience
have led us to make choices based upon our immediate needs over your desires.   
Forgive us for our selfish ways.  We beseech you, O God,

Many of the challenges we have faced have evoked fear in us.  
We have let these fears at times overwhelm our faith and trust in you.  
Forgive us for our lack of faith in you.  
We beseech you, O God,  

We don’t always recognize or acknowledge
that our reticence to embrace the stranger comes from our own biases, O God.  
When we do not embrace the stranger,
we lose the blessings and richness of your beloved community.  
Forgive us for our biases.  We beseech you, O God,

We see injustices whether in the papers, on television, on the web,
or walking through our community.  
Yet, we sometimes cannot bring ourselves to speak out
or take action against them.  
Forgive us for our silence.  We beseech you, O God,
We know you created this world with enough for everyone.  
Yet, in this land of plenty people know deprivation.  
Forgive us that we have not done enough
to sustain and support the sacredness of the common good.  
We beseech you, O God,

Let us take this time to pray silently for God’s forgiveness of our sins.....  
We beseech you, O God,

A cord of love binds us to God.  
God will not allow us to enter Sheol or to see the Pit.  
We are forgiven and saved by God’s love for us.  
Thanks be to God.

Our offering is a faith statement.  
By offering our treasure to God,
we believe that what we do here in this church
does make a difference in this world
and that by this offering we will hasten the day when the lame shall leap for joy,
the blind shall see, and that scarcity and deprivation will exist only in our memories.

We return a portion of what we have received from you, O God,
in gratitude for all that you have bestowed upon us.  
Bless this offering.  
Grant that it may continue to sustain and support the ministries of this church
to bring the light of Christ into this community and the world beyond.  Amen.

What endure are not the edifices we build, but the work of God that we accomplish through our ministries in the name of Christ Jesus.  Let us go forth from here empowered by the Holy Spirit to be God’s instruments justice rooted in love to further the work of Jesus and to move us closer to God’s reign of peace.

The New and Living Way of Christ: Service Prayer for the 24th Sunday after the Pentecost was written by the Rev. Quentin Chin, member of  Church on the Hill in Lenox, MA.
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.


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