Easter -- Service Prayers

Free Indeed!
Service Prayers for the Seventh Sunday in Easter

 

Acts 16:16-34                Psalm 97                
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21             John 17:20-26

 

             Call to Worship

 

               Leader:             The Spirit of God bids us, “Come.”

                                       Let everyone who hears within their hearts “Come.”

                                       Hear the whole earth rejoice and

                                       the coastlands sing of our God’s steadfast love.

 

               All:                  We come to rejoice in the Holy One, our God.

                                       We give thanks for God sets us free!

 

               Leader:             Let everyone who is thirsty for the Spirit “Come.” 

                                       Let anyone who wishes “Come,”

                                       and receive the water of life as a gift.

 

               All:                  We come to rejoice in the Holy One, our God.

                                       We give thanks for God’s steadfast love

                                       that brings joy to our hearts in the night,

                                       lights our lives like the dawn,

                                       and sets us free.                                                                                 Amen.

 

             Invocation

 

            O God, we give you thanks that you bid us to come to this place of prayer.

            We thank you that in this place, we are reminded

            of your boundless love, your justice, and your mercy.

            Thank you God, that you are the path of redemption,

            salvation, and deliverance

            from the things in our lives that bind and imprison us.

            Break the chains and open the prison doors of our lives.

            Set us free, O God, as we worship you in this place of prayer.

            Let our praises and prayers, our songs and hymns

            give glory and honor to you.                                                                            Amen.

 

             Prayer of Confession

 

                Jesus prays for us, for “those who will believe in me through their word,

            that they may all be one. As you, Father-Mother God,

           are in me and I am in you,

            may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

            As disciples of Christ, we proclaim in our words the hope

            “that we may all be one”,

            yet often we become bound, even imprisoned, by our fears or distrust

            of those who seem different from us in some way.

            When our fears bind us, we forget our calling to be witnesses in the world

            of the love of God manifest in Christ Jesus and in each of us.

 

            The fear of difference causes us to retreat

            and separate ourselves from others.            

            The fear of difference imprisons us in cells of our own making.

             Assurance of Pardon

 

Sisters and brothers, God is at work in us and with us!

The glory that God has manifested in Jesus Christ is given to us even now

so that we may live and love as one, for in Christ, we are one.

The promise of God is to guard the lives of the faithful,

and rescue us from the hand of anything binds us and separates us

from God, and one another.

Because God’s love manifest in Jesus Christ, “the Alpha and the Omega,

the first and the last, the beginning and the end” sets us free.

We are free indeed!                                                                                      Amen. 

 

             Offering Invitation

 

Sisters and Brothers, we have been given a great freedom

through the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Yet there are many who are captives to fear, sickness,

poverty, and hopelessness.

We are called to witness to the freedom found in God.

Give, that our  ministry may make us  co-workers with God

in releasing the captives and testify boldly to the love of God that frees us.

Give generously as God gives generously to us.

 

                    Dedication

 

Thank you, O God, for loving us and laboring with us.

Thank you for the testimony of this church to your great love.

Guide us in your wisdom as we use these financial

and other gifts to your glory and the blessing of your people.                      Amen.

 

             Benediction

                                     

            Go forth, following as the Holy Spirit leads you.

            Know that the grace of the God made manifest in Jesus Christ

            is with you always.

            Go, and live guided by the truth that you are free indeed!                            Amen.

 


 

 

Free Indeed: Service Prayers for the Seventh Sunday in Easter was written by the Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson, Senior Pastor of First Congregational Church, Stamford, CT.
Copyright 2010 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. 

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org