Easter -- Service Prayers

Come, Be Restored
Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday in Easter

 

Acts 9:36-43                  Psalm 23           Revelation 7:9-17            John 10:22-30

My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.

  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. John 10:2

Call to Worship

             Leader:             “Come, be restored!”  the Lord, our Shepherd, urges us.

                                    As we come where God leads us, our lives are made whole.

 

            All:                  God leads us in right paths.

                                    When we follow as God leads, we shall not lack.

                                    When we  lie down with God in green pastures

                                    and beside still waters,

                                    our souls are refreshed.

 

            Leader:             “Come be restored!” the Lord, our Shepherd,

                                    Urges all who journey through the valley of shadows,                       

                                    God guides us to a table of abundant goodness for us

                                    and is ready to anoint us with the oil of overflowing mercy.

 

            All:                  When we journey as God leads us,

                                    we need not fear any evil for God is with us,

                                    guiding, strengthening, and comforting us. 

                                    Therefore, we come to dwell in the house of the Lord

                                    today and lifelong.

 

            Leader:             Come, be restored!

 

            All:                  Let us worship God!

 

Invocation

            O God, our Shepherd and our Guide,

            thank you for your open invitation to us.

            You invite us to journey with you through the seasons of our lives,

            and to experience your peace.

            You invite us to love you, and to know your joy.

            You invite us to hear your voice,

            and to know the right paths for us to follow.

            You invite us to be confident in your guidance

            And so to accept risk and struggle that lead to new life.

            As we worship you in this holy space today,

            may we know your peace, your joy, your guidance

            and follow in the paths that you lead us.           Amen.

 

Prayer of Confession      (unison)

            We have heard your invitation to follow where you lead.

            But at times, we cannot understand the ways you are leading us.

            When our fear grows great,

            we become convinced that we alone know the best path to take.

            When controlling our own destiny

            appears to be a more certain and sure path

            than waiting for your voice to direct us,

            we are often tempted more to control than to pray.

            Help us to grow in our trust in You, O God.

            Help us to know that our salvation is in You.

            Help us to hear your voice and to know your peace.  Amen.

              

Assurance of Pardon

 

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

            God is at work for us and through us!

            In this day and each new day,

            God grants us new opportunities to respond to God’s call.

            In this day and each new day, God calls us to new life.

            Hear the voice of God today in this promise:

“My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.

                    I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.”             Amen.     

 

Offering Invitation

            Brothers and sisters, as the early church grew,

            at times communities of Christians called upon the apostles

            and teachers saying,

            “Please come to us without delay.” That urgency is still present.

            Today, we are the apostles and teachers given the privilege

            nurture, strengthen, and upbuild the community.

            Whether the urgent call is spoken or remains unspoken,

            whether for individuals or communities in need

            for prayer, healing, financial support, welcoming community or education,

            we must be ready to respond without delay.

            Give liberally that we might respond to their call.

 

Dedication

            Thank you, O God, for showing us the ways

            to strengthen and support the ministry you have called us to do.

            Thank you that as we say yes to your call, guided by your Spirit,

            we can share your love with a multitude—greater

            than we can imagine—

            in the church and beyond, near and far,

            from every nation, tribe, people, and language.

            O God, increase the blessings that come from these offerings.

            In the name of Jesus, we pray,                                                       Amen.

 

Benediction

                        Go forth, following as the Holy Spirit leads you.

                        Know that as you journey through whatever may come,

                        “God will guide you to springs of the water of life,

                        and God will wipe away the tears from your eyes.”

                        “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving

                        and honor and power and might

                        be to our God forever and ever!”                                                        Amen.

 

 

 


 

Come, Be Restored: Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday in Easter, April 25, 2010 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