Lent -- Service Prayers

Community Prayer for Church Vocations
Second Sunday of Lent    
Seminary and Church Vocation Sunday


Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.  –Philippians 3:17


There was a nun . . . and through her, it seems, the Lord chose to give me the beginnings of light, as I shall now relate.  As I began to enjoy this nun’s good and holy conversation, I was gladdened by the eloquent way in which she spoke of God, for she was a very sensible and saintly woman.  I think that there was never an occasion when I did not delight to listen to her.  She began by telling me how she had come to be a nun, merely through reading the words of the Gospel: “Many are called but few chosen” (Matt 22:14). 

She spoke to me of the reward which the Lord gives to those who forsake everything for Him.  Her good company began to dispel the habits which bad company had formed in me,

to bring back to my mind the desire for eternal things . . . 

                              –St. Teresa of Ávila, The Life of Saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself


We were just sitting there talking [about creating a house of hospitality]and someone said,

“Let’s all go and live on a farm.”  It was as casual as all that, I often think.  It just came about.  It just happened….  We cannot love God unless we love each other.  We know [God] in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone anymore.  Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, when there is companionship.  We have all known the long loneliness, and we have learned that the only solution is love, and that love comes with community.

It all happened while we sat there talking, and it is still going on. 

                                             –Dorothy Day, Selected Writings




            Gracious God,

            For all the vocations to which you have called us, we rejoice. 

            We especially give thanks for those among us

            who have discerned calls to ministry within your church.

            Above all, we thank you for all those who have been their companions

            on the way toward figuring out their vocations.

            For those who have

                        listened to them, prayed with them,

                        set an example for them, pointed out the truth to them,

                        and cajoled them,

            accept our thanks and praise!


            Remind us always to be on the lookout

            for emerging gifts of others in our midst

            who may be called to service in your church.

            Help us encourage, challenge and support them,

            for they will not get there by themselves.   


            Grant them the wisdom always to seek steadfastly

            to develop the habits that would draw them closer to you,

            and so help us to stand firm in the Lord

            as you have called us to do.  Amen.



Community Prayer for Church Vocations was written by the Reverend Barbara Blodgett, Minister for Vocation and Formation.

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. 




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