Lent -- Service Prayers -- 5th Sunday
Service Prayers for the
Fifth Sunday of Lent
43:16-21 • Psalm 126
3:4b-14 • John 12: 1-8
God, who restores the fortunes of the
lost and downtrodden, is continually doing “a new thing” in order to “make a
way” where there has been no way. Our
calling, as persons who bear the name of Christ, is to be a part of this way
making. We are called to seek and enable
the work of restoration – not only a restoration of monetary or physical
resources, but a restoration of relationship with the Holy, through service to
those in need. This service is not the
“throw money at the problem” gesture of mere charity, but the engagement of
true justice-seeking. The restored
fortune of genuine mutual relationship is the “new thing,” the “prize” we are
to achieve in Christ’s name.
Call to Worship (adapted
from Isaiah 43:1-21 and Psalm 126)
Leader: Come, Beloved, for the Great Giver has restored your
Let us tell of abundance as we
shout with joy!
Leader: Come, Growers, for the Creator has brought up rivers in
the desert –
Let us declare our praise as we
plant our fields!
Leader: Come, Pilgrims, for the Righteous One has set a path
the sea –
People: Let us rejoice as we make our
Leader: Come, People of God, for the Holy One has done great
things for us!
Let us worship God!
Prayer of Invocation (unison)
to this sanctuary, this house, this home, Holy Christ,
let us receive you with lavish welcome.
are the Restorer of our fortunes,
Promise of new life –
pour out our praise to you.
this room with your Spirit:
The sound of wind, the warmth of flame, the scent of
fill our hearts with your compassion,
just in this time and place,
in all times and in all places,
that as we celebrate the great things you have done for us,
may also embody the love you give to all.
Call to Confession
Six days before the Passover, Jesus
came to the home of Lazarus
and received hospitality like no one
had seen before –
generous, loving, whole-hearted, and
even a little bit undignified.
His disciple Judas could only see
the inefficiency of the gift,
not the spirit of loving-kindness
with which it was offered.
We, like Judas, often want to
expedite our giving
without really engaging with those
we are called to serve.
Let us consider the depth of our
relationships with those we encounter
and with the One who calls us to
as we confess our sin in silence.
Prayer of Confession (unison)
confess, Anointed One, that we excuse ourselves
reaching out to those who need your care.
take your words – that there will always be unmet needs –
a reason not to try to meet the needs we can.
us, and help us to change.
our determination to live
faithful followers, faithful disciples, faithful Christians.
us to work with you for the well-being of your creation,
the fortunes of all your peoples may be restored. Amen.
Assurance of God’s Love
We, too, are a part of the
Way-Maker’s will for restoration.
We are called, through Christ Jesus,
to strive for restoration,
but we are not called to do this
The One who has made a way in the
wilderness, and rivers in the desert,
will surely equip us for all we are
asked to do in Christ’s name.
God will empower us to attain all
the potential God has placed within us.
Thanks be to God!
Invitation to Sharing
Beloved, there will always be need
in the world,
and the church is called respond to
Mary gave what may have been her
most precious possession.
Paul gave his status, his privilege,
Let us give of ourselves – share
what we have –
not just from the abundance that has
been given to us,
but from the devotion and dedication
inspired in us
by the heavenly call of God in
Prayer of Dedication
What we own is nothing, Valuable God
– what we can gain or keep or have
if it is only for our own
All that we have and all that we are
belongs to you,
and the giving is a blessing in
We dedicate this day,
not only the things we can put in a
plate or write on a piece of paper,
but also the things we cannot touch:
our hearts, our spirits, our
passion, our resolve.
Use them, and us, to restore the
fortunes of all your people:
to seek your will, to strengthen
your church, and to serve you faithfully.
Go now in peace.
God has done great things for us,
and we rejoice.
Let us go forth from this place to
do great things
in the name of Christ,
whose call leads us to restoration
and new life. Amen.
Service Prayers for the Fifth Sunday of
Lent, March 21, 2010, was written by the Rev. Mary Nelson Abbott, Pastor of
Malletts Bay Congregational Church UCC, Colchester,
VT, and Treasurer of
the UCC 2030 Clergy Network.
Copyright 2010 Local Church Ministries,
Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland,
44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this
material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.