Lent -- Service Prayers -- 1st Sunday
Dwelling in the Shelter
of God’s Love:
Service Prayers for the
First Sunday of Lent
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner
of things shall be well.
of Norwich, 14th
Call to Worship
Leader: Our souls are created to
be God’s dwelling place,
and the dwelling place of the
soul is God.
All: As we worship, we experience God, who
dwells in us.
Through our worship, we dwell
we make the Holy One our dwelling place, no evil shall overtake us.
live and love in the shelter of the Most High and say,
is my refuge and fortress in whom I trust.”
All: Through our worship,
we love God who dwells in us,
and in whom we dwell.
God is our refuge and our home.
O Holy One
We come to you in gladness and
to begin our Lenten exploration.
You offer steadfast love as our strong
Your boundless grace is our sheltering
and we rejoice!
In the unity of worship,
we trust that you will speak to us
and through us
as we begin this Lenten journey with
each other and with Christ.
Prepare our hearts
to seek you and embrace
hear you and follow you,
love you and to serve you.
With gladness and expectation we
pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
God did not say,
shall not be tempted;
you shall not be troubled; you shall not be distressed.”
did say, “You shall not be overcome.”
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, was led
into the wilderness,
where he was tempted.
God, Guiding God,
you were present with Jesus in his wilderness experience,
you are present with us:
have urged us to trust you:
me and call upon me, and I will answer you,
will be with you in trouble, and will honor you.”
have felt discouraged,
at times even abandoned and betrayed by you, O God,
when all manner of things have not gone well with us.
Instead of following where you lead, O
at times we follow a tempter who shows
us a vision of the world
that is a mere counterfeit of what you
desire for us.
At times, O God, we are deceived and
by imitations of love, abundance, and
O God, when you have not answered in the
ways or in the time we desire,
we have been tempted to lean on our own
not acknowledge you in all ways.
so often have sought to control our lives and order our own steps,
often ignoring your wisdom and pushing
your guidance aside.
us to trust you to journey with us and to guide us.
us to rest in your promise to never leave us or forsake us. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Sisters and brothers, God is at work in
us and with us!
is our clothing in which love enwraps us, holds us, and all encloses us
of God’s tender love, so that God may never leave us.
are protected safely in love—in woe as in well—by the goodness of God.
urges us, “Keep the word near you, even on your lips and in your heart…
This word is your salvation.”
As we worship today, with the word on
our lips and in our hearts,
experience the salvation of God for all manner of things in our lives.
In the promise, presence, and power of
God for all manner of things, Amen.
and sisters, God wishes to be seen and
wishes to be sought.
God wishes to be awaited and to be
are multitudes of individuals who long for God,
are seeking God, but do not know where or how to search.
this church, this congregation be a lamp to light the pathway
those who are seeking God.
offerings—financial and other—help us to shine our collective light brightly
that fellow-seekers may find their way.
that we might shine more brightly.
carries us within God’s own self in love,
labors until full term,
suffers the sharpest throes and the hardest
pains that ever were or ever shall
you, O God, for loving us and laboring with us
we seek you and as we help others in their seeking.
these offerings which we return to you,
in our seeking and our serving,
light might illumine someone’s path.
us in your wisdom and love
we may use these gifts
manifest your presence in the world
all that we do. Amen.
Let us go forth following as the
Holy Spirit leads us.
Know that “angels will guard your
heart and your soul, and will bear you up”
so that even in harm’s way you will
not be consumed.
Brothers and sisters,
Whether in falling or in rising we are ever
protected in God’s love.
Even as we journey, we abide in the
shelter of God’s love.
Go forth on your journey. Amen.
of Norwich, Love’s Trinity: A Companion to Julian of Norwich. Long Text translated by
John-Julian, OJN. © 2009, Order of St Benedict. Words in italics are taken from
Dwelling in the Shelter
of God’s Love: Service Prayers for the First Sunday of Lent was written by the Rev.
Dr. Cari Jackson, Senior Pastor of First Congregational Church, Stamford, CT.
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.