Lent -- Service Prayers

Come All Who are Thirsty:
Service Prayers for the Third Sunday of Lent

 

Call to Worship (allusions from Psalm 63 and Isaiah 55)

            One:    Come into the sanctuary and look around. 

                        Behold the beauty and splendor of God’s people. 

                        All of us – rich and poor, employed and unemployed

                        and desperately hanging on. 

            All:      Behold the beauty and splendor of God’s people.

 

            One:    We believe God’s steadfast love is better than life,

                        so let our lips praise God as long as we live.

            All:      We also often doubt God’s love. 

                        We often doubt that God will really provide when it matters.

 

            One:    But this is what matters today: 

                        God said, “Come all who are thirsty, come to the water,

                        and you that have no money, come, buy and eat.” 

                        All of us – rich and poor, employed and unemployed

                        and desperately hanging on.

            All:      So with faith – both bold and timid – let us worship God!

 

Invocation

            O God, we are used to being judged by standards we cannot live up to –

            good looks and perfect families and money for whatever we want. 

            We know these are false values, but we also want to fit in. 

            Let our hearts be changed in our hour of worship. 

            Teach us, inspire us, convict us

            that your ways are better than our ways

            and your thoughts are more useful than our thoughts. 

            By the example of Christ’s life we pray.  Amen.

 

 

Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Grace (allusions from Psalm 63 and Isaiah 55)

            All:      O God, our God, we seek you; our souls thirst for you. 

                        Sometimes it’s like we haven’t had anything to drink for days. 

                        We are parched.  Yet, we’ve only sipped upon Living Water. 

                        We have failed to drink deeply of your wisdom.             

            (silence) 

            One:    Come, all who are thirsty, come to the water. 

                        Drink and have your fill. 

                        Live with mercy and you shall receive mercy. 

                        God’s well of steadfast love will never run dry.

            All:      Thanks be to God!

 

Call to Share Our Tithes and Offerings

            The Prophet Isaiah asks one of the most basic questions of Christian stewardship. 

            When we look at our wallets and wonder,

            how can we be asked to give yet another offering,

            Isaiah asks, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

            and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” 

            If we paid attention to what we really do with our money,

            we might not be very satisfied with the evidence. 

            But let this be the day we decide to make a difference.

 

 

Blessing of the Gifts

            Generous God,

            we have received from you more than our share of blessings. 

            We thank you. 

            Now increase and multiply our gifts, we pray,

            that others may feast of your goodness through our witness.   Amen 

 

 

Benediction (allusion to Isaiah 55:11)

            We have experienced Gods’ mercy. 

            We have been filled by God’s Word. 

            We know the steadfastness of God’s love. 

            So, now let the words that go out from our mouths

            and the deeds that are lived by our hands return to this sanctuary,

            not empty but accomplishing God’s purpose,

            succeeding in the things for which God sends us into the world. 

            Go in the name of Christ!

 

 


 

Come All Who are Thirsty:  Service Prayers for the Third Sunday of Lent, March 7, 2010 was written by the Rev. Dr. David Bahr, pastor of Park Hill Congregational United Church of Christ in Denver, Colorado.  
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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Rev. Susan A. Blain
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700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org