Pentecost 24–November 7
Risk and Restoration:
Service Prayers for the 24th Sunday after Pentecost
November 7, 2021
Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 Psalm 127 Hebrews 9:24-28 Mark: 12:38-44
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Unless our GOD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. (Psalm 127)
People: We have come into this house, built by the Holy One,
to worship the God of Creation.
Leader: Unless our GOD watches over the city, those who watch stand guard in vain.
People: We have come to listen to the stories of people
who throughout the generations have shown us the way
by their trust in the promises of God,
who is always watching over us.
Leader: The widow who gives her last coin and
Naomi and Ruth who are lifelong companions for each other
remind us of the risks we are free to take
with confidence that God is present
through times of plenty and times of want,
all along our journey through life.
ALL: So let us celebrate this gathering which can bind us together.
Give thanks that we are no longer strangers with God’s people
here or throughout the nations.
Let us worship God!
All: Ever living God, instill in us, we pray,
the trust and self-giving that your Word imparts to us.
Teach us again during this time together
that you are always with us.
Remind us that all that we have is a gift from you
and is meant to be shared.
The Holy Spirit calls and empowers us
to live beyond our own desires.
So, send your Holy Spirit, we pray,
that we might be overcome
with its liberating courage and sustenance.
CALL TO CONFESSION
Christ has gone ahead to intercede for us.
Christ has entered heaven itself,
now to appear for us in God’s presence. (Hebrews 9)
Let us confess our sin knowing that Christ is there on our behalf.
Let us reconcile ourselves to each other and to Christ.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
All: O God, hear our confession of our sins.
One: We know that we are already rich,
but refuse to see those in our midst who live on meager resources.
In fact, we find it comes natural to ignore those
who have the most to teach us.
We don’t want to acknowledge
that it is often those with the least who give the most.
It embarrasses us each time we are reminded
of the examples of Ruth and the poor widow.
We are experts with prayers that make us feel important
and we assume that special recognition is due to us.
We expect special privileges.
We speak of our belief that you will provide for all that we need–
resources and partners on life’s journey.
Yet, we still don’t give ourselves over to your promises.
Even with our wealth, perhaps because of our wealth,
we need help to live faithfully.
All: Forgive us, we pray.
Lead us to live boldly as witnesses
to the strength we have in Christ Jesus.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
God gives new life, even to those who hold back
from giving fully of themselves
or who think God has abandoned them.
Let yourselves be restored to God and each other,
knowing that God will provide without limit.
CALL TO OFFERING
God has made us stewards of the rich resources that were given in Creation
and are given anew each day.
On this day, we make our offerings
knowing that all that we have has come from God
who will continue to provide.
Let us put our hearts into our offerings as signs of our trust and faithfulness.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
We lift up these offerings
as a sign of our gratitude for your love and care, O God.
We pledge ourselves, time, talent, and treasure.
We pray that we may follow
in the spirit of the poor woman who gave her all without hesitation.
We dedicate our lives to you
and seek to grow in our faithfulness to your Word.
Go forth into the world.
Be for one another as Ruth and Naomi were for each other.
Go on the journey together, wherever it may lead you.
Share the gifts of God with the people of God.
Be gentle and bold, courageous and trusting.
God will be with you, this day and always.
Risk and Restoration: Service Prayers for the 24th Sunday after Pentecost, was written by the Rev. Dr. Bertrice Wood of Solon, Ohio.
Copyright 2021, Faith INFO 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.