Pentecost -- Ordinary Time -- Service Prayers -- Proper 7

Our Help and Our Hope
Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 7 (Semicontinuous)

 1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a     Psalm 42 and 43    
Galatians 3:23-29     Luke 8:26-39


Call to Worship (from Psalms 42 & 43)

Leader:             Come, all you whose souls thirst for the living God.

People:            We come in search of help and hope.


                        Come, you who are acquainted with grief or oppression.

                        We come bearing our doubts, our wounds, and our fears.


                        Come, you who are in need of good news.

                         We come in search of joy, truth, and light.


                         Come and find refuge in God your rock.

                         Let us again praise the One who is our help and our hope.


Invocation (from 1 Kings 19:8-15a) 

            O God, you come to us not in the chaos of the whirlwind,

            not in the roar of the earthquake, not in the crackling heat of the fire,

            but in the sound of sheer silence. 

            Quiet our minds, bring peace to our hearts and stillness to our bodies

            that we might meet you in that silence. 

            Help us to listen for your still, small voice. 

            Give us the courage to go wherever you lead us,

            trusting that you will prepare the way. 

            We pray this in the name of our Companion on the journey,

            Jesus the Christ.


Prayer of Confession (from Luke 8:26-39)

Leader:             We confess, O God,

                        that we often find ourselves distracted

                        by a legion of destructive voices that make false promises.  

                        Surely these are our inner demons:


Left side:                    We believe safety and security can reside

                                   in ample bank accounts.


Right side:                      We think that success leads to real happiness. 


                                    We equate power with dominating others. 


                                    We hold fast to pain and anger as if they were treasure in a chest. 


                                    We soothe our fear of failure with substances that do harm.  


                                    We feed our hunger for love and approval

                                    with food that does not satisfy. 


All:                              Break hold of the chains that bind us, O God. 

                                    Set us free from the tombs in which we dwell.   


Silent Prayer 


Assurance of Pardon

                        Friends, hear this good news:

                        In Christ God calls us forth from the tomb to the light of new life. 

                        The healing power of God’s forgiveness restores us to wholeness. 

                        God releases us from the chains that bind us. 

                        We are set free to be children of God! 


All:                  Thanks be to God!  Amen.


Invitation to Share 

                        Jesus told the man he had healed to go home

                        and tell everyone how much God had done for him. 

                        What if we were to look at our offering

                        as a way to proclaim how much God has done for us? 

                        What if we were to share with the same kind of generous love

                        that God abundantly shares with us?


Prayer of Dedication


                        Loving God, we share what we have

                        because you share so abundantly with us. 

                        May our sharing be an act of thanksgiving and praise

                        for all you have done and all you will continue to do for us. 

                        We dedicate these gifts and offer ourselves to your service. 

                        Bless us and our gifts,

                        that we might be a source of help,

                        hope, and joy to a world in need. 

                        With grateful hearts we pray, Amen.  




                        Go forth into the world with hope,

                        for no chain can bind and no tomb can contain

                        the healing life Christ offers each of us. 


                        Go and make room for quiet, still places amidst

                        the chaos of everyday life,

                        for there we will find God. 


                        Go and dare to proclaim all that God has done for you,

                        for there are many who need our good news. 


                        Go, knowing that the light of God shall lead you,

                        the presence of Christ shall guide you,

                        and the power of the Holy Spirit shall uphold you,

                        this day and always. Amen.




Our Help and Our Hope, Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, was written by the Rev. Heather A. Moody, an ordained minister with standing in the Pilgrim Association of the Massachusetts Conference of the U.C.C.  A member of the United Church of Christ Executive Council, she is currently in search of a call.

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