Pentecost -- Ordinary Time -- Service Prayers and Worship Ideas

Spiritual Hunger and Thirst for God

Service Prayers and Worship Ideas  

The 10th Sunday after Pentecost


Centering Meditation

The “I am” passages [of John’s Gospel] may be Jesus’ poetic expressions of ... a mystical experience in which his

personality and ego fell away and the only reality he sensed was that of God.  If this is how we understand the passages,

then when Jesus said “I am the way ... no one comes to the Father, but by me”, this may mean that the

way to God is to become one with God, as Jesus did.  It may mean that we do not get to God through dogma or

doctrine, but rather through mystical union with God, an experience shared by mystics of many religions throughout         



                                    Musing :The Bible and Religious Pluralism by Jim Burklo

The Center for Progressive Chrsiatinity web site


Call to Worship (Psalm 130 and John 6:31)


One:    Out of the depths I cry to you, O God:

Many: We are  hungry for the bread of Jesus, the bread of life,  and we are thirsty  for you,  God. 


One:    O God, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!

Many: We are  hungry for the bread of Jesus, the bread of life, and we are thirsty  for you,  God. 


One:    There is forgiveness with you and I wait for you God, my soul waits, for

Many: We are  hungry for the bread of Jesus, the bread of life, and we are thirsty  for you,  God. 


One:    In your words I hope. My soul waits for you, God,

            more than those who watch for the morning,

            more than those who watch for the morning:

Many: We are  hungry for the bread of Jesus, the bread of life,  and we are thirsty  for you,  God. 


Prayer of Invocation

            God of Healing and Transformation,

            we hunger and thirst for your abundant life.

            we bring you our sorrow and ask for the bread of joy;

            we bring you our despair and ask for the bread of hope;

            we bring you our  weariness and ask for the bread of  inspiration.

            Meet us here.

            We need the bread of heaven to sustain us for our journey to find our way,

            that we may we be one with you.  In Jesus’ name we pray,  Amen


Prayer of Confession

            Holy One,  We confess that we continue wars                                                                         

            in our holy human family even though we know they cause unspeakable suffering.

            Like David, who wept for Absalom, his lost son,

            we are filled with sorrow for all the children in our human family who die in senseless wars. 

            We see our advanced weapons kill and maim children

            and yet still we do not find the ways to peace.

            Forgive us.


Assurance of Pardon

            O God, you make all things new;  your mercy is new every morning,

            Let our cries of sorrow: “O our children, O our children,“

            Herald the way to compassion and courage as we work for peace. Amen.



Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love....may we give a fragrant offering

(Ephesians 5:1).   The fragrance of the bread of life rising and baking among us is a wonderful reminder of the new life which is arising in our beloved community.  Let us give generously as we experience the frangrance of God’s  life rising in us.



God of love, we give thanks and ask for blessings on all our gifts.

May they be pleasing in your sight.



Jesus said, I am the bread of life.

May we go forth nourished by the bread of life within us.

Our  spiritual hunger and thirst is satisfied when we honor the God within us.  

Life is short. Be kind to one another

Children’s Sermon    Make home-made bread or go to the frozen section of your market and buy the fast bake bread and bake in the church oven an hour or so before worship so the church smells like home-made bread. Invite the children to each take a piece. Invite them to smell the bread, and to taste a little of it. Ask if they like the smell of the bread and its taste; ask them how they feel when they eat a delicious piece of bread. (anticipate some answers:  it makes me feel good, or strong or  healthy, or happy...).  Then say to them: There are lots of stories in the gospels when Jesus is eating bread or sharing bread or blessing bread:  Can you rmember any of them?  (Last supper, loaves and fishes, etc.) In our story today, Jesus tells us that he is the Bread of Life.  What do you think that means?  How is Jesus like bread?  Does Jesus, the Bread of life, fill us up, give us energy, fill us with strength? Can we be hungry for God, or hungry for Jesus?  What would that feel like?


Spiritual Hunger and Thirst for God: Service Prayers for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, was written by the Rev. Bonnie Tarwater, pastor of the Congregational Church of Lincoln City, Lincoln City, Oregon.

Copyright 2009 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