Pentecost -- Ordinary Time -- Service Prayers -- Proper 11

Welcome the Guest:
Service Prayers for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 11 (Complementary)

Genesis 18:1-10     Psalm 15       Luke 10:38-42

Call to Worship

Leader:             Christ is in our midst!  How will you bid him welcome?

People:            We will throw open the doors to our hearts. 

                       We will delight in his presence.


                        When God shows up, surprising things can happen.

                        We will make ourselves ready. 

                        We will lay down our burdens and set aside our distractions.


                        Here we receive good news: Nothing is too wonderful for God!

                        So let us laugh and sing, rest and listen, dance and praise—


All:                  Let us worship God!



            Wonderful, surprising God,

            you bring us hope when we are discouraged,

            peace when we are anxious,

            and joy when we are least expecting it. 

            Help us, now, to rest in your presence. 

            Be our welcome Guest not only here but everywhere we go this week. 

            Show us how to receive all that you have to offer us. 

            May we remain open even to what seems too incredible to be true,

            for with you, so much more is possible than we even imagine. 

            We pray this in the name of your most

            Glorious Impossible,[1] Jesus the Christ.  Amen.


Prayer of Confession

            Gracious, inviting God,

            you continually provide us with opportunities

            to practice generous hospitality. 

            But our fear of difference, reluctance to share,

            and desire to be in control make our welcome

            appear weak and insincere. 

            Because we long for what is familiar and comfortable,

            we have difficulty honoring the stranger as a sacred guest

            who bears the face of Christ. 

            Worn out and irritated by the work we think we must do,

            we miss opportunities to receive the gifts

            that such guests offer us. 

            Forgive us, O God, for focusing on the wrong things. 

            Show us how to do what is right.


Silent Prayer



Assurance of Pardon


            The Psalmist declares that those who speak the truth from their heart

            will abide in God’s sanctuary. God hears the difficult truths we

            have named aloud and in the silence of our hearts. 

            Now let the wonderful gift of God’s forgiveness flow through you. 

            May the abundance of God’s mercy and grace set

            you free to serve God with love.

            Thanks be to God!  Amen.


Invitation to Share 

            Amazing things can happen when we share. 

            When three strange guests showed up outside Abraham and Sarah’s tent,

            they rushed to create a fine feast of the best they had to offer. 

            They did this having no idea

            that their guests would give them an astonishing gift of great joy. 

            Let us make our offering an abundant feast of the finest gifts we have to share. 

            Perhaps we also will be joyfully surprised by what God has in store for us.


Prayer of Dedication

            Generous God, we share what we have

            because we wish to serve you with the best we have to offer. 

            Bless our tithes and offerings that they may become a bountiful feast

            for all who need to be filled with good things. 

            Open our eyes to see the strangers you call us to welcome. 

            Empower us to receive them as you do,

            with radically inclusive hospitality. 

            May we recognize and delight in the gifts they share with us.  Amen.



            Go out into the world to serve God with love.  

            Be ready to laugh with delight at the good news God has to offer you. 

            Make room at your table for unexpected guests. 

            When the work of discipleship leaves you weary or frustrated,

            rest in Christ’s presence and listen to what he is saying.   

            And the blessing of God, Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit,

            go with you today and always.                      Amen.






Welcome the Guest:  Service Prayers for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost was written by 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. 

[1] This title for Jesus is taken from Madeleine L’Engle’s book, The Glorious Impossible (New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1990).


Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115