Prayers for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost (November 16th, 2014)

Scriptures:
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30

Call to Worship:
Leader:        This is the day to share in the happiness of our God.
People:       This is the day to worship the One who has invited us along the journey.
Leader:        This is the Lord’s day. Let us offer our lives to the Lord!
People:       This is the day to respond faithfully to all God has entrusted to us!
All:               This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Opening Prayer:
Kind and ever loving God,
Giver of Life and all that is good,
You have trusted us with so much:
your creation, your peace, and your promise.
Give us the grace to see your goodness
unfold in the world around us,
right here in the land of the living.
Let us be united in love
and seek you with our whole hearts,
as we see your salvation at work in us,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Illumination:
Lord of all, you have called us to be your servants here in this life.
Regardless of whether the task is great or small,
open our eyes that we may see, our ears that we may hear,
and our hearts that we may respond faithfully to your word
and honor your calling to live worthy of the gospel you have entrusted us with today. Amen
– Adapted from “When I had not Yet Learned of Jesus,” United Presbyterian Hymnal (1990), p. 410.

Prayer of Confession:
Lord of Creation, we confess that we have squandered your gifts and used them as if they had been given for us alone. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We  have failed to be an obedient church. We have not done your will, we have broken your law, we have rebelled against your love, we have not loved our neighbors, and we have not heard the cry of the needy. Forgive us, we pray.  Free us for joyful obedience, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Words of Assurance:
Leader:      Hear the Good News: We have not been faithful in all things. But our God still welcomes us with patience and kindness. Therefore, as people of God’s promise, let us receive forgiveness, embrace hope, and faithfully respond, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
People:     Glory to to God! We are forgiven. We have hope. We will respond. Amen.

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