Lent 1 Topical Prayer

Topical Prayer: Holy God, we confess that it is much easier to see your holiness in other places—beautiful countrysides, exciting trips to lands that we deem exotic, pristine and well kept buildings. It is harder to see God in the neighborhood. We know it’s flaws too well—we are too familiar with it. Who is my neighbor God? Anyone who is close enough to annoy us. Because if they are close enough to annoy us, then we are are close enough to love and help them. You are the God who is in the details, in the dusty and complicated relationships of those closest to us. In the vast outreaching arm for those far away that we feel compassion for. Truly, you are the God that creates neighbors, even between the competing religions the Samaritans and the Hebrew Jews, the Muslims and the Christians, the black churches and the white churches. Help us to be in true conversation and relationships with one another. Because that is the only way we are getting through this. Teach us to be neighbors we pray. Amen. 

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Lent 1 Prayers

Journeying Past Our Neighbors 

February 21st

Lent 1

Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25-42

Psalm 15

Call to Worship:

God you call us to love

We would like to abide in your tent God.

You call us to our neighbors and our neighborhood. Because you are present here, too. 

Let us praise the God who is in our neighborhood.

Invitation: Come let us confess our full selves to the Lord.

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that although we strive for love, we do not always achieve it. We catch ourselves gossiping or slandering others, we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are too worried about who is going to get in first, to help those who are last. Help us to be like the good Samaritan, to take the time and energy to help all those in need without prejudice or malice. Embolden us to do what is right, we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: God promises that we can dwell with God’s very self on the holy hill. Through grace, is space in God’s neighborhood. Those we can tell one another the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen. 

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Lord, help us to face and see our neighbors: black, brown, white, immigrant, disabled, our LGBTQIA neighbors. Let us embrace those who vote, pray or live differently. For each individual is fully human and beloved by God. Help us to love them we pray. amen. 

Communion Prayer; Lord come and bless this food of the people and this cup of the people that we might taste and see the kindom in our neighbor’s eyes and be nourished to start the work of the kindom in our own neighborhood—knowing that we are all seen and loved in the eyes of God let us start to celebrate it here, today, by taking communion together. 

Hymns: Kum ba Yah, Jesu Jesu Fill Us with Your Love, Somebody’s Knocking at Your Door 

Taize: Let All who are Thirsty Come

The Good Samaritan: Narrative Lectionary Lent Prayers

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Invitation to Community by Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis) appreciated.

Luke 10:25-42 and Psalm 15 or Psalm 15:1

Call to Worship

Good and merciful God, you call us to gather along the road we know as community,

With our neighbors all around, speak to us in these complicated times.

We are people of the covenant, called to care for one another without exception.

Within and beyond our walls, our neighbors are struggling.  Within and beyond these walls, we may be the one who is struggling.

Just as Jesus lived a commitment of coming near, abide in with and through us. Send us. Encourage us to come near in your name.

We are ready to open our hearts to receive new strength and to open our lives to new understanding.  Gather us near.

Invocation

Holy God, as we come together in this house of prayer, we open ourselves to your spirit. Who is our neighbor and who was this Samaritan called good?  Bring fresh understanding to why he alone drew near to danger, unafraid, giving compassion, and bringing hope. Guide us in being open to helping the stranger, the outcast, and the one without community.   Amen.

Call to Confession   

God calls us to relationships of trust and hope. As your children we are drawn to the good and the holy. We come now to confess that we sometimes have too narrow a view of what is good, missing the holy even when we are in its midst.

Prayer of Confession

God we pray, inspire courage and compassion and open us beyond the usual boundaries that come with fear and privilege.  We name that we have failed to see our neighbors unless it is convenient and scheduled.  We know that the Good Samaritan comes near as one who knows the Kin(g)dom is near. And the Kin(g)dom of God comes near when we do the same. But Creator God, coming near is not easy. It’s easier to withdraw and to hide in our homes. The division that plagues our nation will require a new kind of coming together in understanding and love.  Forgive our hesitation and make bold our faith. Make bold our witness. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon                

Be at peace as the people of God who daily find strength in hope. Be at peace knowing that God draws near; that God is omnipresent and walking with us in our struggle to follow boldly.  May we be bold ambassadors of courage and Christ.

Communion Prayer

From these simple gifts of grape and grain, you have consecrated us as your children, called and sent to share your extravagant love with others.  Open our eyes that we might see you near. Open our lives that we might be agents of hope and love for our world. When we forget our holy calling, speak anew to our hearts and draw us back.  This is our prayer in the name of all that is holy. Amen.

Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication                                                                                                       Gathered we have given in your name– blessed to be a blessing.  Generous God, bless and consecrate these gifts and use them to bring hope and healing to our community and beyond.  Enliven us to share even ourselves with the world you love. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

God of love, give us a deep love for you, so that we can see the world as you see it, feel the compassion you feel, and be a people whose lives mediate your love to others. God in your mercy. Hear our prayer

Open our eyes that we might see what the Good Samaritan saw. Grant us the insight to see the need in others, the wisdom to know what to do, and the will to do it. God in your mercy. Hear our prayer

We pray for all those people, who in many and various ways, have been stripped, beaten and left for dead. We pray for children who are growing up in the most awful of circumstances, especially for those starved of love or food, shelter or security. May they receive the future you have planned for them.  God in your mercy.  Hear our prayer                                                                                          

We pray for those we might cross the road to avoid, those who have been excluded socially because of their race, financial status, or history. May the dignity that is theirs be restored to them.  God in your mercy. Hear our prayer                                                                                  

God give us a deep love for you, that we might see your love at work in this world, and that we might go and do likewise. God in your mercy. Hear our prayer    

Prayer Station by Rev. Shea Zellweger
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Psalm 15

1 Lord, who may be a guest in your home?

Who may live on your holy hill?

2 Whoever lives a blameless life,

does what is right,

and speaks honestly.

3 They do not slander,

or do harm to others,

or insult their neighbor.

4 They despise a reprobate,

but honor the Lord’s loyal followers.

They make firm commitments and do not renege on their promise.

5 They do not charge interest when they lends their money.

They do not take bribes to testify against the innocent.

The one who lives like this will never be upended.

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Guide:

Read the psalm once, and ponder it for a moment.

Using one of the tools in the sandbox, or your own hands, create a shape in the sand which signifies the Lord’s home.

Read the psalm a second time, this time looking for a single phrase which speaks especially to you.

Select a rock. Allow the rock to represent you. Hold it in your hand as you contemplate the phrase you found.

Place the rock inside the Lord’s home. God has welcomed you home.

Read the psalm a third time as a prayer of thanksgiving.

More Narrative Lectionary Lenten Themed Prayers