Prayers for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost (October 26th, 2014)

Scriptures:1 Thessalonians 2:1–8 Matthew 22:34–46

Call to Worship: Leader:         Beloved people of God: we are called to love with all our hearts! People:         Let us love with all our hearts, all our souls and all our minds. Leader:         Lift up your hearts; let us walk together as neighbors. People:         Let us love each other as Christ has loved us. All:                Come, let us rejoice!

Opening Prayer: God of grace and glory, we have come here together to rejoice, to worship, to love and to serve. Help us love you with all our hearts, souls and strength. Empower us to shine your light of love to the world around us, so that the world will know you live. In Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Prayer for Illumination: Your love, Oh God, is ever giving. You have opened heaven and given of yourself to us. Open your word to us this morning. Teach us love as you love, to give as you give, to love in mercy and kindness, to share in grace and peace. Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Prayer of Confession: God of unending love, in our selfishness and greed we have failed to be an obedient church. We have heard your word but failed to answer the cry of the needy. By failing to give we have failed to love. Forgive us we pray. Free us for joyful obedience. Come live in us, in those whom you have created. In Jesus' name we pray.

Words of Assurance: Hear the good news: As God so loved the world, and in spite of our failings, God has also loved us. In Jesus Christ, therefore, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!