Just in Time! Prayers for Ordinary Time

Just in Time! Prayers for Ordinary Time

by Robert A. Ratcliff

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Handy, helpful prayers to use in public worship during Ordinary Time. The collection includes invocations, opening prayers, prayers of confession, and pastoral prayers for the Sundays after Pentecost. Drawn from a variety of traditions, the prayers in this collection will aid any congregation as it worships throughout the journey of this season of the Christian year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426757174
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 11/01/2012
Series: Just in Time!
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 958 KB

About the Author

Robert A. Ratcliff is Executive Editor, Westminster John Knox Press.

Read an Excerpt

Prayers for Ordinary Time

By Abingdon Press

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 2012 Abingdon Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4267-5717-4


Sunday 1

Call to Worship

Leader: This morning, O God, hear our voices.

People: This morning, O God, we raise our voices to you.

Leader: Trusting in the abundance of your love, we enter your house.

People: We bow down in awe and worship before you.

Leader: Lead us, O Lord, in your righteousness.

People: Make your ways clear before us.

Opening Prayer

God of mercy and redemption,
be with us today.
As we gather in this place,
safe from the storms of life that rage outside,
be our strength and our refuge.
We open our hearts and minds to you;
fill them with your joy and your love,
your peace and your reassurance. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

It is time to confess our humanity before our neighbors
and before our gracious God.
Let us be true to our best selves as God sees us.
Let us be free to speak the truth in love.
Turn us once again to our interior lives,
for we know we need not hide from you.
Too often, our habits hurt rather than help.
Heal us, O God.
Help us to receive love from others
especially when we least expect it.
Help us to focus on what we have now,
rather than what we left behind to follow Jesus.
When we feel like strangers,
welcome us into your loving embrace.
When we try to ignore the stranger,
give us the courage to reach out
and to be a friend of Christ to them.
We ask these things in the name of Jesus,
who went the distance,
and found you every step of the way. Amen.

Words of Assurance

There is no wrong
that God cannot make right.
There is no chasm
that can separate us
from God's love.
The Lord is patient and kind,
generous and good.
God will not forsake you
or leave you.
Turn to the Lord with confidence
and put your faith in God's great mercy.
By the power of Jesus Christ,
we are made whole. Amen.

Unison Prayer

In a world of violence and tumult,
we turn to you O God.
You are our strength and our protector,
the source of comfort and peace.
We pray for those who are oppressed.
Defend them with your love,
and bring them comfort in times of trial.
We pray for the poor and needy,
whose daily struggles overwhelm them.
Stir up within us a passion for justice
that we might serve you
as we work for righteousness.
When warfare threatens the powerless,
defend them by your might,
and bring your peace
to all the nations. Amen.


As Jesus calmed the storm,
Jesus brings us peace today.
Go forth in faith, with hearts of courage,
to share God's peace with the world.


Sunday 2

Call to Worship

Leader: We come this morning with joy, to worship God.

People: We do not come to justify ourselves.

Leader: For you, O God, do not judge us by our righteousness,

People: but you accept us as we are, out of your great love.

Leader: We come with joy to worship you.

People: We come with grateful hearts to worship you.

Opening Prayer

Lord, Lord,
we call to you in our desire to know you
and to make your ways our own.
Teach us, take us, transform us,
that we may serve you with our whole selves
and do the will of our God in heaven.
Lord, Lord,
be with us now. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Life-giving God,
we are filled with fear and doubt.
We worry that we do not have enough.
We are overwhelmed by the world's problems.
We see danger everywhere.
We are blind to your work.
Give us trusting hearts.
Show us life's possibilities.
Heal the world's brokenness.
Use us as agents of change.
Remove our doubt and fear,
and teach us to live in you. Amen.

Words of Assurance

We long to mend our ways.
Christ can bear these sins
for all who eagerly wait for him.
His sacrifice on our behalf,
his grace toward us,
washes us anew.

Unison Prayer

God of steadfast love,
we live in a violent world.
Nations are at war.
Families rebel.
People nurture hatred and malice.
We grieve for those lost to violence—
for the lives cut short,
for broken relationships,
for dreams destroyed.
We feel powerless against such great evil.
Come, O God,
surround us with your presence.
Work within our world
to nurture tenderness, forgiveness,
caring, and peace.
Show us your truth.
Redeem us, O Lord. Amen.


Christ's touch has healed you.
God's love has restored you.
The Spirit goes with you.
Go in peace to share the joy of God's love.


Sunday 3

Call to Worship

Leader: Come worship God!

People: We come gladly to worship God!

Leader: Come worship God in freedom!

People: We come freely, knowing God welcomes us!

Leader: For we are freed of the law's requirement,

People: We are free to trust God's powerful grace.

Leader: We have known the power of grace in our lives.

People: We come thankfully and faithfully to worship!

Opening Prayer

O God, we come into your gracious presence
preoccupied with our cares,
afraid to face our emptiness.
Disclose your wisdom
in the reading of your Holy Word,
and in the proclamation of your gospel.
May our labors be pleasing to you,
and may we be inspired to proclaim the good news
of Jesus our Sovereign. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Compassionate God,
we confess that we have failed you.
We have not proclaimed your word.
We have caused others to suffer.
We have been afraid to answer your call.
Forgive us, O God.
Touch us with your Spirit,
and heal our brokenness.
Give us courage to go where you send us.
Give us wisdom to share your love. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Hear the good news.
God's mercy is plentiful, and God's grace is abundant.
Receive the bread of forgiveness and steadfast love.

Unison Prayer

God of our days,
you call us to work in your world.
Strengthen our arms
and encourage our hearts
for the tasks you lay before us.
Help us to lay aside our worries
and to rejoice in your gifts.
Silence our conflicts
and teach us gentleness and mercy.
May all we do, praise you forever. Amen.


Children of God,
go forth dancing, singing, and praising.
Dance joy into sorrowful places!
Sing hope into places of despair!
Praise God this day and always!


Sunday 4

Call to Worship

Leader: Lord, your children are weary.

People: God, give us your rest.

Leader: Your children are hungry.

People: God, give us your food.

Leader: Your children are thirsty.

People: God, give us your holy water.

Leader: Your children are overwhelmed.

People: God, give us your strength.

Leader: Your children are confused.

People: God, give us your wisdom.

Leader: Your children are frightened.

People: God, give us your courage.

Leader: Your children are disheartened.

People: God, give us your inspiration.

Leader: Your children are scattered.

People: God, gather us together, and hold us in your holy, loving arms.

Leader: As a deer pants for streams of water,

People: so our souls pant for you, O God.

Leader: Our souls thirst for the living God.

People: Wet our lips with your living waters, O God.

Leader: To God we open our downcast souls.

People: Refresh us with your love and your songs.

Leader: To God we direct all our hurts and hopes.

People: You are the source of our hope and our salvation.

Opening Prayer

Dear God of possibility, potential, and promise,
we offer our lives as laborers in your field.
We offer you gifts of financial resources
from the blessings we have received from you.
May our offerings be a source of healing and wholeness
to others as well as to ourselves.
Visit us as stranger and as Savior
that in our living we may laugh, love,
and proclaim the good news of Christ's coming.
In the name of our Shepherd and our Sovereign, we pray.

Prayer of Confession

We can't help ourselves, Lord,
try as we may,
we always seem to forget your teachings;
we always seems to ignore your judgments.
We renounce your word,
and we fail to follow your commandments.
Our disobedience deserves your punishment,
yet you have promised us your steadfast love.
Lord, your faithfulness has always proved true,
your covenant remains constant.
You will never alter your promise to us.
You will never break your word.
Through your name,
we lift our heads.
And in your name,
we offer our prayer. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Hear the good news.
God's mercy is plentiful, and God's grace is abundant.
Receive the bread of forgiveness and steadfast love.

Unison Prayer

God, we are your people.
Transform us and make us anew.
Spin us into strong threads
of love and caring.
Weave us into a community
of wisdom and compassion,
kindness and rejoicing.
Sew us into garments
of strength and dignity.
We are your people,
the work of your hands.
Let us praise you forever. Amen.


Leader: May we go forth, led by God!

People: Lead us, O God, in your righteousness.

Leader: Make your ways clear before us.

People: Guide us in the ways that lead to truth.

Leader: Go with us each step of the way, O God.

People: Be our companion and our guide.

Leader: May we go forth rejoicing,

People: knowing that God goes before us and with us.


Sunday 5

Call to Worship

Leader: Come, be cleansed of all that binds us to our brokenness.

People: We shall be free!

Leader: Cleansed by God, who can hold us in the chains of yesterday's sins?

People: We shall be free!

Leader: Here in the presence of God's flowing grace, we can overcome all fear!

People: We shall be free of our fear and doubt.

Leader: We are invited to know wholeness. Do you so believe?

People: By faith, we will immerse ourselves today in the love of God, a love that leads to our own healing and wholeness!

Leader: Then let us gather in anticipation and great hope. For we shall know a new freedom from our fears and doubts!

People: Let everyone give thanks and praise to our God! Let everyone praise God for the Spirit of Christ!

Opening Prayer

O God,
your children call to you,
for all the things you do.
Hold us close to thee, bounce us on your knee,
listen to our woes, wipe our runny noses,
rock us off to sleep, give us comfort when we weep,
keep us safe from harm, keep us safe and warm.
Your children you adore,
now and forevermore. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

My sin is against you
and you alone, Lord.
You have exposed me for what I am.
All day long, I'm tormented by my sin.
You alone can cleanse me.
You alone can put away my shame.
Turn your face from my guilt, Lord.
Give me a new heart.
Give me a truthful spirit.
Keep me in your presence.
Heal my broken heart.
Return the joy of your salvation to me.
Help me remember the elation
of your deliverance.
Uphold me by your Holy Spirit.
Hear my prayer.
Hear my cry
in Jesus' name. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Here is proof that God's faithfulness never ends:
that while we were yet sinners, God sent God's Son,
Jesus Christ, to shed his blood for our sins,
that we might not be cast down into the pit,
but rise with him to everlasting life.

Unison Prayer

God, you are the gardener,
gently cultivating the soil of our lives,
giving us water and life.
Thank you for all you give us,
for your Spirit that nurtures us,
bring life and strength.
May we bear the fruits of righteousness,
gentleness, kindness, and peace.
May we be gentle and forgiving,
turning away from anger,
working for peace,
rejoicing in each other's gifts. Amen.


May the God who is revealed, not in the ferocious wind, not in the earthquake, or even the fire, but in a hushed whisper be with you, comfort you, feed you, and commission you for mighty deeds.


Sunday 6

Call to Worship

Leader: I will exalt you, O Lord!

People: For you lifted me out of the depths!

Leader: O Lord my God, I called to you for help,

People: and you healed me!

Leader: Sing to the Lord, you saints; praise God's holy name.

People: For God's anger lasts only a moment, but the Lord's favor lasts a lifetime.

Leader: Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me.

People: You turned my wailing into dancing!

Leader: You removed my sackcloth, and clothed me with joy!

People: My heart will sing to you and not be silent.

Leader: O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks forever!

People: O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks forever!

Opening Prayer

God of love,
you peer into each soul and heart
and cherish us just the same.
Be with us now as we come into your presence
with reverence and humility,
with joy and expectation.
Help us to live more fully
with the realization of your endless love for us.
Teach us to live and love as a family.
Guide us to be good children,
as you are our perfect parent. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Though we labor for food that perishes, Lord,
you will give us bread that endures forever.
Though we do what displeases you—
you will show us mercy;
you will forgive our sin.
Though the truth
may be hidden in darkness, Lord,
you will teach us wisdom.
Teach us; feed us; forgive us. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Do not be distressed or angry with yourselves,
for the God who reconciled Joseph and his brothers,
can surely reconcile us.
God's mercy extends to everyone.
Rejoice and live in unity!

Unison Prayer

We give thanks with one voice
to our great high priest,
the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


Leader: Do not grow weary of doing good!

People: We go forth now to carry the burdens of one another.

Leader: To the glory of God, let us walk in the Spirit of freedom.

People: We go forth to live, and to offer to all, the freedom we know in Christ.

Leader: Be changed and know the joy of new beginnings!

People: We go forth in joy and laughter, to serve the world, and bring the kingdom of God to earth.


Sunday 7

Call to Worship

Leader: God calls us to judge with justice.

People: We will judge justly.

Leader: God calls us to show no partiality to the wicked.

People: We will do what is right in God's sight.

Leader: God calls us to rescue the weak and the needy.

People: We will deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Leader: By living God's justice and mercy

People: we shall be spared the judgment of God.

Opening Prayer

Be with us, O God,
and be gracious with your needy servants.
To you we bring the cares of our lives,
the deepest yearnings of our souls.
Strengthen us, we pray,
by the healing balm of your love
and the steadfast guidance of your teachings.
We lift up our hands
and open our hearts
to embrace your transforming love. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

God of steadfast love,
we so often fail you.
We nurture anger and violence,
and fail to see that all people
are your beloved children.
Our words are destructive
and hurtful.
Teach us to imitate you.
May love and kindness
spring up in our lives.
May we be tenderhearted
and forgiving.
May our words bring healing
and reconciliation. Amen.


Excerpted from Prayers for Ordinary Time by Abingdon Press. Copyright © 2012 Abingdon Press. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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