The Call to Worship and the Prayer of Confession at the January 31, 2016, worship service at Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church were especially moving
They both are important elements of “Preparing for the Word,” which is the first part of our three-part worship service. The other parts are “Listening for the Word” with the readings from Holy Scripture and Sermon and “Responding to the Word” with the Offertory and Pastoral Prayer (and Communion on the first Sunday of the month). The complete bulletin for the service is available online as is a video of the service.)
The Call to Worship (from Psalm 71) stated:
“One: Our hope is in God all of our lives.
All: God is a rock of refuge: a fortress against threat and shame.
One: God has held us since our birth.
All: So we are never in the full grasp of the unjust and cruel.
One: In love, God saves and support us.
All: Trusting in God, we continually offer our praise!
One: Let us worship God.”
The following are the words of the Prayer of Confession (unison):
“God, our Deliverer, we confess that we are too reluctant to speak and to live
according to your truth. We grow comfortable with the way things are, passively
condoning injustice. We see ourselves as “insiders,” excluding those we
consider “outsiders.” We find it easier to pluck up and pull down, to destroy
and overthrow, than to build and to plant. Forgive us, O God, for being timid
disciples. Empty us to fear and shame, and fill us with love that is humble and
patient and kind.
We pray this in the name of the One who humbled himself, Jesus the Christ, Amen.”