No Taking Sides Prayer

God of our side, and God of our enemies’ side,
hear our prayer:
we need your help here on planet earth.
With heavy hearts we confess
the brokenness on our beautiful blue planet.
Hear the sound of gunfire,
see the bomb craters,
taste the bitterness of people hating people,
smell the fear that permeates our lives,
touch the hearts of the wounded.

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Stay with Jesus Good Friday Call to Worship

God of grace,
we come together on this somber day with heavy hearts.
We are reluctant to hear this story of Jesus’ suffering,
we would rather skip this and go straight to Easter,
to hear the happy songs and rejoice about your victory over death.
But that is not for today.
Help us, now, to stay with Jesus;
to feel with him as he is betrayed, rejected,
to watch as he is condemned, tortured and killed
because of his love for all humankind.
Thank you for the gift of your son,
which you freely gave,
even though you knew how he would be received.
Be with us now, in this hour of worship.  Amen

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Coming to the City Nearest You

Jesus comes to Jerusalem, the city nearest you.
Jesus comes to the gate, to the synagogue,
to houses prepared for wedding parties,
to the pools where people wait to be healed,
to the temple where lambs are sold,
to gardens, beautiful in the moonlight. 
He comes to the governor’s palace.

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The Lowly Way: Good Friday Confession

Jesus, you loved us in the beginning
and you loved us to the end.
Even on the night you were betrayed,
you took a towel, and washed our feet.
We confess that we are reluctant to think of you
doing such a humble task, least of all for us.
Like Peter, we protest.

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Prayer for the Grieving

Grief is an atmosphere 
miles high pressing down on us.
It is the air we breathe.
Loss is the country 
thrust upon us,
refugees from the land of
to have and to hold.
We do hold on, we won’t let go,
but it’s to memories 
not flesh and blood.
God, can we find you
in this fierce wanting?

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Prayer for the War in Ukraine

God of hope, we pray to you when hope is scarce
as our world convulses with the horror of war.
You alone know the extent of the crimes committed in Ukraine:
the people murdered, the homes and infrastructure destroyed,
the way violence comes as a calamity,
cutting a swath through the world.
Why is power concentrated in the hands of so few?

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Peace in Ukraine

God of hope,
as Ukraine balances on a knife edge,
we pray for peace.
Peace for Ukrainian citizens living with constant anxiety,
fearful that calamity will fall upon them today.
Peace for the Russian soldiers who are waiting for orders,
fearful for their own lives.
Peace for neighbouring countries who know
that war makes refugees that must be welcomed.

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Embracing Peace Congregational Prayer

Thank you, God, for snow!
Thank you for the brilliance of a Canadian winter
and the way snow changes our landscape,
unifying it, showing us new shapes and contours.
Thank you for children who delight in snow,
embracing snowmen, digging tunnels and sliding down slopes.
Thank you for the way snow interrupts our grownup lives.
slowing us down, helping us rely on our neighbours.
The snow is an invitation to experience peace,
the peace of the world in winter.

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Wintry Call to Worship

God of hope,
in this snowy season
we turn our minds to worship;
with thankfulness, we sing praises,
with thoughtfulness, we listen to scripture,
with trust, we put ourselves in your hands.
In this service, through your creative power,
draw us close to one another
and form us as your people,
faithful in every season. Amen.

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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