Palm Sunday Bidding Prayer

church-window-579059_1280Come, let us pray for all those who wave palm branches and shout “Hosannas” today.
(people may quietly voice their prayers)

God who welcomes our praise and comforts our sorrow, unite us with all who celebrate Jesus’ return to Jerusalem today. May all your people be joined together in shouts of praise that cross barriers of language, culture, and doctrine.

O give thanks to God;
God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Come, let us pray for the United Church of Christ gathered here and elsewhere.
(people may quietly voice their prayers)

Incarnate God, today we remember the great love you have for the whole of creation. Jesus lived among us, experiencing joy and enduring suffering. As “Hosannas” tumble from our lips today, we are mindful that we can easily be swayed to join the crowds who will shout “Crucify!” in a few days. We see divisions in our churches that you did not create. You would have us be one in bringing about your reign of justice for all creation. Be with those who lead us, especially our clergy, Shari Prestemon our Conference Ministry, and Geoffrey Black our General Minister and President. Remove from us all the barriers we build that prevent us from living as you taught.

O give thanks to God;
God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Come, let us pray for all the peoples of the world.
(people may quietly voice their prayers)

God of mercy and love, as we enter into this Holy Week, open our eyes and our hearts. All around us there are strangers who would become neighbors and foreigners who would become friends. We divide ourselves by race, creed, and culture. Yet, it does not matter to you if a life lost is Christian, Muslim, Jew, Wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu or followers of any other religion. You have breathed life into us all and claim us as your children. Fill us with the peace that passes all human understanding that we may share the joys and pains of all your people without prejudice or preference.

O give thanks to God;
God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Come, let us pray for this nation.palm-leaf-233282_1280
(people may quietly voice their prayers)

Patient God, you have set before us the ways of life and death, inviting us to choose the way of love or the way of power. The mistaken belief that there is only one right way to be religious has distracted many from building a system of justice for all those who live within our borders. Be with all those elected to public office, especially Barak Obama, granting them the wisdom to see human need in the midst of all conflict. May the palm branches we wave today pave the way to systems of justice for all.

O give thanks to God;
God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Come, let us pray for all those in need of healing.
(people may quietly voice their prayers)

God who knows how fragile life is, enter into all the hidden and dark places of the world. Even in times of celebration, keep us mindful of those who struggle for health in body, mind, or spirit. This week we will be challenged to walk with you through betrayal, abandonment, and death. Keep us mindful of those around us who are having these experiences now. Give us the strength and compassion needed to follow you and accompany others who suffer. You are the Great Healer and we put our trust in you.

O give thanks to God;
God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Come, let us pray for all those who are grieving.
(people may quietly voice their prayers)

Eternal God, you have experience life and death, hope and loss. You know the pain of grief – the grief we feel when we lose people, jobs, homes, pets anything that helps us to know who we are and where we belong. None of us escapes the pain of loss. As we begin this week of holy remembrance, we remember those who are overwhelmed by loss, especially parents who have lost children to suicide, murder, war, mental illness, or addictions. Shine your light in the painful, empty places in our lives and grant us the grace to hold hope for those who can’t hold it for themselves.

O give thanks to God;
God’s steadfast love endures forever.

palm-618002_1280Come, let us give thanks for all of our blessings.
(people may quietly voice their prayers)

God of abundant life, you have claimed us as your own beloved children. You invite us to follow you to new life every day and call us to share your abundance. Hear our thanksgiving and praise for all the ways your love touches our lives. May the gratitude we feel in this moment, guide us through this week of betrayal, sin, and death into the promise of new life and deeper relationship with you.

O give thanks to God;
God’s steadfast love endures forever. Amen.

RCL – Year B – Palm Sunday – March 29, 2015
Mark 11:1-11
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

All photos from Pixabay.com. Used by permission.

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