prayer of confession: compassionate and gentle God

submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ

Compassionate and Gentle God,
you have created us in Love to be your people.
As we gather for worship,
we are reminded that we have lost sight of this Gift
and forgotten how to really love you.
We have worshipped other gods,
put our faith in the riches of this world,
and impressed ourselves with misguided power.
We have looked for help in the wrong places
and ignored the extravagances you lay before us.
Send your Spirit to come and breathe its life-sustaining and life-altering presence into us
in these moments of worship.
Send your Spirit of renewal and transformation.
Send your Spirit that up-ends our lives and sets us on a new path.
Send your Spirit, O Lord.
Hear our prayers
and remake us in Your image once again.
We pray these things in the name of the One who rose from the grave.

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call to worship: applause for God!

submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ

adapted from Psalm 66:1-8 in The Message

One: All together now—applause for God! Sing songs to the tune of God’s glory and set songs and rhythms to praise the Lord!
All:  Say of God, “We’ve never seen anything like this!” When your enemies see you in action, they slink off like scolded dogs. The whole earth falls to its knees—it worships you, sings to you, can’t stop enjoying your name and fame.
One: All together now—Take a good look at God’s wonders— they’ll take your breath away!  Seas converted to dry land; travelers crossed the river on foot. Now isn’t that cause for a song?
All: Bless our God, O peoples! Give God a thunderous welcome!   Come, let us worship God together in this place, on this great day! 

prayer of confession: keeping the commandments

submitted by Andy James, First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, Queens, New York

connected to the gospel reading for Easter 6A, John 14:15-21

Gracious God, we love you,
but too often we do not keep your commandments.
We turn away from your path
and love our way of life more than we love you.
We love ourselves but forget to love our neighbors too.
Forgive our misdirected love.
Help us to respond to your love in new ways each and every day.
Strengthen us so that we may know your promises
and see your risen presence in Jesus Christ our Lord.