Liturgy based on Acts 2-4

I’ve decided to start posting liturgical elements that I write for The Upper Room, or elsewhere. This Sunday, Upper Room begins a new series in the book of Acts. We’ll be spending the first six weeks in Acts 2:42-4:37. Below is the Call to Worship, Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Pardon, and Prayer for Illumination that we’ll be praying for the next 6 weeks.

Call to Worship

In the name of Jesus,
let us devote ourselves
to the apostle’s teaching and fellowship
to the breaking of bread
and to the prayers.
In the name of Jesus,
we ask for awe to come upon every soul,
and for signs and wonders to be done in our midst.
In the name of Jesus,
we ask for our bodies to be healed.
In the name of Jesus,
we ask for the people to be filled
with wonder and amazement
at what happens here.
In the name of Jesus,
we ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit and power.
In the name of Jesus,
we ask for boldness to speak His Word.
In the name of Jesus,
we ask for our prayers to shake this place.
When we leave this place, 
may the world see that we have been with Jesus.

Call to Confession

And now, brothers and sisters,
I know that you acted in ignorance,
as did also your leaders.
But what God foretold
by the mouth of all the prophets,
that His Christ would suffer,
He thus fulfilled.
Repent therefore, and turn back,
that your sins may be blotted out,
that times of refreshing may come
from the presence of the Lord,
and that He may send the Christ
appointed for you, Jesus,
whom heaven must receive
until the time for restoring all the things
about which God spoke
by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

Prayer of Confession

God of Abraham, God of Isaac,
and God of Jacob,
we confess that
we have trusted in our own power and piety.
We confess
that we have denied Your servant Jesus
by our actions and failure to act,
by our words and our silence. 
God, we repent and turn to You.
By faith in the name of Jesus,
make us strong.
Blot out our sins.
Refresh us. Restore us.
Bless us by turning us from our wickedness.
Fulfill Your promise to our father, Abraham:
in his offspring,
may all the families of the earth be blessed.

(sung) Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Have mercy on us. 

Assurance of Pardon

Jesus’ name – by faith in His name –
has made you strong,
and the faith that is through Jesus
gives perfect health in the presence of all.
There is salvation in no one else, 
for there is no other name under heaven given among humankind 
by which we must be saved.

Prayer for Illumination

Father, you were pleased
to fill the apostles with Your Holy Spirit
to speak you word with power.
In the name of Jesus,
you worked signs and wonders through them. 
We devote ourselves 
to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship. 
Fix our eyes upon them, 
that we might receive 
the proclamation of Jesus.

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