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Ten Commandments, The


Here are some worship resources based on Exodus 20:1-21, where God gives the Ten Commandments to the people at Mount Sinai.


Exodus 20:1-21


Opening Prayer

We acknowledge you, O God, as creator and as liberator.
You are the One who brought the captives out of Egypt
and delivered them from the oppression of slavery.
You gave laws which shaped how people were to relate to you,
to each other and to the whole environment.
You implored people to worship only you,
knowing that whatever was put in your place
would become the object of idolatry—
would become the priority of people's lives.

In this time of worship, help us to focus on you, O God,
as the priority of our lives.
Remind us of your steadfast love
revealed so clearly in the new commandment of love
which Jesus disclosed with his life and with his death.
Speak to us anew as we offer this prayer and our worship
in Jesus' name and for his sake.


~ written by Moira Laidlaw, and posted on Liturgies Online.

Prayer of Commitment

You shall have no other gods before me.
Lord, help us to love you
with all our heart, all our soul,
all our mind and all our strength.

You shall not make for yourself an idol.
Lord, help us to worship you
in spirit and in truth.

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Lord, help us to honour you
with reverence and awe.

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Lord, help us to remember Christ risen from the dead,
and to set our minds on things above,
not on things on the earth.

Honour your father and your mother.
Lord, help us to live as your servants,
giving respect to all,
and love to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

You shall not murder.
Lord, help us to be reconciled with each other,
and to overcome evil with good.

You shall not commit adultery.
Lord, help us to realize
that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.

You shall not steal.
Let us be honest in all we do,
and to care for those in need.

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.
Lord, help us always to speak the truth.

You shall not covet.
Lord, help us to remember Jesus said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’,
and help us to love our neighbours as ourselves;
for his sake.

~ from Starters for Sunday, posted on the website of the Church of Scotland.

Prayer of Confession

Save your people, God of truth and mercy,
from the chaos of divided loyalties
and the worship of many gods;
Save us, God of truth and mercy.

From making God in our own likeness
and the slavery of self-centredness;
Save us, God of truth and mercy.

From using God’s name trivially
and claiming him for our prejudices;
Save us, God of truth and mercy.

From neglecting sabbatical quiet times
and being obsessed with busyness;
Save us, God of truth and mercy.

From ignoring or despising the elderly
and over-indulging the new generation;
Save us, God of truth and mercy.

From glorifying armaments and war
and wishing our enemies dead;
Save us, God of truth and mercy.

From watering-down love and marriage
and the exploitation of sex;
Save us, God of truth and mercy.

From the legal robberies of the stock exchange,
and the cunning thefts of tax evasion;
Save us, God of truth and mercy.

From TV programmes that twist the facts,
and cruel gossip in supermarkets;
Save us, God of truth and mercy.

From those who preach greed as a virtue
and possession-lust which is never satisfied;
Save us, God of truth and mercy.

O Jesus Christ, Saviour of all who lose their way,
O Healing Spirit, Power who renews the world;
We need you, God of truth and mercy!


~ from Prayers For the Twenty-First Century. Copyright © Bruce Prewer and Open Book Publishers. Posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page.

Spoken Resources


Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, your mind and your soul.

We will love God with an intensity
such that no substitute will suffice,
the very mention of God's name will be precious
as we cleave to our time of communion with the sacred.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

We will respect the wisdom of our elders.
We will protect the lives and the reputations of those around us.
We will cherish the relationships entrusted to us.
We will not take what is not ours.
We will learn the value of enough.

Love the Lord your God.


~ Copyright © 2002 Katherine Hawker. Posted on her Liturgy Outside website.

Contemporary Responses to the Ten Commandments

Our society talks about personal autonomy.
Newspapers and films are filled with the notion
that we don’t need God to set us free—we are our own masters.
And God spoke all these words:
I am the Lord your God,
who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Always ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?”
Remember, you’re number one.
You shall have no other gods before me.

Try to make as much money as you can
and spend all of it on improving your standard of living.
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them,
for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.

Don’t worry too much about swearing, because it’s just a habit.
Swearing makes you look tough.
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God,
for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

Sunday is just another day in which you can do whatever you want to.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work.

Don’t pay any attention to your parents.
They’re old-fashioned and they spoil your fun.
Honor your father and your mother,
so that you may live long
in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

You are entitled to hate people who are nasty
or who in any way make life unpleasant for you.
You shall not murder.

When your marriage gets dull, it’s OK to have an affair or two.
You’re only human.
You shall not commit adultery.

If you have to take what doesn’t belong to you,
make sure you don’t get caught,
because then you have to face the music.
You shall not steal.

Don’t miss out on any gossip about people.
When you put other people down you feel better about yourself.
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Try to keep up with the Joneses.
Why should other people have more than you do?
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s spouse,
or their hired help, their car or their farm equipment,
or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, then honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

~ written by Bert Witvoet, and posted on the Reformed Worship journal website.

The Ten Commandments: Intergenerational version

You may not love anyone or anything more than you love God.

You may not worship, or put more importance on any person or thing, other than God. You must worship only the Lord, not your parents, not a friend, not a movie star or a sports hero, not a car or boat or skateboard. Nothing.

You may not swear. Use God’s holy name only in a loving way, never to express anger or frustration.

One day of your week should be set aside for rest and the worship of God. Work six days of the week only. You need a special day set aside to relax, to enjoy God’s world, and to meet with other Christians.

Be respectful to your parents. Love them, and the Lord will reward you with a long life.

You may not hate other people; don’t ever think of hurting someone else in any way.

Keep your thoughts and actions pure. Sex is a gift of God to married couples.

You may not take and keep anything that doesn’t belong to you.

You may not tell lies, especially when that lie will hurt someone else.

You may not be jealous of what others have. You may not be jealous of your friend’s new toy or clothes or the big house your neighbor lives in. Be satisfied with what you have.

~ Adapted from the NIV Adventure Bible (Zondervan) by Ron Rienstra. Part of Lifelong Learning, June 2002, posted on Reformed Worship website.


Contemporary Hymn: How Sure the Scriptures Are!

Worship Together hymnal #260

How sure the Scriptures are!
God’s vital, urgent word,
as true as steel and far more sharp than any sword;
so deep and fine,
at His control they pierce where soul and spirit join.

They test each human though,
refining like a fire;
they measure what we ought to do and to desire:
for God knows all—
exposed it lies before His eyes to whom we call.

Let those who hear His voice
confronting them today,
reject the tempting choice of doubting or delay;
for God speaks still—
His word is clear, so let us hear and do His will!

~ Christopher Idle. Words copyright © 1982 Hope Publishing Company. If used in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Tune suggestion: CMD (Common Meter Double)
DARWALL (“Rejoice, the Lord is King”)
Listen here: http://www.hymnary.org/tune/darwall_darwall

Contemporary Hymn: Your Word, O God, a Living Sword

Your word, O God, a living sword,
reveals within each heart
the love of self, the hidden fears,
that keep us far apart;
we seek to stand by our own strength
but fail and fall alone,
and still we find ourselves afraid
to know as we are known.

Your word, O God, a living sword,
cuts deep, and there it finds
the wall we build in self-defense
that blocks our sights and blind;
we cannot see our neighbor's needs
above the walls and bars
that we have made to save ourselves,
and they cannot see ours.

Your word, O God, a living sword,
strikes deep within each soul
and opens up the path by which
you come to make us whole;
and with your love set deep within
we need not stand alone,
for love drives out our faithless fears
and makes your people one.

~ Christopher L. Webber. Copyright © 1992 Hope Publishing Company. If used in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Tune suggestions: CMD (Common Meter Double)
LANDAS (“My faith has found a resting place”)
Listen here: http://www.hymnary.org/tune/landas_gretry

ELLACOMBE (“I sing the mighty power of God”)
Listen here: http://www.hymnary.org/tune/ellacombe

Contemporary Song: The Word is Alive

Looking out from His throne
the Father of light and of men
Chose to make himself known
and show us the way back to Him

Speaking wisdom and truth
into the hearts of peasants and kings
He began to unveil the word
that would change the course of all things

With eyes wide open, all would see

The Word is alive
and it cuts like a sword through the darkness
With the message of life to the hopeless and afraid
Breathing life into all who believe

The Word is alive
and the world and its glories will fade
but Him truth, it will not pass away
It remains yesterday and forever the same
The word is alive

Simple strokes on a page
Eternities secret revealed
carried on from age to age
It speaks truth to us even still

And as the rain falls from Heaven
feeds the earth before it returns
Lord, let your word fall on us
and bring forth the fruit you deserve

~ Casting Crowns. Copyright © 2007 Sparrow Song (BMI) My Refuge Music (BMI) (adm. at EMICMGPublishing.com) / Club Zoo Music (BMI) / SWECS Music (BMI) / Peach Hill Songs (BMI) All rights reserved. Used by permission. CCLI Song #5077377. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Listen to it here:



This worship resource was created/compiled by Christine Longhurst. You are welcome to use it free of charge, and where appropriate, please note the source. If you are printing any of the resources for distribution, please print the source as well. The content of the worship resource does not necessarily represent the views of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which oversees the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. For more worship resources by Christine Longhurst, see http://www.re-worship.blogspot.ca or http://www.faithmatters.ca.

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