Epiphany -- Service Prayers -- 2nd Sunday

Polished Arrows
Service Prayers for the Second Sunday after Epiphany

Isaiah 49:1-7     Psalm 40:1-11    
1 Corinthians 1:1-9     John 1:29-42


Call to Worship   (based on Psalm 40)

ONE:         I waited patiently for GOD; who turned to me and heard my cry,
who lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
and set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

ALL:         We sing a new song!  Our mouths are full of the praise of God.

Blessed are we when we make the Lord our trust;
when we do not turn aside to false gods.

We sing of all your many wonders, O God, too many to declare them all.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but our ears you have pierced and a body you have prepared for us.

We sing, "Here I am, I have come—
I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is in my heart."


O God, you have singled us out. 
Our ears have been pierced by your call,
Our bodies are made like polished arrows to serve you,
Our voices to sing your praises. 
We acknowledge that you have chosen us.
Meeting you here on this day in this time,
We will listen and walk with you,
As we worship together in the beauty of holiness.
Prayer of Confession

God, we confess that you have sung to us
but we have not heard your voice. 
You have played the flute for us,
but we have refused to dance. 
You have chosen us to pierce the darkness,
and we have hidden our lights. 
Help us to accept our calling,
to find strength and grace
in your constant presence and encouragement. 
May we be eager to serve, to fill your quiver,
to be your bright arrows in the work of praise and reconciliation.
We pray in the name of the one
who came to show us who we really are, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Assurance of Pardon (congregation singing)                    TNCH 775

Refrain from On Eagle’s Wingadapted to address God, and refer to the community:

O God, you raise us up on eagles’ wings….

Offering Invitation

We are so grateful, God,
for the loving designs you have on our lives. 
We give today because we are given.
We are ourselves given as your polished arrows in your world. 
May we generously reflect back your gift –
with love for you and for one another.


Small and large gifts, we give back to you,
O Lord of All Given Things.
May they be blessed.
May we use them to keep our promises to you,
Promises given from us who are given,
uniquely designed for your calling. 


Jesus said: “You ought always to pray and not to faint.”
We do not pray, Lord, for easy lives, 

but to be stronger women, men and children. 

Jesus said:  Ask and you shall receive,
seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.
We do not pray, Lord, for tasks equal to our powers,
but for power equal to your tasks. 

May our work be no miracle,
But may Christ be the miracle in our work.  Amen!




Polished Arrows: Service Prayers for the Second Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, was written by The Rev. Marilyn K. Levine, a United Church of Christ pastor, ministering to New Town United Church of Christ and Parshall Memorial Congregational Church on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota.

Copyright 2011 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 


Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115