Epiphany -- Service Prayers -- 4th Sunday

A New Teaching I Give You
Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Micah 6:1-8       Psalm 15          

1 Corinthians 1:18-31     Matthew 5:1-12

Call to Worship

Leader:             Jesus, our Teacher, this is what you want us to learn

People:            Not the world’s wisdom, but God’s.


Awaken us to our need of you in our lives

And you will give us your life.


Move us with sorrow for the sorrow of the world

And you will make us strong through our tears.


Give us the humility to admit our failures

And you will bring treasure out of them.


Make us hungry for justice

And you will give us food that lasts.


Help us to see others through your eyes

And you will show us ourselves with love.


Show us how to practice what we preach.

And we will se God in everyone.


Support us in standing firm for truth, even when it costs

And the truth will also make us free.


Opening Prayer

God of our lives,

you are always turning the world upside down,

challenging us to follow you

into new ventures, new challenges, new ways to care,

new ways to touch the hearts of all.

When we get tired, or feel disappointed,

remind us that you can bring change and hope

out of the most difficult situations,

so that we may do justice, love kindness

and walk humbly with you always.



Prayer of Confession

Leader:             We have heard it said:


Left side:            Look after number one…

Right side:      Get them before they get you…

Better be safe than sorry…

What’s someone else’s problems got to do with me…?

                                    Only the strong survive…

                                    Money makes the world go round…

                                    Revenge is sweet…

                                    Avoid pain at all costs…


May God forgive us when we, as Christ’s own people,

believe these words to be life giving when Jesus has shown us a better way.


Assurance of Pardon

When we feel soiled by our own selfishness we are brought close by Jesus,

who gathers us still, who turns to listen to our voices,

who reaches out to touch us with hands he is not afraid to get dirty,

to embrace us; who, in moments of accepting us for who we are

shows us that we are forgiven and worthy of love and respect.

Thanks be to God.


Call to Offering

God has led us to this place to heal and inspire us, to gently redirect us,

until we see the world as God does and love it with God’s love.

With our gifts, we affirm that God’s generosity

can make us all into a new creation by the way we give of ourselves.


Offertory Prayer

Liberator Christ, you went to the top of a mountain,

and taught a sacred word about the meek and the grief stricken,

about the lost and the lonely.

Come to this place now,

and by these gifts help us to see the world not as it is, but as it could be,

that we may become good news to all.  




As you have been fed, go to feed the hungry.

As you have been set free, go to set free the imprisoned.

As you have been received – give.

As you have heard – proclaim.

And the blessing which you have received

from the Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit

be always with you. Amen.


A New Teaching I Give You: Service Prayers for Epiphany 4, was written by the Rev. Daniel B. Randall, Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church in Bristol, RI and a USAF Chaplain (Reserves).

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