Epiphany -- Service Prayers

“Chosen as Witnesses”:
Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Jeremiah 1:4-10Psalm 71:1-61 Corinthians 13:1-13Luke 4:21-30

For Your Reflection

“No one has a right to sit down and feel helpless: there's too much to do.”  ~ Dorothy Day

“Most everybody I see knows the truth but they just don’t know that they know it.”  ~ Woody Guthrie

“We who have a voice must be a voice for the voiceless.”  ~ Oscar Arnulfo Romero

Possible Sermon Titles

“An Out-of Bounds God”
“God’s Odd Choices”
“All You Need Is … Commitment”
“Who Said It Would Be Easy?”

Call to Worship

One:    We have come to worship God, the living God,

All:      Who calls prophets and teachers to bear witness.

            We have come to praise God, the almighty God,

            Who answers the forces of hatred and hurt with the power of grace.

            We have come to worship God, all-gracious God,

            Who chooses even you and me,
            to receive and carry the Word of life and hope.
            All glory to God!

Unison Invocation

            God of the prophets,
            is it possible that you, who spoke to Jeremiah and Jesus,
            will speak to us? We may not be ready to believe it.
            We may not be ready to receive you.
            But we have gathered in your name and we pray: come, holy one.
            Fill us with the story of your people; fill us with your loving Word.
            Take us as we are, and make us wholly yours. In Jesus’ name; Amen.

Prayer of Confession

One:    If we say we are completely put together, the truth is not in us.

All:      But if we confess our distractions, our errors, and our anxieties,
            God will meet us and renew us.

            Before God and God’s people, I confess that I have
            been reluctant to speak out clearly,
            naming the injustice I see and declaring God’s vision.

            Before God and one another, we confess our reluctance
            to receive our calling as God’s people, made by God
            and chosen as witnesses to God’s dream of justice and joy.

            Remind me, God, that you have made me for your service
            and recharge me with your Word.

            Renew us, God.
            Grant us courage to live out your Way of peace and grace.
            We ask it in Jesus’ name; Amen.

Words of Assurance

One:    God has promised that whenever we repent, and seek a new union with God,

            forgiveness is ours.

            That promise comes true now. Sisters and brothers, know that in Christ Jesus,

            we are forgiven.

All:      Thanks be to God! Amen.

Offertory Invitation

One:    God called great prophets, and God calls us.

            God is generous, pouring out the gifts of grace and love

            and the life-giving power of the Word for all people.

            We respond with our renewed commitment to God’s vision,

            and by giving our tithes and offerings to the ministries of God’s church.

All:      Let us gather our gifts together and offer them to God in gratitude and praise.

Unison Prayer of Dedication

            God of the prophets, we bless this offering

            as people who have received your gifts of grace and hope.

            We return to you a portion of the abundance you have given to us.

            We dedicate all that we give, to your loving purposes:

            bringing in those who have been cast out;

            standing strong on behalf of those who are weak;

            speaking out with your Word of joy and justice for all people.

            May your loving realm increase! In Jesus’ name; Amen.


One:    May God bless you and keep you;
            may God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
            may God look upon you with favor
            and grant you wholeness, harmony, hope: shalom, now and always.
            Our worship concludes; our service continues.
            God’s Word is within you; go in peace.





“Chosen as Witnesses”: Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany (Year C), was written by John A. Nelson, Pastor and Teacher of Niantic Community Church, Niantic, Connecticut.

Copyright 2010 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