Dec 31, 2011

Contemporary Call to Worship

Here’s a contemporary call to worship from Seekers Church.  It would be suitable for use on the second Sunday after Epiphany (January 15, 2012), where the suggested scripture texts include God’s calling of Samuel (1 Samuel) and Jesus’ call to the first disciples (John 1:43-51).

Call to Worship

Leader:    Let us worship the One who calls us.

People:    Here we are,
                  ready or not,
                  called by the One
                  who lived and died
                  and rose to live again among us.

Leader:    Here we are,
                  ready or not,
                  bringing our everyday selves
                  to praise and to pray,
                  to know the Holy One
                  in the midst of our lives.

All:            Let us worship the One who calls us.

— from a longer liturgy by Seekers Church, a Christian community in the tradition of the Church of the Saviour.  

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.

For more calls to worship on this blog, see the Call to Worship Index at the upper right.


Prayer of Praise: Psalm 139

Here’s a prayer of praise closely based on Psalm 139.

Prayer of Praise

You see deep into our hearts, O LORD,
and you know everything about us.
You know when we are working or resting,
when we come and when we go.
No matter where we are, we are never out of your sight.
Even before we speak a word, you already know what we are going to say.
Your reassuring presence surrounds us at all times.

Such knowledge is far above us—
we can’t begin to comprehend it!

It was you who created us,
who formed us inside our mothers’ womb.
We praise you for the gift of life,
and for the miracle of our bodies.

Everything you do is marvelous,
and worthy of our praise!

Nothing about us is hidden from you!
Even before we were born, you knew us and watched over us—
and you continue to walk with us,
throughout all the stages of our lives.

Your thoughts are far beyond our understanding,
more than we could ever imagine.
They outnumber the grains of sand on the beach.

Look deep into our hearts, O God.
Search out our hidden thoughts and motives.
Keep us from actions that will bring harm to ourselves or to others,
and guide us in the ways that lead to life.
Amen.

— based on verses from Psalm 139




Prayer of Confession: Epiphany 2 B

Here’s a thoughtful prayer of confession/words of assurance based on the scripture texts for the second Sunday after Epiphany (January 15, 2012).  They were written by Thom Shuman, and posted on his Lectionary Liturgies blog.

Unison Prayer of Confession
(inspired by Psalm 139, John 1:43-51, 1 Samuel 3)

How foolish we are to think we can hide our failings from you, Seeing God. We treat our bodies as trash cans for junk food, not as sanctuaries for your Spirit. We get drunk on the seductions of our society, while daintily sipping at your living water. We doze under the tree of temptation, hoping you won't see us and expect us to get up and follow Jesus.

Forgive us, our heart's only Hope.
Your grace mends our brokenness,
making us whole;
your compassion removes our sin,
making us new;
your voice speaks tenderly to us,
silencing our pride,
your Love is made human
in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,
redeeming our lives.

Silent prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon
(inspired by Psalm 139)

In front of us, behind us, to our right,
to our left: look! God is there!
In our past, beside us today, waiting
in the future: look! God is there!
in the shadows, in the light:
look! God is there!
From the top of the mountains,
to the bottom of the seas;
in the morning, in the evening,
in every moment: God is with us!
Thanks be to God. Amen.

— written by Thom Shuman, and posted on his Lectionary Liturgies website.  Visit that site for many other wonderful lectionary-based resources for worship. 

Prayers of the People: January 15, 2012

Here’s a prayer for the second Sunday of Eiphany written by Rev. Abi.  It comes from her Long and Winding Road blog.

Epiphany Prayer
(based on 1 Samuel 3, John 1: 43-51)

Beloved God,
You know us inside and out and you still call us to serve you.
Lord, honestly we are often hesitant, afraid, and wish to remain hidden.
Empower us to listen for and to hear your call
Empower us to answer your call with “Here I am Lord”
Empower us to follow you when you call us to follow you.

Lord of mercy and justice,
So many have gone before us working to bring
Justice and peace to our country and our world.
Their footsteps seem to big to step into

to continue the work you have called us all to;
so we hesitantly step one step at a time,

bringing your seeds of hope, justice and peace
in a world crying out for them.

Lord of hope,
We pray for our country, our leaders and especially our new president as he is inaugurated into leading our country in tumultuous times. We pray for healing of our country, reconciliation, forgiveness and peace.

Lord of peace,
We pray for your compassion and healing for those individuals in our congregation who need it. We pray for your comfort and presence for those who are grieving lonely and oppressed. We pray for warmth, shelter, clothing and food for those who are without.

Lord we say to you this day,
“Here we are your servants willing to preach your word,

offer care where care is needed,
presence where presence is needed,
your love where your love is needed.”
Lord, strengthen us for our ministry today and everyday.
In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy spirit.  Amen.

— written by Rev Abi, and posted on her Long and Winding Road blog. 

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.

For more prayer resources on this blog, see the Prayer Index at the upper right.


Opening Prayer: Epiphany 2 B

Here’s a responsive prayer based on the scripture readings for January 15, 2012 (the second Sunday after Epiphany).  It was written by Rev. Elsa A. Peters.

Responsive Invocation

Something made the hairs stand up on our necks. Was it you, O God?
Was it you that we saw blowing over the water? 
Was it you that we heard moving through those feet?
Was it you that we felt in the beating of our own hearts?
Was it you that called our names?
Come, O God. Come to search us. Come to know us again.
We were knit in your womb. We have tried to count your works.
Come, O God, so that we can hear you calling our names.
Here and now.

— written by Rev. Elsa A. Peters, Pastor and Teacher of the First Congregational UCC in South Portland, ME, and posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website. She blogs about ministry and liturgy at: http://impossiblethingswithgod.blogspot.com/.

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.

Invitation to Worship: Epiphany 2 B

Here’s a beautiful invitation to worship for the second Sunday after Epiphany (January 15, 2012).  It was written by Bruce Prewer.

Preparation for Worship
(based on 1 Samuel 3, Psalm 139, John 1: 43-51)


We are gathered here not because we have seen fit to choose Christ,
but because he has looked upon us, and called us to be his own.
O God, you have searched me and known me,
you read my every thought from afar,
There is not a word on my tongue
that you do not know altogether.

The joy of those who hear the call of Christ be with you all.
And also with you.

— written by Bruce Prewer, on Bruce Prewer’s Homepage.

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.


Prayer of Praise & Trust: Psalm 139


Here’s a prayer of praise and trust based on Psalm 139.  It was written by Joan Stott.

Prayer
(inspired by Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18)

Glorious God, you are utterly beyond us in every way, yet you involve your holy self with our very human existence and commitments, and we give thanks and praise to you for your unending love for each one of us. You have nurtured and blessed each of us as we grew in the womb of your love and compassion over many years; and we give thanks for the trust in you that has grown in us as we have developed and reached maturity.

We praise you for the way you have placed your hand on us in blessing, and that you have communicated to us in wordless ways, the depths of your love for us, so that we can understand and know that we are your beloved child.

We give thanks and praise to you that you trust us enough to share some of your thoughts with our limited minds and hearts; and that deep within us, there is that spark of your holy life to enrich and bless us; so that we always have an inner yearning to be near you and to be blessed by you.

Bearer of all creation, in your power, majesty and infinite love, you have ordained that your eternal presence is with each of us at all times, so that in the morning, you are there with us; and during the evening and night you are still with us. Trustworthy God, you honour us always with your presence. Amen.  

— written by Joan Stott, and posted on the Geelong City Parish UCA website. If used in shared worship, please provide an acknowledgement as follows: © 2012 Joan Stott – "The Timeless Psalms" RCL Psalm Year B, used with permission.

Confession: Hearing God's Voice

Here’s a thoughtful prayer of confession inspired by 1 Samuel 3: 1-20 and John 1: 43-51, two of the suggested scripture readings for the second Sunday after Epiphany (January 15, 2012).  It was written by Moira Laidlaw on her wonderful website, Liturgies Online.

Prayer of Confession
(inspired by 1 Samuel 3, John 1: 43-51)

God of grace, in the days when your word was rarely heard and when visions were scarce, you broke into Samuel's life and called his name...and he said "Here I am, speak, for your servant is listening." We confess that often so many voices clamour for our attention that your word is again hard to hear.  Forgive us if you have called us to be prophetic witnesses or to use our gifts to serve you, and we have not heard, or have been unwilling to respond. Lord Jesus Christ, you met Philip and Nathanael on the road and said "Follow me" - and they did... We confess that we do not expect to meet you on the familiar roads we travel and so we fail to discern your presence or your call on our lives. Holy Spirit, you empower us to recognise and to respond to the invitation of Jesus to follow him, even when that means travelling on unknown and unfamiliar paths... Merciful God, take from us all that hinders our hearing your voice and fill us anew with the Holy Spirit that we may joyfully respond to Jesus' call on our lives.  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen

Assurance of Forgiveness
(based on 1 Corinthians 6: 20)

The good news is that even if we at first do not hear the divine word addressed to us, God calls again and again.  When our words and actions separate us from God, the Apostle Paul assures us that Jesus was prepared to pay the price to restore us to God. Paul writes: "You were bought with a price; therefore glorify God..."(1 Corinthians 6:20)

— written by Moira Laidlaw, on Liturgies Online

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.

For other prayers of confession/words of assurance, see the Index at the upper right.


Prayers of the People: Epiphany 2 B

Here’s a prayer of thanksgiving and intercession for the second Sunday after Epiphany (January 15, 2012).  It was written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild and posted on his Kir-shalom website.

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession
(inspired by 1 Samuel 3:1-20)

Eternal God, you are the maker of us all, and we are your creation, people formed in your image, as individuals, as community - formed and fed and furnished with understanding of who you are and of who and whose we are. We are worshipping you today in recognition of your calling, of your communicating, of your caring to invite us to share in your creative and healing work.  We are here because we have heard you speak in us and through others.  Help us, dear Lord, to ever respond to you and your invitation to your grace... Lord hear our prayer...

God of all our moments, of our days and our nights, you speak and you act in the world around us, not only to call all people to you, but also to direct and guide us in the way of healing and wholeness.  Awaken us Lord, to hear what you would say to us.  Help us to open our ears, our eyes, and our hearts to your presence . Help us to know when it is your voice we are hearing and it when it is our prejudices and desires to which we are paying heed.... Lord hear our prayer...

Lord, we pray that your church may rise up with renewed commitment in answer to your call, that your people may be instruments of your grace and love.... Lord hear our prayer....

We pray for those who consider themselves inadequate and dismiss or avoid your calling in their lives.  Give them a new vision, a vision in which you are their strength and their hope... Lord hear our prayer....

We pray for those who, in answering your call, must leave the known for the unknown, the oasis for the desert, the comfortable for the uncertain. Grant them courage and steadfast faith... Lord hear our prayer....

We pray too, today, O Lord, for those in want and need - for those of us and of the larger community who suffer in body or in soul.  We remember before you......  (Various intercessions)...   Lord, hear our pray.....

Loving Father - bless us all with an abundant faith, a fruitful ministry, a joyful life.  Bless us and all those who gather together to continue the work of Jesus, who came to heal, save, and deliver us all, and who taught us to pray as one family, saying... Our Father.....

— written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, and posted on his Kir-shalom website. 

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.

For more prayer resources on this blog, see the Prayer Index at the upper right.


Dramatic Reading: 1 Samuel 3: 1-20

Here’s a dramatic presentation of 1 Samuel 3:1-20, the suggested Old Testament reading for the second Sunday after Epiphany (January 8, 2012).  It was written by Carolyn Brown (based on the NRSV), and posted on her excellent Worshipping with Children website.

She suggests, “Samuel could be read by a young boy and Eli by a white haired man.  The Narrator might be the usual worship leader or another man in the congregation.  The readers could stand in place or move around as they read following the action of the story.” 

Dramatic Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-20

Narrator:  Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.  At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; (Eli takes place at one side of area)  the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord (Samuel lies down in front of the central table) where the ark of God was.  Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and Samuel said,

Samuel: “Here I am!” (sitting up)

Narrator:  and ran to Eli,

Samuel:  “Here I am, for you called me.”

Eli: “I did not call; lie down again.”

Narrator:  So he went and lay down.   The Lord called again, “Samuel!”  Samuel got up and went to Eli,

Samuel:  “Here I am, for you called me.”

Eli:   “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”

Narrator:   Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.  The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli,

Samuel:    “Here I am, for you called me.”

Narrator:  Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy.  Therefore Eli said to Samuel,

Eli:   “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ ”

Narrator:  So Samuel went and lay down in his place.  Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said,

Samuel:   “Speak, for your servant is listening.”  

Narrator:  Then the Lord said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle.  On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.  For I have told him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.  Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering forever.”  (Samuel lies down.)
Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. (Samuel might rise and push open imaginary doors, then move off to the side away from Eli)  Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli.  But Eli called Samuel and said,

Eli:  “Samuel, my son.”

Samuel:  “Here I am.”

Eli: “What was it that God told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.”  

Narrator:  So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then Eli said,

Eli:   “It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.”

Narrator:  As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.  And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord.

— Carolyn Brown, on Worshipping with Children

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.


Commission & Benediction: Epiphany 2

Here’s a closing commission and benediction based on the scripture passages for January 15, 2012 (the third Sunday after Epiphany).  They were written by Nathan Nettleton.

Commission & Benediction

Go now. Listen for the voice of the Lord
and follow wherever it leads.
Do not be dominated by anything.
Allow no room within yourselves for deceit,
but offer yourselves as a temple for the Holy Spirit.

And may God be with you and speak through you;
May Christ Jesus be one with you and raise you to life;
And may the Holy Spirit dwell within you and make you holy.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
........In the name of Christ. Amen.

© 2002 Nathan Nettleton http://www.laughingbird.net/

For more benedictions on this blog, see the Benediction Index at the upper right side of the page.

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.


Epiphany Prayer: Here We Are

Here’s a prayer for the second Sunday after Epiphany (Year B).  It is based on 1 Samuel 3 and John 1: 43-51, two of the suggested passages for that date.  The prayer comes from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

Epiphany Prayer
(based on 1 Samuel 3:1-10, 11-20 and John 1:43-51)

Lord God, you call your people to tasks we would not ourselves choose. Give us the grace to love you enough to follow when you call.  You know our weakness and have promised to give resources for that which you ask of us. We praise you for your generous care. Like Samuel, let us say "Here I am." God of surprising light, here we are.  

We are surrounded, O God, with people who need to hear the story, people who need to meet the one from Nazareth, Jesus our Lord.  Make our places of worship places of hospitality and welcome.  Make our words and actions, words and actions of invitation. Like Philip, let us say, "Come and see." God of surprising light, here we are.    

— from Lift Up Your Hearts: Worship and Spirituality Site of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC). 

Act of Confession: Epiphany

Here’s a prayer of confession suitable for the season of Epiphany.  It comes from the Seekers Church.

Prayer of Confession

We let our hearts grow cold and dark
to match the weather,
rather than face our transgressions.

In the cold, dim winter
God's light is hard to see.

We long to hear God's message
to unburden our hearts.

All:  God calls us to repentance
and offers us the light of Christ.

(Individual Prayers of Confession)

Words of Assurance

God is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,
seeding each of us and all creation
with the love of Jesus Christ. 

Amen.

— from a longer liturgy by Seekers Church, a Christian community in the tradition of the Church of the Saviour.  

Act of Confession: Epiphany 2 B

Here’s a thoughtful prayer of confession and words of assurance based on the lectionary texts for the second Sunday after Epiphany (January 15, 2012).  They come from the United Church of Christ website (see below for link).

Prayer of Confession
(inspired by 1 Samuel 3:1-20, John 1:43-51)
   
Holy One, you have called us by name.
You will not let us lounge in bed.
You wake us up in the middle of the night to remember…
    (Invite the congregation to remember God's works.)  

You will not let us hide under the tree.
You summon us from the shade to be changed…
    (Invite the congregation to pray for those things that need to be changed.)  

You will not let us bury our secrets within the earth.
You unearth our fears and speak them aloud…
    (Invite the congregation to name their fears.)  
Forgive us, O God, when we cannot speak.
Reveal the words we need most.
In Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.


Words of Assurance
(inspired by Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18)

Our God knows you by name.
Our God knows what you fear.
For you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
In your name, God’s works are revealed again to us. Amen.

— written by Rev. Elsa A. Peters, Pastor and Teacher of the First Congregational UCC in South Portland, ME, and posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website. She blogs about ministry and liturgy at: http://impossiblethingswithgod.blogspot.com/.

Benediction: 1 Corinthians 6: 12-20

Here’s a commission and benediction based on 1 Corinthians 6: 12-20, one of the suggested scripture readings for January 15, 2012, the second Sunday after Epiphany.

Commission & Benediction
(based on 1 Corinthians 6: 12-20)

Don’t you know that you are temples of the Holy Spirit?
Go and glorify God in your bodies, which is a most reasonable worship.

With the grace of Christ Jesus, I bless you.
Amen!
With the love of God, I bless you.
Amen!
With the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, I bless you.
Amen!

— written by Bruce Prewer, on Bruce Prewer’s Homepage.  

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.

Call to Worship Litany: Psalm 139

Here’s a call to worship litany written by Joan Stott, and posted on the Geelong City Parish UCA website.

 

A Call to Worship

(inspired by Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18)


Creating God, we gather in your name to worship you.
We give thanks that there is a small spark of God within us.
Kindle that small spark into a flame of love and service.

Sustaining God, we gather in your name to worship you.
We celebrate the loving presence of God in our life.
May God’s loving presence be a strong influence in our life.

Nurturing God, we gather in your name to worship you.
We rejoice that God teaches us about love and forgiveness.
As we grow in faith, trust and love for God, may our worship,
witness and service bring honour to God’s Holy Name. Amen.
 
— written by Joan Stott, and posted on the Geelong City Parish UCA website. If used in shared worship, please provide an acknowledgement as follows: © 2012 Joan Stott – "The Timeless Psalms" RCL Psalm Year B, used with permission.

Responsive Prayer: Epiphany 2 B

Here’s a responsive prayer written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, and posted on his Kir-shalom website.

Responsive Prayer
(based on Psalm 139, 1 Samuel 3)

God of mystery and of power,
nothing is hid from you, to you all things are plain.
Give us grace, O Lord, to hear your word and see your hand.
Your might and your strength are beyond all comparison.
Your love is greater than words can say.
Give us grace, O Lord, to hear your word and see your hand.
You call us Lord to a closer walk with you.  You guide us into
the paths that you have chosen in your wisdom..
Give us grace, O Lord, to hear your word and see your hand.
Keep us from fleeing your presence.
Make us responsive to your loving call.

   ............... (silent prayer) ..............

Gracious Father, hear our prayer and make us new.
We ask it in the name of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forevermore.  Amen.

— written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, and posted on his Kir-shalom website. 

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.

For more prayers on this blog, see the Scriptural Prayer Index at the top right.


Gospel Reflection: Matthew 2: 1-12

Here’s a wonderful prayer based on the gospel text for Epiphany (January 1, 6 or 8).  It was written by Anne Osdieck of the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University. 

Gospel Reflection
(inspired by Matthew 2:1-12)

Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
(Matthew 2:11)

O
Christ,

Here comes the world,
drinking your light and basking in your brightness;
the wise and ignorant, kings and beggars, CEO’s and cowboys,
from Great Britain, India and Bolivia,
from everywhere.

Shine
your soft light
on the darkness inside us.
Incense our minds and hearts with your grace.

Be the treasure in our hearts.
Be the gift that we
give.

Amen.

— written by Anne Osdieck at the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University.  

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.


Responsive Call to Worship: Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name;
worship the Lord in the splendour of his holiness.
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.

— written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, and posted on his Kir-shalom website. 

Contemporary Call to Worship for Epiphany

Here’s a contemporary call to worship from Seekers Church.  It is part of a longer liturgy for Epiphany.  Click on the link below to see the entire thing.

Call to Worship: Epiphany

The New Dawn will arise upon you. 
You shall see and be radiant. 
The New Dawn will arise upon you. 
The Holy One will bless the people with peace. 
The New Dawn will arise upon you. 
The joy of the Lord is my strength. 
The New Dawn will arise upon you. 
All:   God is here among us.
        Let us rejoice and be glad in God's presence.

— from a longer liturgy by Seekers Church, a Christian community in the tradition of the Church of the Saviour.  

Pastoral Prayer: Luke 1:78-79

Here’s an Epiphany prayer based on Isaiah 9:2 and Luke 1:78-79.  It was written by Rev. Mindi and posted on her Rev-o-lution blog.

Epiphany Prayer
(based on Isaiah 9:2, Luke 1:78-79)

God of Light, You brought forth light as Your first act of creation. You brought forth light and darkness did not overcome it and You brought forth light in the form of Your Son, Jesus the Christ, who continues to shine the light of hope in a world of darkness and despair. You have called us to shine with Your light, and You have called us to bring Your light to the world. As we prepare for this New Year, help us to shine Your light more brilliantly and bright in our lives. Call us into the ways of Your Son’s love, peace, mercy and justice, so that we might share the light of hope with this world in this New Year. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

— written by Rev. Mindi, and posted on her Rev-o-lution website. 

Dec 30, 2011

Prayers of the People for the New Year

Here’s a prayer of intercession from the people at World News This Week In Prayer, written December 29, 2011.

Prayer of Intercession
for the New Year

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
(Isaiah 60: 1-2 NRSV)


Most Holy God, we gather before you in prayer, celebrating your presence and your light in our lives and in our world.

The old year has ended and a new one lies before us; a new year full of promise, hope and potential. As we enter into this New Year we pray that your Holy Light will shine upon all nations, all people and all of creation leading us in love, peace and joy.

We pray that your guidance and wisdom will lead us in this New Year; that your voice will encourage us to live in your ways and that your Spirit will enliven us as we grow, learn and work together.

In the midst of our celebrations we hold before you those who suffer alone this day - those who ache with pain or hunger - those who tremble in fear or anxiety - those who feel empty and unfulfilled - and those who feel unloved and unwanted.

We pray for all who are touched by conflict and war remembering the 90,000 people who have been displaced because of clashes between militant Islamists and the security forces in Nigeria's Damaturu city. We hold before you all who live in refugee camps, all who live in foreign lands and all who are homeless. May your presence and your peace surround all who are in need.

We pray that your grace and your wisdom will be with the entire world's decision makers; may their hearts be softened to your ways of peace and justice, may their negotiations be fair and may dignity be restored to all people. We pray for Bosnia's Muslim, Croat and Serb leaders who have agreed to form a central government, ending 14-months of political paralysis. May peace and justice prevail.

We pray for all who mourn the loss of loved ones, we remember the people of the Philippines as they slowly recover from the devastating floods; we remember the 35 who died in an air strike near a Kurdish village when Turkish warplanes attacked; we remember the people of North Korea who are mourning the loss of their leader Kim Jong-Il and we remember those whom we name in the silence of our hearts. May all who mourn feel your light upon them this day and always.

We praise you, O God, for pouring out your light upon us. May your living word call to us and may we, in faith, answer. All of this we pray in the name of your beloved child who came to us all those years ago and lives among us today. Amen.

World in Prayer is a ministry of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist Lodi, California, USA, and is written by a team of writers representing different denominations throughout the U.S., Canada and Great Britain.

For more worship resources for the Epiphany season, click on Epiphany or Epiphany 1 B, 2 B, etc. in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page.


Epiphany Opening Prayer

Light of Christ, awaken us this hour to the glory of your presence in our midst. Shine among us in such a way that the darkness without and within may be pushed back, such that we might truly see what is really real. Help us to recognize our sin for what it is. Enable us to behold the world as you created it to be, as you created us to be. Empower us to move from darkness to light, from sin to new life. May your light within us shine through into worship this day, as all days. This we pray in the name of the Word made flesh, the light which is the light of all people. Jesus Christ. Amen.  

— written by Peter Haynes, and posted on the Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren website.  

Prayers of the People: Epiphany 1 B

Here’s a prayer of intercession suitable for use on the first Sunday of Epiphany (the Baptism of Jesus).  It was written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild and posted on his Kir-shalom website.

Prayer of Intercession
for the first Sunday after Epiphany

Gracious Father, you are Lord of our beginnings and our endings and all that lies between.  We praise you: for how you have poured out upon us blessing after blessing; for how you have reached out to us; for how you have come to us; for how you have spoken to us.  Help us to live the faith you have given us...  Lord, hear our prayer...

Loving God - we thank you for how Christ Jesus came among us and identified himself completely with us - going so far as to take upon himself our sin, our suffering, and finally our death.  Help us Lord to not hold back ourselves from identifying with him and with the church that he established.  May we indeed be united with him in his death so that we might also share in his resurrection.  Help us to commit ourselves to him and to the family he has called us to be a part of - to be members of his visible body here in this place - to be his disciples and his apostles - his evangelists and his teachers - his feet and his hands - his eyes and his ears - his light and his salt - day by day....  Lord, hear our prayer...

Anoint all the people of your church, O God, that your will may be done and your name be glorified.  Make us one as you are one... both those who are near and those who are far off...  Lord, hear our prayer...

Anoint the grieving with your comfort, so that they may know your light even in the time of their deepest darkness...  Lord hear our prayer...

Anoint the broken in body and spirit with your healing, so that they may know you are Lord of all their days and so that they may praise you each day no matter what it may bring...  Lord hear our prayer...

Anoint, O God, all those for whom we now ask in the silence of our hearts.  We especially remember before you today, O Lord  (Bidding Prayer) .... Lord, hear our prayer....

O God of infinite mercy, pour your love out upon us each day. We pray through Jesus, your Anointed One, he who first taught us to pray to you saying... Our Father….

— written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild (altered slightly). Posted on his Kir-shalom website.