Epiphany Call to Worship
(based on Matthew 2:1-12, Isaiah 60:1-6)
Light! Light, light and more light!
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of God has risen upon you.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem,
wise men came from the East, saying:
Where is he who is born king of the Jews?
For we have seen his star in the East,
and have come to worship him.
The wonderful light of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Prayer of Praise
Blessed are you, O Christ, our God;
you were before time began,
and came to the world to save us.
Blessed are you, Sun of righteousness;
you shine with the Father's love
and illumine the whole universe.
Blessed are you, Son of Mary;
born a child
you shared our humanity.
Blessed are you, son of David;
born to rule,
you received gifts from the wise men.
Blessed are you, Son of Man;
baptised by John,
you saved us from ourselves.
Blessed are you, heavenly King;
teaching and preaching, healing and comforting,
you proclaimed the kingdom.
With all the voices of heaven
we celebrate the coming of our Saviour.
Let heaven and earth shout their praise.
With all the creatures on earth
we sing and dance at your birth.
Praise and glory to you, O Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Pardon
The coming of Christ was not,
and is not, widely welcomed.
Wherever there is epiphany there will also be darkness:
the darkness of old superstitions and dogmas
which refuse to fade away easily;
the darkness of pride in the half truths
that have masqueraded as wisdom;
the darkness of entrenched evil that hates the light
and tries to dispose of it;
the darkness of apathy that cannot be bothered
to open the shutters;
Most holy and most loving God,
we admit to you and to each other,
that we are creatures who either
through foolishness or wilfulness
often choose darkness instead of light.
Here and now we surrender to you our fears
and proud opinions,
our short-sighted folly and our pompous wisdom,
our deep seated sins
and our apathy towards change and renewal.
Please forgive the darkness and pain
we have inflicted on others,
and restore the light-starved hopes and ideals
within our own souls.
Trusting your grace, we earnestly pray:
“Create in us a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within us.”
Through Christ Jesus our Saviour.
My friends, Epiphany is good news!
The Light comes not to sear and blind us but to save us.
Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.
In his name I declare to you: Yours sins are forgiven!
Thanks be to God!
Take up your forgiveness with thanksgiving,
and live without shame or anxiety.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ enables us. Amen!
The Lord`s Prayer
Prayers of Intercession
Holy God, we come together to praise and worship you, the Ruler and Leader of all peoples on the earth. We pray for peoples of this earth who suffer under the rule of unjust regimes and governments. Their leaders seem to care little about their own people and their needs.
The Lord our God cares for all oppressed people.
Just and Honourable God, your nature and your ways proclaim you to be the compassionate God of all people. We pray for people who know the horror of oppression, imprisonment without cause, and the loss of freedom to act or worship you as they choose.
The Lord our God cares for all bewildered people.
God of grace and love, we seek your merciful help for people who struggle with poverty, hunger, diseases
that can be cured with modern medicine, and for all children who are deprived of the basic necessities of life. We pray for all aid agencies who serve suffering humanity in challenging circumstances.
The Lord our God cares for all defenceless people.
God of peace, may the light of your shalom shine on all vulnerable people. Bring peace with justice,
O God, and a hope that is realised in the hearts,
and minds of all your people.
The Lord our God cares for all vulnerable people.
Go in peace; love and care for one another
in the name of Christ;
and may the Spirit of God which filled John and Jesus,
fill your hearts, souls and minds;
may the power of God which upheld them,
strengthen you for each day;
and may the love of God
which directed their every action
be your guiding light and your shining star,
both now and for evermore.
SUNDAY PRAYERS JANUARY 9TH 2022
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
BAPTISM OF CHRIST
Prayers of Adoration, Confession and Supplication
Our loving God,
like the Psalmist, we have entered your gates with thanksgiving and your courts with praise.
This is the day that You have made;
we rejoice and are glad in it.
For You O Lord, are a good God
and Your love endures for ever,
Your faithfulness continues through all generations.
On this Sunday celebrating the Baptism of the Lord,
we recognise our connectedness with You,
and with one another.
We praise You, Almighty God,
for You establish the times and seasons.
This is a new month, a new year; it is a new beginning,
and You are still God in charge of Your world.
Blessed be Your holy name for ever and ever
through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
we confess to You the many ways in which we have fallen short of Your expectations of us.
We confess our sins against You our God,
and against our fellow sisters and brothers in this world.
Often, we have failed to testify of our faith in You,
of our love for You and of Your care for us.
Often, we have chosen the easy way of talking about everything else but of our relationship with You.
We have kept faith as those who are now in Your presence did years ago.
Have mercy upon us,
grant us Your grace that by Your Spirit,
we will be true disciples of our God
whose son Jesus Christ, died and rose for the forgiveness of our sins.
Gracious Lord, as we receive Your forgiveness,
we ask that You be present with us
in this time of worship.
Grant us grace to worship You aright,
to hear Your words read and preached with new ears, and to respond with renewed commitment.
Make us a people after Your heart,
seeking to do good to the world
and to bear testimony to Your love,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord`s Prayer
Prayers of Intercession
We pray for all who are bearing heavy burdens:
those facing difficulties and problems
to which they can see no solutions,
wrestling with inner fears
and racked by anxiety for themselves or loved ones;
troubled about money, health, work or relationships;
all who crave rest for their souls but cannot find it.
We pray for the influence of Your Holy Spirit in the troubled places of the world.
Fill us with Your passion for justice that we may strive to build bridges of reconciliation.
We pray for all who are happy
and for whom things are going well,
that they may know the source of their blessing.
We pray for all who are distressed.
Comfort the sad, be present with the sick
and make Your will known to them.
Strengthen those who are depressed by failure.
Our dear God,
we ask that You will help us to spread Your love
to our friends and neighbours.
Let us think of one or two particular friends
and ask that God will help us tell them the good news.
Let us think of the people sitting on either side of us
and ask that God will be especially close to them.
We also remember those people who are not with us today, perhaps through illness
or because they are on holiday.
Lord, thank You that You listen to our prayers – spoken and unspoken – in Jesus name. Amen
May the blessed presence of God
fill our hearts with the assurances of God's love.
May the gracious arms of Jesus Christ
embrace us as part of the community of believers.
May the Holy Spirit baptise us afresh
and lead us into newness of life.
And may we always live in trust,
knowing that we are God's always and forever.
SUNDAY PRAYERS JANUARY 16TH 2022
SECOND SUNDAY OF EPIPHANY
God of our hearts…here we are!
We’ve come with thirsty hearts,
praying that your Word will satisfy us.
We come with aching hearts,
praying for good news to comfort us.
We come with overflowing hearts,
praying for a chance to share your love.
You, who know our hearts and hear our prayers,
be with us now in this hour of worship.
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Confession
We praise you Father, as the debonaire God
who clothes the wildflowers
dressing them so superbly
that they out do Solomon in all his glory.
the true friend of all creatures great and small.
We praise you Father, as the God of Christ Jesus
the Source of abundance,
full of grace and truth.
We praise you Father, as the extravagant God
who in Christ, turns the other cheek,
goes the second mile,
turns water into the best wine,
brings healing with your every touch,
and who welcomes a woman’s of love
as she fills the house with unforgettable fragrance.
We praise you Father, as the redeeming God
who in Christ, spared no cost,
forgave even his brutal executioners,
had time for a dying thief at his side,
and who on the third day
did a thing so prodigious
that even his friends were dismayed with joy.
We praise you Father, as the God of Jesus Christ,
the Source of abundance
wherever we turn
and no matter what we do.
And so In your presence,
we acknowledge our shortcomings,
our faults and our failings.
We confess our tendency to rely on our own strength rather than yours.
O God of steadfast love,
at the wedding in Cana
your Son Jesus turned water into wine,
delighting all who were there.
We ask that you would transform the stagnant waters of our self sufficiency
into the rich wine of your grace,
that inspired by the teaching of your Son
and empowered by your Spirit, we might be channels of your love
in a thirsty world, in Jesus’ name.
The Lord`s Prayer
Prayers of Intercession
God of love, Father of all who call upon you, you have entered into the heart of human life through Christ Jesus our Lord. At a marriage in Cana of Galilee he made glad the hearts of all and so declared us to be your delight. Give us that same Spirit of love that was there on that day that we who are many may become one body.
Lord Jesus, ever-welcome guest, when the hosts at the wedding feast found they had no wine, and the crowds who followed You neglected to bring the bread, not knowing that Your presence transforms tragedy into triumph,
You revealed Your glory
and provided wine of such noble vintage, and bread in such absolute abundance,
that five thousand were fed. Fill our emptiness this day with your transforming power and lead us to an ever-deeper faith in you.
God of truth and beauty, we pray for the Church today,
established around the world
through the life and death and resurrection
of Christ Jesus.
May our love and care for one another and for those whom you love to be a sign to the world,
a sign that will lead all people to sit down at the wedding feast you have prepared in your everlasting kingdom. Especially bless, we pray, this church
and the community we serve.
God of care and compassion, we pray for those whom you have placed upon our hearts this day.
We pray most especially for those whom the party seems over, those whose wine has run out,
whose reserves are spent, through loss of health, wealth, or relationship.
God of signs and wonders. you showed your glory and led many to faith
by the works of your Son. As he brought gladness and healing to his people,
grant us and all for whom we have prayed, the same. Let your name be glorified
and praise be sung to you
in every home and town, city and nation.
We ask it in his name.
Go in peace,
love and care for one another in the name of Christ
May the light of God's truth inspire us each day,
May the compassion of Christ fill our empty vessels with wine of heaven
May the strength of the Spirit
bring us the joy of the divine wedding feast,
now and forevermore.
Minister ~ Rev Alan Kennedy 07733153203 01612703296 firstname.lastname@example.org