Epiphany Season – 31. January 2021

Theme: come see hear 



Opening Hymn:

An Opening Prayer
We are called to recognise God’s authority
and to submit to it in every area of our lives.
Let us invite God to direct our thinking and our prayers.
Let us give God the highest place in our lives.
Let us worship the living God.

A Thanksgiving Prayer
We thank you, Lord,
that you are the source of all wisdom and ultimate authority.
Thank you that we can always test
what we hear in the world today against your word.
Thank you that in you, life’s foundations are firm.
When we fail to look to you,
we find ourselves on shaky ground and prone to making mistakes.
But thank you that when we do make mistakes,
you can help us correct them.
Thank you that when we walk closely with you,
our lives have an integrity and meaning
that can help bring ourselves and others into closer relationship with you.
Thanks be to you, our God.


The Bible Reading:

Jesus’ healing of a man with an ‘unclean spirit’ is the first act he does in Mark’s Gospel and it is dramatic. He is presenting himself from the start as someone who will be different and will make a difference. Both Jesus’ teaching and his actions reveal that he is the ‘Holy One of God’, and the word begins to spread about him.

What is it about Jesus’ words and actions that show authority? What do you need to see to give authority to someone’s words?


  • What does the word ‘authority’ make you think of?
  • When have you been impressed by somebody’s authority?

Audio reflection:


God of our impressionable world,
we pray for the leaders of the nations,
that they would be wise, just and compassionate
as they exercise their authority.
We remember especially those in power in Russia –
and those protesting at the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny.
We remember the governments in the Netherlands,
in the United States, and here in the UK,
praying for all leaders as they discern the way forward
amid the difficult social and economic challenges of the pandemic.
May your truth be known,
and your love be shared in Jesus’ name.

We pray for a smooth and just rolling out of vaccine programmes,
for those who are vulnerable,
for those who mistrust the vaccine,
for those for whom it has come too late.
We pray for the families, and friends of –
and all ministering to –
the dying and the bereaved.
May your truth be known,
and your love be shared in Jesus’ name.

We pray for those who feel overwhelmed
by the additional pressures of home schooling,
for those whose relationships are at breaking point.
We pray for those who have lost their lives to depression,
and for their families and friends.
We pray too for those whose lives are blighted by anxiety and stress.
We pray for the health services and charities trying to support them.
May your truth be known,
and your love be shared in Jesus’ name.

We pray for your church – around the world and in our own community,
we pray for creative ways to serve and to share,
for courage and integrity as we listen and pray,
for urgency and daring as we respond to the needs around us.
May your truth be known,
and your love be shared in Jesus’ name.

We pray, in a moment of silence,
for all those on our hearts
and for all those who have no one to name them in prayer.
May your truth be known,
and your love be shared in Jesus’ name.

Collects for the Epiphany season:
Creator of the heavens who led the Magi by a star to worship the Christ-Child: guide and sustain us, that we may find our journey’s end in Jesus Christ our Lord.

God of heaven, you send the gospel to the ends of the earth and your messengers to every nation: send your Holy Spirit to transform us by the good news of everlasting life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

The ‘Our Father’
We draw all our prayers together in the words of –
Our Father who art in heaven…
…for ever and ever. Amen.

An Affirmation of Faith for Epiphany:
We believe in God,
the creator of all things,
the giver of life and breath.

We believe in Jesus Christ,
born Emmanuel, God with us,
baptized and revealed the most beloved Son of God;
he sought to heal humanity by taking our brokenness upon himself,
suffering for us,
dying for us
and being raised from the dead for our sake
and for the sake of all the world.
We believe that he will come again.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
continually poured out refreshing our lives,
leading us into a new day,
ever-birthing the church, the body of Christ in the world.
This Spirit is our soul companion and counselor of truth
reminding us
of the gift of faith,
the ever presence of God
and the promise of eternal life.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

A sending out prayer
Almighty God, be with us this week.
Meet with us each morning,
and in every situation throughout the day,
whoever we are with,
help us to draw on your strength and wisdom,
that we may be faithful and true
in following the example and pattern
given to us by Jesus.


Closing Hymn:

Organ Voluntary: