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4th Sunday after Epiphany, Proper 3, Cycle B (January 31, 2021)


Deuteronomy 18:15-20 (I will raise up a prophet, put my words in his mouth;

listen to him alone)

Psalm 111 (God is faithful and just; praise him for his righteous deeds)

1 Corinthians 8:1-13 (Caring for brethren with weak consciences;

eating food offered to idols)

Mark 1:21-28 (Jesus drives out a demon in Capernaum on Sabbath)



With gratitude for the gift of Christ, let us draw near to our heavenly Father in prayer, asking his mercy for the Church, the world, and all who need his loving-kindness.

A brief silence


Holy God, thank you for being stronger than the demons, doubts, and despair that trouble us. Thank you for bold prophets, faithful teachers, gentle caretakers, and ordinary saints who serve you by mentoring, guiding, healing, and challenging us. Give us grace to go and do likewise.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Raise up in your church leaders to faithfully speak your Word with boldness, clarity, and charity. Give its members hearts that listen with faith, obedience, and gladness. Give to those who have not heard or heeded your Word, ears to hear rightly, ponder patiently, and believe firmly.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Give your persecuted disciples steadfastness, courage, and gentleness of heart, to rightly confess Christ before their enemies. By your mercy, bring their tormentors to repentant faith.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

We ask your dearest blessings upon this congregation, so that in all we say and do, we proclaim the strong saving love of Christ. Strengthen our families, and make them into havens of safety, grace, and forgiveness.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Have mercy upon all who are tormented by mental illness; post-traumatic stress; substance abuse; or anything else that clouds minds, distorts personalities, and shatters souls. Give them release from whatever has demonic control over their lives. Restore peace, sanity, relationships and hope to them and to their loved ones.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Drive out from this world the demons of hatred, violence, apathy and injustice. Fill the hearts and minds of earthly leaders, and the people entrusted to their care, with your Holy Spirit. Give us all a passion for caring for our neighbors, especially those who are despised and afflicted; and grant us your peace.


Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Grant healing, strength, comfort and hope to all who are wounded in body, mind, or heart— especially {List}. Shield them from ever power of evil; drive from them the demons of despair; restore them to wholeness and to the company of all who love them; and fill them with the blessed peace of your Holy Spirit.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Merciful Father, keep safe all who have died trusting in you. Comfort those who mourn.  Defend us in the presence of our enemies – sin, evil and death. Lead us into your eternal and glorious Sabbath rest, in which peace, wholeness and holiness are restored to all whom you have redeemed.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.


Graciously hear, and generously answer our prayers and petitions, dear Father, as may be best for us and to your greater glory, thorough your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Pastor Rolfe Johnstad says:

    Thank you so much. I am a retired ELCA pastor and am serving as an interim pastor for a small, rural congregation. It is my intention to approach each worship service in a fresh way and your prayers are a God-Send. Soli Deo Gloria