Worship in the Home: February 7, 2021

Posted on February 2, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, Year B
February 7, 2021

In this time of world-wide crisis, congregations throughout this church are not able to gather for worship as the body of Christ. While you cannot be together in person, we can hear the word of God and hold each other in prayer. We offer this brief resource as an aid for prayer in the home. As with our prayers in the gathered assembly for worship, you are encouraged to prepare or adapt them locally for your context.

Find a peaceful place to pray, perhaps a table. You may wish to light a candle and place a bowl of water in remembrance of your baptism. One person may lead this acclamation and then pray the Prayer of the Day.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all.

Let us pray.
A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Everlasting God, you give strength to the weak and power to the faint. Make us agents of your healing and wholeness, that your good news may be made known to the ends of your creation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


Then the readings for this day may be read, as follows:

First Reading:  Isaiah 40:21-31

21Have you not known? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22It is God who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to live in;
23who brings the great to naught,
and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.

24Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when God blows upon them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25To whom then will you compare me,
or who is my equal? says the Holy One.
26Lift up your eyes on high and see:
Who created these?
The one who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name;
because God is great in strength,
mighty in power,
not one is missing.

27Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
The LORD does not faint or grow weary;
the understanding of God is unsearchable.
29The LORD gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


The Psalm may be sung or read in response to the First Reading.

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c

1Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praisesto our God!
How pleasant it is to honorGod with praise!
2The LORD re-builds Jerusalem,
and gathers the ex-iles of Israel.
3The LORD heals thebrokenhearted
and bindsup their wounds.
4The LORD counts the numberof the stars
and calls them allby their names.
5Great is our LORD and might-y in power;
there is no limitto God’s wisdom.
6The LORD liftsup the lowly,
but casts the wickedto the ground.
7Sing to the LORDwith thanksgiving;
make music upon the harpto our God,
8who covers the heav-ens with clouds
and prepares rain for the earth, making grass to grow up-on the mountains.
9God provides foodfor the cattle
and for the young ravenswhen they cry.
10God is not impressed by the mightof a horse,
and has no pleasure in the speedof a runner,
11but finds pleasure in those whofear the LORD,
in those who await God’s steadfast love. 20c | Hallelujah!


Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23

16If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! 17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. 18What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.

19For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. 20To the Jewish people I became as a Jew, in order to win the Jewish people. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. 22To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


Gospel: Mark 1:29-39

The holy gospel according to Mark.
Glory to you, O Lord.

29As soon as Jesus and the disciples left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31Jesus came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32That evening, at sundown, they brought to Jesus all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

35In the morning, while it was still very dark, Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38Jesus answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.



Having read these readings, think on this:

Mark wants to say in every way he can that God’s salvation is hidden in the cross. This is what scholars have called “the messianic secret.” There are two instances of the secret in today’s text: Jesus silences the demons because they know who he is; and, after “the whole city” has been gathered at his door, he goes away alone to a deserted place. But this hidden Jesus then goes on to all the neighboring towns. In our day, the salvation that is in the cross is still hidden. But we proclaim that the crucified one is risen and goes on to all the world. He comes here to the house of our church and to our own homes. We are the weak ones, sick with a fever. In the power of the Spirit, Jesus is the presence of the God who strengthens the weak. Jesus is himself the gospel given away for free. We are healed now, so that we — like Peter’s mother-in-law — may rise to serve others.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 858/859), God, Whose Almighty Word” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 673). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

God, Whose Almighty Word


Then pray these intercessions:

Trusting in God’s power to heal, let us offer our prayers for all who are in need, responding to each petition with words from today’s psalm, “We await your steadfast love.”

A brief silence.

We pray for the church’s many ministries of healing; for hospital, hospice, and military chaplains; for those serving in prisons, camps, and institutions; and for bishops and pastors facing illness of which we are unaware.

A brief silence.

We pray to you, saving God:
We await your steadfast love.

We pray for the health of the earth; for its myriad animals and their habitats; and for all created life that has been harmed by human misuse.

A brief silence.

We pray to you, provident God:
We await your steadfast love.

We pray for the health of people around the globe, especially for the people of Ethiopia and India; for international health organizations; for local and national medical services; and for school officials and teachers facing the pandemic.

A brief silence.

We pray to you, benevolent God:
We await your steadfast love.

We pray for wholeness in our nation; for the safety of our nation’s elected leaders; for an end to domestic violence; for an end to prejudice; and for an end to civic terrorism.

A brief silence.

We pray to you, sovereign God:
We await your steadfast love.

We pray for a halt to the pandemic; for all who have contracted Covid-19; for health workers; for the prompt distribution of vaccines; and for all who today will die from the virus.

A brief silence.

We pray to you, compassionate God:
We await your steadfast love.

We pray for all who are sick and suffering; for those with chronic pain; for those experiencing despair; for infants born impaired and for the aged in decline; and for all whom we name here: . .

A brief silence.

We pray to you, consoling God:
We await your steadfast love.

We pray finally for ourselves; for steady trust in your power; and for health in our weakness.

A longer period of silence.

We pray to you, loving God:
We await your steadfast love.

We praise you for the faithful departed and for their lives of service to others; and we pray that despite sickness and death, at our end we join with them to find our wholeness in you.

A brief silence.

We pray to you, eternal God:
We await your steadfast love.

Merciful God, hear the prayers of your people, spoken or silent, for the sake of the one who dwells among us, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “I’m So Glad Jesus Lifted Me” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 860 / This Far By Faith 191), We Come to You for Healing, Lord” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 617), “Guide My Feet” (All Creation Sings 987 / This Far By Faith 153), “Cast Out, O Christ” (All Creation Sings 1016). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

I’m So Glad Jesus Lifted Me

Guide My Feet


Then conclude with these prayers:

Let us pray.
A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Holy God,
Light of the universe, Teacher of truth, Giver of goodness,
we hear your Word in the Scriptures,
proclaiming to us your wisdom
and inviting us to follow your call.
For speaking this Word, we thank you, O God.
We thank you, O God.  

Your Word came among us in Jesus, our brother,
who preached your righteousness, healed the sick,
and revived the brokenhearted.
For giving us this Word, we worship you, O God.
We worship you, O God.

By your Spirit bless all who receive this Word,
that upheld by the mystery of the body of Christ,
we may be light for the world,
revealing the brilliance of your Son.
For sustaining us with your Word, we praise you, O God.
We praise you, O God.

Blessed are you, holy God, around us, with us, and in us,
now and forever. Amen.


Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.


Then speak the Blessing:

God the creator strengthen you;
Jesus the beloved fill you;
and the Holy Spirit the comforter + keep you in peace.


Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “O God of Light;” “The Healing of the Nations;” “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”

Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 102:12-28. Tuesday 2 Kings 8:1-6. Wednesday Mark 3:7-12. Thursday Psalm 50:1-6. Friday 1 Timothy 1:12-20. Saturday Luke 19:41-44. Transfiguration of Our Lord (commemoration of Cyril, monk, 869; Methodius, bishop, 885; missionaries to the Slavs) 2 Kings 2:1-12; Psalm 50:1-6; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Mark 9:2-9.

Daily Prayer Resources are available, including simple forms of Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer; Responsive Prayer; and prayers for mealtimes and other occasions.

Due to copyright restrictions, we are only able to provide downloadable hymns that are in the public domain and selected hymns for limited use. Other suggestions provided above may be found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship. To purchase copies of Evangelical Lutheran Worship and All Creation Sings for the home, visit the Augsburg Fortress website or call 1-800-328-4648. Selected hymns from All Creation Sings will be provided for limited use.

Reflection text: Gordon Lathrop. Intercessory Prayer: Gail Ramshaw

Portions from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, All Creation Sings, and sundaysandseasons.com © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Readings from Readings for the Assembly © 1995, 1996, 1997 Augsburg Fortress. Citations from the Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts. Scripture quotations from NRSV Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, adapted and edited with permission by Gordon Lathrop and Gail Ramshaw.

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