If you are looking for some words to use for worship, or some inspiration for your own, here are some you can use or adapt, thanks to members of our RevGals community (and beyond). If you can please give credit in video descriptions or print versions, that would be great, though spoken verbal attribution is not necessary.

Psalm 4 Paraphrase by Barb Hedges-Goettl  

God, you are right and just and true.
When I call with a loud cry,
You answer me.
You widen the straits of distress
that bind and besiege me.
When my world is small, narrow, and cramped,
You give me room to breathe.
When I am stuck between a rock and hard place,
You let me loose in your broad, wide pasture.
You bend to me in kindness and mercy,
understanding my prayer.
How long will people hurt God’s reputation
and damage God’s honor and glory?
How long will we love empty words,
seeking lies and requiring falsehoods,
and yearning after worthless things?
Set us aside for yourself, O Lord.
Make us your good and faithful ones,
Your kind and godly ones,
Your saints by Your mercy.
O Lord, hear me when I call to you.
When I am trembling and quivering,
Agitated and disturbed,
Angry and disquieted,
Worried and anxious,
Keep me from sin.
Inspire me to meditate on you at night.
Put me to bed and tuck me in with your comfort.
Whisper to the ears of my heart, that I may hear you.
Quiet and calm me in my whole being.
I confess my dependence on you.
Enable me to wait upon you
With confidence and patience.
I offer myself in thanksgiving;
I give myself to you because of your mercy.
I respond to your love with love of my own.
I respond to the all you give me
With my all.
I put my trust in you.
I hold out my hand for your hand.
I offer my heart to your heart.
I offer my mind to your purposes.
I offer my body to your body.
Be my hope,
my boldness,
my security,
my confidence,
my God.
There are many who say:
“Oh, that we might perceive some good!”
Shine your light upon us, O God!
Make your presence dawn upon us.
Give us joy and gladness
at our deepest heart of hearts–
Joy greater than a bountiful harvest
or material riches.
Bestow gladness in our very being,
A share in your joy.
We will lie down and sleep;
We will be stilled and remain at peace,
dwelling in God’s house,
where we can safely lie down.
Thanks be to God.

Opening Prayer (adapted from Psalm 4) by Barb Hedges-Goettl

My God,
Be my hope,
      my boldness,
      my security,
      my confidence,
My God.

Call to Worship (adapted from Psalm 4) by Barb Hedges-Goettl

There are many who say:
       “Oh, that we might perceive some good!”

Shine your light upon us, O God!
        Make your presence dawn upon us.

Give us joy and gladness
        at our deepest heart of hearts–

Joy greater than a bountiful harvest
         or material riches.

Bestow gladness in our very being,
         A share in your joy.

Collects (including Earth Day/spring) by Sarah Erickson

Lord of all the seasons, as spring unfolds and chilly temps linger, may we see your fingerprints in the tapestry of colorful blooms and migrating birds, give thanks for the beauty and bounty of your creation, and do our part to care for it. In the name of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit we pray. Amen.

The Psalmist reminds us that “the pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy.” Remind us of this joy when we are tired or discouraged, so that we may share joyfully with others. In the name of the Holy Three, Creator, Redeemed and Sustainer we pray. Amen.

God of all our days, as we prepare to traverse the rocky places ahead, guide our steps so that we may see future you intend for all your beloved ones and share that way with all with whom we cross paths. In the name of the One who was a Wayfaring Stranger, we pray. Amen.

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small….We thank you, God, for the wonders of creation, including bluebirds and squirrels that leap from magnolia branches and raucous crows that raid the feeder. In these days, may we rest and stop and breathe and look about, so that we are reminded of your care for all and encouraged to care for others. Amen.

Prayer of Confession  by Elsa Cook Inspired by Luke 24:36b-48 & 1 John 3:1-7

Startled and terrified
was how they felt
on that first Easter.
They were frightened
in their isolation.
O God, this fear
has kept us up at night
worrying about the world.
We know this
feeling after
this long year
but it is not what
we expect at Easter.
We expect peace
and immediate comfort.
We expect for the whole world
to be change in a moment
and it hasn’t. O God,
there is still so much
that terrifies and frightens us.
There is so much that we feel
unable to change but
resurrection is a slow
movement that requires
all of our hands and feet.
It requires our open hearts
and our willingness to see
every child of God
and we know we
haven’t.
We have lumped
your children into simple terms
And acronyms rather than
giving space for their complex glory.
We have turned away
when it is too hard to watch.
We haven’t listened
beyond our own understanding.
We have wanted
peace and comfort
When the change
We want most will require
The frustrating agony of change.
Change us, O God,
for this is the resurrection
power that is still slowly
Working with us. Change us
for good. Amen.

Confession of Faith in the Good News cf. Acts 3 (RCL) and Acts 6-7 (NL) by Barb Hedges-Goettl 

We believe and receive the Good News. We experience God’s confounding of the evil of crucifixion with the grace of resurrection.  We participate in God’s conversion of mourning into dancing. We are dressed in grave clothes made over into glad rags. We are lifted up from the grave and given new life. God lifts us up from down-and-out to up-and-at-‘em. For this Good News, we give thanks to God. Amen.

Prayer of thanks for a witness by Barb Hedges-Goettl

God, we thank you that we have a witness. You bear witness to yourself:  You proclaim that we are made in your image, and that image is very good.Jesus proclaims love for all people, the sacrificial love of a Shepherd for the sheep.The Spirit proclaims you with sighs too deep for words.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Witnesses have come before us: Prophets proclaim your justice for all people, rolling down like waters. The women at the tomb proclaim your confounding of evil and death through the resurrection. Astounding the crowd by healing the lame, Peter witnesses to forgiveness and resurrection. Condemned by false witnesses, Stephen witnesses to the Son of Man and forgiveness.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Witnesses are all around us:Give us ears to hear voices long silenced, peoples whose experiences challenge and correct our own. Fill our hearts with love for the diverse ways in which you speak, that we know and hear your word through each person’s own experience, and so honor your image and your presence in each one we meet.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Make us witnesses going forward, sharing what we have known, what we have heard:  your love, your hope, and the Good News of the resurrected life redeemed from evil, death and all that would separate us from you and from one another.

In Jesus’ name and by the power of the Spirit we pray, Amen.


Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl just began serving as pulpit supply/soon to be interim pastor at Makemie Memorial Presbyterian Church, Snow Hill, MD (by some counts the oldest church in the US)! She is glad to have additional venues for playing with liturgy in service to the Lord and the people. She blogs at https://bjhlog.wordpress.com/


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. (We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back to the specific post. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.) For Worship Words, you may use or adapt what you find here, but please credit the author in printed orders of service/web publications and in public video descriptions if possible.  If you have written words for worship in this strange new world that you are willing to share, please send us an email: revgalblogpals at gmail dot com. Material is due by Monday for the upcoming Sunday.

One thought on “Worship Words: April 18, 2021

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