Year I: Week 22 of Ordinary Time

Wednesday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

In the church calendar the long stretch of time between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is known as ‘Ordinary Time.’ Inasmuch as we have celebrated the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the subsequent descent of the Holy Spirit; so this time is often seen as representative of the long ‘Church Age’ when the gospel is preached to all creation. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name..


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All: 
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 34:1-10  (Benedicam Domino)

All: 

The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God
A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 117

Let All Peoples Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord!

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Almighty God, morning by morning your grace and glory captivates us! We thank you for a new day, and give praise to you who caused light to shine out of darkness. Today by your grace we shall triumph in the works of your hands as we are anointed with fresh oil. Today we shall flourish as palm trees and grow like cedars in Lebanon!
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Planted in the House of the Lord, we shall flourish in the courts of our God.
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Bringing forth fruit in old age, we shall be fat, green and flourishing!
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…

Family & Friends

  • God, who sets the lonely in families and brings those who are bound into prosperity, guard over our families and loved ones today.   As iron sharpens iron so may our relationships bring us closer to Christ; and as two are better than one, so may we be vigilant to watch over each other’s souls and work for each other’s good.
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • When your Spirit came in times past, we read that whole households were saved. We pray for the fractured and broken families of our church and cry to you for salvation for all!
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • For those in further education, that they may find good churches to support them and good friendships to sustain them.
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your people. May they be enlightened to know your ways, empowered to share their faith, enriched with every blessing and enthralled with love for you. May your people be one, even as you are one with the Father.
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • For Pope Francis, his bishops, priests, ministers, and all those that serve your people…
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • For our Orthodox brothers and sisters, tested by persecution and triumphant by faith…
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • For the Churches of the Reformation, the Anglican Communion and the free churches…
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…

The World

  • Mighty God, we lift to you our broken world and pray today for the country of San Marino, founded in 301AD upon the faith of Saint Marinus, a Christian stonemason who laid the foundation of a small community of Christians escaping persecution. We pray that the building blocks which were previously laid would not just be considered as heritage but as a way of life in Christ.
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Thank you for your goodness to this nation and your blessing upon its economy. May your people be blessed to be a blessing and look to you to be their provider.
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • The Sammarinese have a deeply embedded Christian faith yet one that often has little transformational impact on lives. In the midst of a profound lack of spiritual hunger we pray for a powerful outpouring of your Holy Spirit that eyes and ears would be opened, lives would be saved and transformed and your Kingdom would come in power.
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Spark the flame of evangelism once again in this nation. Give your servants a burden for the lost and the unction to speak of your gospel to all who will hear.
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…


THE LORD’S
 PRAYER

Reader: 
And so we pray…

All:   
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.  Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Matthew 23:13-22

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


READING FROM THE CHURCH
 FATHERS (Optional)

Lesson from the Church Fathers – ‘Awakening Faith’ Day 348


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:  
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.  Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Creator God, you made us all in your image:
May we discern you in all that we see,
And serve you in all that we do;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the love of God set your hearts free,
To live an abundant life overflowing in joy and compassion,
In the service of others. Amen.


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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