Year I: Week 23 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: 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 119:97-104

ם Mem

Oh, how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies;
For they are ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the ancients,
Because I keep Your precepts.
I have restrained my feet from every evil way,
That I may keep Your word.
I have not departed from Your judgments,
For You Yourself have taught me.
How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.

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

  • King of all, fill us today with the knowledge of your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. May we live a life worthy of you, and please you in every way. We pray that today we may bear fruit in every good work, that our souls may be strengthened with all power and courage to perform your will.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Jireh for understanding in dealing with our finances, provision for every need and an abundance for every good work.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Rophé for insight in dealing with our flesh, healing for every sickness and strength for every endevour.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Shalom for wisdom in dealing with the stress of life, calm in every storm and peace in every step.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…

Family & Friends

  • Father of Jesus, we pray for those we know who are still far from your Kingdom. Give us grace to speak into their lives, words to draw them to the light and opportunities to witness of the King we serve.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • For those we have hurt through unkind words, those we have injured through untrue speech and those we have wounded through uncharitable actions.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • For those whose families are fracturing, whose homes are breaking and whose children are suffering. Restore and renew the Covenant, O God!
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church that she may be enriched with the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ; that the eyes of her heart may be enlightened, that she might know the hope to which you have called us, the riches of your inheritance in the saints and your incomparable power towards us who believe.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • May your people be rooted and grounded in love; fully able to perceive what is the width and length and height and depth of the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • May your people be filled with the full measure of the fullness of God. Inhabit your people and take ownership of every part!
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…


The World

  • Mighty God, the people of the world belong to you.  Today we pray for Sint Maarten. A beautiful Island hidden within the Caribbean and after many years of several European powers exerting influence, now finds itself self-governed as one of the newest nations on earth. We pray that your Kingdom, above all, would be established here and for your influence to rule within those in power.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • Whilst this Island enjoys religious freedom and 85% of people consider themselves Christian, superstition is gaining an increasing hold.  Lord Jesus we pray, through your Holy Spirit, you would set a fire within the hearts of your Church that will extinguish any works of darkness seeking to distort the face of Christianity. Refiners fire, come and burn.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • Thank you for the provision of Christian broadcasting available in a number of languages, able to reach all corners of society on this Island. We pray for open ears and softened hearts to hear your gospel and that all who hear will be transformed and immediately follow you!
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…  


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 25:1-13

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterwards the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

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 294


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.)

Lord God, your Son left the riches of heaven,
And became poor for our sake.
When we prosper save us from pride,
When we are needy save us from despair,
That we may trust in you alone,
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 the Father,
The tenderness of the Son,
And the presence of the Spirit,
Gladden your heart,
And bring peace to your soul,
This day and all days.  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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