Year I: Week 23 of Ordinary Time

Friday: 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 113-120

ס Samek

I hate the double-minded,
But I love Your law.
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.
Depart from me, you evildoers,
For I will keep the commandments of my God!
Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live;
And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
Hold me up, and I shall be safe,
And I shall observe Your statutes continually.
You reject all those who stray from Your statutes,
For their deceit is falsehood.
You put away all the wicked of the earth like dross;
Therefore I love Your testimonies.
My flesh trembles for fear of You,
And I am afraid of Your judgments.

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

  • Mighty Lord, forgive us the coldness of our hearts and the rebellion that so often lurks under the surface. Erase the remnant of Old Adam and let the power of the Second Adam reign in our hearts. Renew us in your image, O God, and transform us by your Word.
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • May holiness and true faith reside within us. Give us new hearts to replace the heart of stone and a new song with which to praise our God!
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • May love and compassion replace sin and selfishness and may that which we sing and confess find its reality in our daily lives.
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, our desire is to build a Christ-centred family. May our home be full of peace, beauty, colour, simplicity and love. May the fragrance of Christ permeate every heart.
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • May we bring encouragement, comfort, wisdom and joy to our friends. May they experience our acceptance, loyalty and faithfulness as they walk with us through life.
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For those weighed down with overwhelming burdens, troubling circumstances and depressing situations. Bring hope and release, O God.
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • Reveal how we may show genuine concern for those who don’t believe, through caring words and loving deeds.
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, may we live worthy of your call on our lives. Send us into the world as pioneers! Command us to the heights as mountaineers! Give us the spirit that refuses the easy road, the soft choice and the comfortable life when the cry is heard, “Who will go for us?”
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For hearts impassioned with the call to mission, souls forged in the furnace of adversity, hands trained in the fury of battle and bodies hardened for the use of the Master.
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For missionaries, evangelists and those who take your word to the nations of the world. Protect, keep, empower and inspire!
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we join with you at the Throne of Grace and pray for humanity.  We ask you for Slovakia, that you would continue to navigate this nation out of the shadows of the Soviet Union. We thank you that you are blessing this country with one of the world’s fastest developing economies and we pray you would impart Godly wisdom into those in power, giving them the ability to lead the nation with justice and fairness.
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • Mighty God we lift up to you the small indigenous Romany community who suffers persecution and abuse at the hands of Slovak Police. While they are made to feel like second class citizens, we know that you have a heart for them and we pray that the message of your love and acceptance would reach them and would sink deep into their spirit.
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • In your name we come against the spiritual stagnation within the Christian community. May your people not be content with a diminishing church attendance but gain an urgency to see your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • We pray that you would shine a light in the darkness over those who suffer from depression and those who consider taking their own lives. Anoint your Church to arise and to be your hands and your feet, to bring comfort and hope to those who find themselves in hopeless situations.
              –  May our prayers be to you as incense…


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 25:14-30

The Parable of the Talents

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed,so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

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 261


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.)

Father God, who spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
And has in these days spoken to us by your Son,
Fill us with your Spirit,
That we may speak your Word,
Perform your will,
And fulfill the greater works that you promised,
Through Jesus Christ.  Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the embrace of the Father,
Be the comfort you desire.
The name of the Son,
Be the one on whom you rely.
The presence of the Spirit,
Be with you every hour.
The Three in One,
Be the focus of all your life.  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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