Year II: Week 4 of Advent

Thursday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

As we enter the final countdown to Christmas, our Gospel readings begin telling the great story of our Lord’s birth.  The Psalms continue their crescendo through the Songs of Ascent and our readings in the book of Revelation begin to draw to a climax in the Second Coming of Christ.


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 24 (Domini est terra)

All: 

The King of Glory and His Kingdom
A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
The world and all who live upon it.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face.  Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.  

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 130

Waiting for the Redemption of the Lord
A Song of Ascents.

Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.

If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.

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, we come to you this morning with needs spoken and unspoken. Fill us with strength for the tasks of the day and grace to live as ministers of reconciliation within our workplaces and families…
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.
  • For wisdom with financial decisions, freedom from materialism and hearts ready to distribute to those in need…
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.
  • For healing from every bodily ailment, protection from every assault of the Enemy and patience to endure in the fight…
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.

Family & Friends

  • Father of Jesus, swing wide the gates of salvation for our friends and family. May this Advent season be the day of their salvation and the year of the favour of the Lord!
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.
  • For those at school, may they be protected from bullying, and grow in the favour of both God and man…
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.
  • For those who are burdened with marital problems and those who struggle in their relationships with their children and parents…
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, today we pray for the persecuted church across this wide world. May she know your special grace and favour, and witness to her persecutors the unsearchable riches of Christ. May the seed of the church always be the blood of the martyrs…
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.
  • For Christians fleeing persecution and those who are refugees at this time, may they find a new home…
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.
  • For those trapped in oppressive regimes and those who suffer under religious prejudice, grant protection and patience…
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.

The World

  • Heavenly Father, you came at Advent to usher in a Kingdom that would one day overthrow all sin, tyranny and oppression. Use us to bring change, that your Kingdom may come on earth even as it is in heaven.
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.
  • For your people working in education, social services, law enforcement and the judiciary, that their light may shine brightly…
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.
  • For all those who lobby for justice, peace and reconciliation in places of politics and power, that their voice would be heard…
              –  Hear us, eternal King of Glory.


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

Luke 1:67-80

Zechariah’s Prophecy

And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we should be saved from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers
    and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
    that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
    in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

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 18


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.)

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word:
Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts,
May shine forth in our lives;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and for ever.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may God the Holy Spirit make us steadfast in faith,
Joyful in hope, and constant in love.  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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