Year II: Week 6 of Epiphany

Wednesday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We are currently in the Epiphany season; the time between Christmas and Lent.  Epiphany celebrates the long awaited manifestation of Christ; no longer as a baby in a manger but as the Saviour of the World.


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 95:1-7  (Venite, exultemus)

All: 

A Call to Worship

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

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 72

Glory and Universality of the Messiah’s Reign
A Psalm of Solomon.

Give the king Your judgments, O God,
And Your righteousness to the king’s Son.
He will judge Your people with righteousness,
And Your poor with justice.
The mountains will bring peace to the people,
And the little hills, by righteousness.
He will bring justice to the poor of the people;
He will save the children of the needy,
And will break in pieces the oppressor.

They shall fear You
As long as the sun and moon endure,
Throughout all generations.
He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing,
Like showers that water the earth.
In His days the righteous shall flourish,
And abundance of peace,
Until the moon is no more.

He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him,
And His enemies will lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles
Will bring presents;
The kings of Sheba and Seba
Will offer gifts.
Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him.

For He will deliver the needy when he cries,
The poor also, and him who has no helper.
He will spare the poor and needy,
And will save the souls of the needy.
He will redeem their life from oppression and violence;
And precious shall be their blood in His sight.

And He shall live;
And the gold of Sheba will be given to Him;
Prayer also will be made for Him continually,
And daily He shall be praised.

There will be an abundance of grain in the earth,
On the top of the mountains;
Its fruit shall wave like Lebanon;
And those of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

His name shall endure forever;
His name shall continue as long as the sun.
And men shall be blessed in Him;
All nations shall call Him blessed.

Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!
And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen.

The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

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, thank you for awakening us for another day. May we walk mindfully in your presence and meaningfully in the world. Empower us by Your Spirit to do your will and journey in your footsteps…
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • Set our hearts free from greed and craving. May we be content with what we have and have what we need.
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • Give us this day our daily bread, and give us also hearts willing to break that bread with others.
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, we pray for our own children and for the children of our church. May their hearts be strengthened to resist the devil, to remain on the path and to rest in your love.
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For those who, like Jonah are running from the presence of the Lord. Go before them and call them home. Be the Hound of Heaven and never let them go!
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For our young people away at University. Give focus, faith and fearlessness amidst the trials and temptations they may find there.
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, you prayed that your church might be one, even as you are one with the Father. Unite your people in heart and mind all across this world. Forgive our wilful misunderstanding and parochial suspicions of each other. Let your family dwell in peace!
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For the Churches of the Reformation, Anglican communion and free churches. Come Holy Spirit.
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For the Roman Catholic Church. Bless Pope Francis, and all his ministers. Breathe Spirit of God.
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For our Orthodox brothers and sisters, declaring the ancient faith amidst great trial and persecution.
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…

The World

  • Father and creator of mankind, we call on you for a world lost in sin and indifference. Turn your face once more towards the nations. Let your church not sleep in the light all the while the world is asleep in the dark.
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • That peace may come to the nations of the world. That war and famine may cease throughout the earth and the terrorist break bread with the terrorised.
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…
  • For those who will suffer the grief of loss, the pain of separation and the fear of death.
              –  Renew! Revive! Restore!…


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 23:23-33

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?

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 155


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.)

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you:
Mercifully accept our prayers;
And because in our weakness,
We can do nothing good without you,
Give us the help of your grace,
That in keeping your commandments we may please You,
Both in will and deed;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the light of the world be born anew in you today,
That sharing his light, you may be a light in the darkness,
And a bearer of His presence to the world. 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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