Year II: Week 4 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 to 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 95:1-7  (Venite, exultemus)

All: 

A Call to Worship and Obedience

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 42

Yearning for God in the Midst of Distresses
To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”

When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.

O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

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 and 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 Botswana.  We ask for this nation, a people whose average life expectancy has been reduced to 39 years due to AIDS.  Bring hope for those suffering in this epidemic, strength to their bones and restoration to all that the locust has eaten.
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • We thank you for the effective relief ministries working with the victims and orphans of AIDS.  We pray for your protection upon them as they share the love of Christ to a broken people.
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Empower your labourers to spread the gospel with boldness, to reach the unreached and love the unloved.
              –  The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • For the unreached tribes of Botswana, we pray you would mobilise your Church and provide the resources, the connection and man-power to reach these areas.
              –  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

Acts 11:19-30

The Church in Antioch

Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus.And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). So the disciples determined, everyone according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

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 109


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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