Year II: Week 8 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 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 99

Praise to the Lord for His Holiness

The Lord reigns;
Let the peoples tremble!
He dwells between the cherubim;
Let the earth be moved!
The Lord is great in Zion,
And He is high above all the peoples.
Let them praise Your great and awesome name—
He is holy.

The King’s strength also loves justice;
You have established equity;
You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the Lord our God,
And worship at His footstool—
He is holy.

Moses and Aaron were among His priests,
And Samuel was among those who called upon His name;
They called upon the Lord, and He answered them.
He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar;
They kept His testimonies and the ordinance He gave them.

You answered them, O Lord our God;
You were to them God-Who-Forgives,
Though You took vengeance on their deeds.
Exalt the Lord our God,
And worship at His holy hill;
For the Lord our God is holy.

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 has 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 Egypt, a nation with great Christian heritage which today is in the grip of Islam with intense persecution aimed at Christians. We echo the plea of Moses made over 2000 years ago and pray that your people would be set free.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We lift up the Egyptian Government, we pray for a leadership that would be brave enough to end corruption, bring justice and pass fair laws in the interest of your people.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We pray for the Coptic Church, the largest body of Christians in the Middle East. We declare wisdom and grace to be upon the Coptic Pope and he leads your people to stand firm in the face of oppression and persecution.
              –  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • For those who have a Muslim background and have discovered Christ. We pray for protection over them, would you hide them in the shadow of your wings as they discover a new way of living and being.
              –  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

Acts 25:13-27

Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice

Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus. And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a man left prisoner by Felix, and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defence concerning the charge laid against him. So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar.” Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow”, said he, “you will hear him.”

So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. And Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. But I found that he had done nothing deserving death. And as he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him. But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.”

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 32


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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