Year II: Week 21 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: 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 95:1-7  (Venite, exultemus)

A Call to Worship and Obedience

All:  

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 106:1-23

Joy in Forgiveness of Israel’s Sins

Praise the Lord!

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?
Who can declare all His praise?
Blessed are those who keep justice,
And he who does righteousness at all times!

Remember me, O Lord, with the favor You have toward Your people.
Oh, visit me with Your salvation,
That I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones,
That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation,
That I may glory with Your inheritance.

We have sinned with our fathers,
We have committed iniquity,
We have done wickedly.
Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders;
They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies,
But rebelled by the sea—the Red Sea.

Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake,
That He might make His mighty power known.
He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up;
So He led them through the depths,
As through the wilderness.
He saved them from the hand of him who hated them,
And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
The waters covered their enemies;
There was not one of them left.
Then they believed His words;
They sang His praise.

They soon forgot His works;
They did not wait for His counsel,
But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,
And tested God in the desert.
And He gave them their request,
But sent leanness into their soul.

When they envied Moses in the camp,
And Aaron the saint of the Lord,
The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan,
And covered the faction of Abiram.
A fire was kindled in their company;
The flame burned up the wicked.

They made a calf in Horeb,
And worshiped the molded image.
Thus they changed their glory
Into the image of an ox that eats grass.
They forgot God their Savior,
Who had done great things in Egypt,
Wondrous works in the land of Ham,
Awesome things by the Red Sea.
Therefore He said that He would destroy them,
Had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach,
To turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them.

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, you call us to labour and you call us to rest. May this weekend bring openings for service, opportunities for stillness, times for others and occasions for rest.
              –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!
  • Prepare our hearts to receive your Word, our mouths to proclaim your gospel and our hands to serve our Lord.
              –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!
  • For hands quick to obey, for minds clean and holy, for speech kind and truthful and for motives pure and godly.
              –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!

 Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you befriended the sinner and elevated the lowly; you lifted the weak and healed the broken. Keep me from mindlessly following the crowd when my Lord has stooped to minister to those on the fringes. May I find my mission in the margins.
               –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!
  • For attentiveness to the call of your Spirit, consideration to the needs of others and mindfulness to the cry of the lost.
               –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!
  • Bring wholeness to my family today. May they be blessed in the city and blessed in the field, blessed coming in and blessed going out.
              –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!
  • Bring salvation to my friends today. May their extremity be your opportunity and their deepest needs be met in the deepest love of Calvary.
              –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we intercede for your people, joining the prayers of the Church Militant on earth with the prayers of the Church Triumphant in glory. Bring all to completion and return for a bride all spotless and pure!
              –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!
  • For those who lead in worship and those who minister in prayer and counsel. May they know genuine unction and constant refreshing.
              –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!
  • For our Pastors, Leaders and those in authority. May they have courage to speak boldly, strength to lead bravely and compassion to love tenderly.
              –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!
  • For Followers who sit at a distance – open their hearts to the fullness of Christ. For Disciples who walk in your footsteps – may they be kept by the power of God. For Pilgrims who stand before your throne – may they inspire by the testimony of their lives.
               –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we present to you the world that you created and the people that you died for. Today we pray for the Islands of Saint Kitts & Nevis. Two small Afro-Caribbean volcanic islands, although small in size, they are known to you. The beauty of these islands declare your greatness. We plead on behalf of their inhabitants that every knee would bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord!
              –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!
  • We pray for a nation who has the world’s highest public debts. We know your will is for your people to be free from slavery and oppression of debt and so we ask for the year of Jubilee to dawn upon these Islands where debts are cancelled and the restraints of bondage are erased.
                 –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!
  • We plead on behalf of your people that multitudes would be overtaken by the love of Christ.  Anoint your churches afresh with the Holy Spirit and with fire!
               –  Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!
  • For broken families and a fatherless generation.  Increase the number of godly faithful fathers and stable, Christ-centered marriages in this nation, that Christ may be seen shining brightly from Christian homes.
              –   Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good; His love endures forever!


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

John 3:1-15

You Must Be Born Again

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Joy: The Principle of Sowing Seeds of Joy.

Recognising that all people seek happiness, I seek to be a minister of joy to all people, seeking to ease their human suffering and sow seeds of happiness into their lives. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I will learn to share their burdens in order that they may share my joy.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Sowing Seeds of Joy.


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.)

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit,
Upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
Grant that your people may be fervent,
In the fellowship of your gospel,
That, always abiding in you,
They may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you.  Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the beauty of God be reflected in your eyes,
The love of God be embodied in your hands,
The wisdom of God be present in your words
And the knowledge of God be implanted in your heart,
That all might see, and seeing, may believe.  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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