Year III: Week 1 of Advent

Wednesday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

As we head towards for Christmas, Advent prepares us in repentance and hope for Christ’s return. The regular psalm cycle reflects this, building to the ‘Songs of Ascent’ in the run-up to Christmas Day. The gospel readings are focused on the Sermon on the Mount, the Old Testament readings relate entirely to the book of Proverbs while the New Testament readings anticipate the second coming as we read through the book of Revelation.


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 87

The Glories of the City of God
A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song.

His foundation is in the holy mountains.
The Lord loves the gates of Zion
More than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you,
O city of God!  Selah

“I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to those who know Me;
Behold, O Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia:
‘This one was born there.’”

And of Zion it will be said,
“This one and that one were born in her;
And the Most High Himself shall establish her.”
The Lord will record,
When He registers the peoples:
“This one was born there.”  Selah

Both the singers and the players on instruments say,
“All my springs are in you.”

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, we give you praise for a new day, for breath in our bodies and the opportunities of a new, fresh morning. Come to us we pray, and empower us by Your Spirit to do your will and walk in your footsteps…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For obedient hearts to perform your Word…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For the supply of our needs and hearts willing to share with those in lack…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, guard our family and friends this day. May our children grow strong in your House, our friends find peace in serving you and may all those we do life with go forward together in faith and confidence…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For those who refuse your call, that you would show them mercy and bring them home…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For those at University, that they may know your protection and grow strong in you…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.

 The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church all across this world. Unite your people, empower your Bride and forgive her sins. May Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox come to the unity of the Spirit and fullness of the faith.
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For Pope Francis, his bishops, priests, ministers, and all those that serve in that communion…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For our Orthodox brothers and sisters, often labouring under intense persecution…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For the churches of the Reformation, the Anglican communion and the free churches…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.

The World

  • Father and creator of mankind, we plead with you for this broken world. As you came at Advent as the Saviour of all, so turn your face towards the nations, not counting their sins against them, but in wrath remember mercy.
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For those who work for peace, reconciliation and social justice…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For the peace of Jerusalem, the salvation of the Jews and the restoration of your people…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.


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 5:21-26

Anger

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgement.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

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 Simplicity: The Principle of the Gentle Footprint.

Conscious that the human race is fast destroying the natural habitat we all rely on for survival, I choose to live in such a way that reduces the suffering of all living creatures, healing and preserving our precious planet. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I will guard the creation entrusted to us, and consume in such a way that is mindful, ethical and sustainable.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of the Gentle Footprint.


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.)

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation,
That your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming,
May find in us a mansion prepared for himself;
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 Father,
Who loved the world so much that he sent his only Son,
Give you grace to prepare for life eternal.  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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