Year III: Week 1 of Advent

Friday: 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 30

The Blessedness of Answered Prayer
A Psalm. A Song at the dedication of the house of David.

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

Now in my prosperity I said,
“I shall never be moved.”
Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;
You hid Your face, and I was troubled.

I cried out to You, O Lord;
And to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my blood,
When I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You?
Will it declare Your truth?
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper!”

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

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, we give thanks for a new day as we approach the great celebration of your Advent. Come afresh into our lives and fill us again with hope, O God of hope!
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…
  • For power to guard our lips, that only that which is true, kind and necessary may pass from them…
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…
  • For the knowledge of your presence in the valley and the joy that comes in the morning…
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you walked the earth with close friends always around you. May our friendships be strengthened and the lonely find shelter in our homes and refuge in our hearts.
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…
  • For those who struggle with the pain of abuse, abandonment and unfaithfulness, that they may be comforted…
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…
  • For those at the start of life, that they would grow strong in body, healthy in mind and filled with the knowledge of God…
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…
  • For those who are elderly or reaching the end of their race; may the light of eternity grow strong within them and grant them courage…
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for those who have backslidden from their first love. Mobilise your people and send your word to restore that which is wandering and strengthen that which is weak.
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…
  • For those who are sick in mind, body and spirit, rise over them with healing in your wings…
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…
  • For those who work in pastoral ministries, tending the flock and ministering grace to the bruised and broken…
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…
  • For those preparing for baptism and those taking up new positions of ministry…
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…

The World

  • Ever-living God, we lift to you our world in all its sin, rebellion and brokenness. Bind the works of Satan and swing wide the gates of grace! Remember not her sins and after wrath, remember mercy.
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…
  • For those in prison and your people who work with them. Bring salvation hope and a fresh start…
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…
  • For our Queen and Royal family. May she defend your cause, be protected from her enemies and know your peace…
              –  For you, O Lord are our Life…


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 5:33-42

Oaths

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Retaliation

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

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 Community: The Principle of Celebration.

Recognising the power of corporate witness and worship, I prioritise the Sunday gatherings of my church, committing to being a contributor and not just a consumer. As a follower of the Way of Community, I will find a place to serve within the church and arrive on time, with an expectant heart and a cheerful spirit.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Celebration.


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.)

Father in heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love,
And our minds are searching for the light of your Word.
Increase our longing for Christ our Savior,
And give us the strength to grow in love,
That the dawn of his coming may find us rejoicing in his presence,
And welcoming the light of his truth.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may God the Father, judge all-merciful,
Make us worthy of a place in his kingdom.  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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