Year III: 12 Days of Christmas

Friday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Today is the Fifth Day of Christmas, the traditional twelve day festival that begins on Christmas Day and runs until January 5th. During this time we concentrate our readings on Jesus’ early life. This leads us to January 6th, which is the Feast of the Epiphany, where we celebrate Christ’s revelation to the world as Messiah, predominantly in the events leading up to and immediately after his baptism.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

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


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 105:23-45

Praise to God for His Faithfulness and Justice

Israel also came into Egypt,
And Jacob dwelt in the land of Ham.
He increased His people greatly,
And made them stronger than their enemies.
He turned their heart to hate His people,
To deal craftily with His servants.

He sent Moses His servant,
And Aaron whom He had chosen.
They performed His signs among them,
And wonders in the land of Ham.
He sent darkness, and made it dark;
And they did not rebel against His word.
He turned their waters into blood,
And killed their fish.
Their land abounded with frogs,
Even in the chambers of their kings.
He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,
And lice in all their territory.
He gave them hail for rain,
And flaming fire in their land.
He struck their vines also, and their fig trees,
And splintered the trees of their territory.
He spoke, and locusts came,
Young locusts without number,
And ate up all the vegetation in their land,
And devoured the fruit of their ground.
He also destroyed all the firstborn in their land,
The first of all their strength.

He also brought them out with silver and gold,
And there was none feeble among His tribes.
Egypt was glad when they departed,
For the fear of them had fallen upon them.
He spread a cloud for a covering,
And fire to give light in the night.
The people asked, and He brought quail,
And satisfied them with the bread of heaven.
He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
It ran in the dry places like a river.

For He remembered His holy promise,
And Abraham His servant.
He brought out His people with joy,
His chosen ones with gladness.
He gave them the lands of the Gentiles,
And they inherited the labour of the nations,
That they might observe His statutes
And keep His laws.

Praise the Lord!

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 (Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Proverbs 15:14-33

The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
    but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
All the days of the afflicted are evil,
    but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
    than great treasure and trouble with it.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is
    than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
    but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns,
    but the path of the upright is a level highway.
A wise son makes a glad father,
    but a foolish man despises his mother.
Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense,
    but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
Without counsel plans fail,
    but with many advisers they succeed.
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
    and a word in season, how good it is!
The path of life leads upwards for the prudent,
    that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.
The Lord tears down the house of the proud
    but maintains the widow’s boundaries.
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord,
    but gracious words are pure.
Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household,
    but he who hates bribes will live.
The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
    but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
The Lord is far from the wicked,
    but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
    and good news refreshes the bones.
The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
    will dwell among the wise.
Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
    but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,
    and humility comes before honour.

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


Pause for Reflection…


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Mighty God, as we come to the end of our week,
Grant your blessings over all we love and your increase upon all we do,
We ask this in Jesus name. Amen

GRACE

(If these prayers are taking place before food, you may like to say the Grace here instead.)

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. 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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