Year IV: Week 23 of Ordinary Time

Wednesday: 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 119:81-88

ך Kaph

My soul faints for Your salvation,
But I hope in Your word.
My eyes fail from searching Your word,
Saying, “When will You comfort me?”
For I have become like a wineskin in smoke,
Yet I do not forget Your statutes.
How many are the days of Your servant?
When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me?
The proud have dug pits for me,
Which is not according to Your law.
All Your commandments are faithful;
They persecute me wrongfully;
Help me!
They almost made an end of me on earth,
But I did not forsake Your precepts.
Revive me according to Your lovingkindness,
So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.

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, morning by morning your grace and glory captivates us! We thank you for a new day, and give praise to you who caused light to shine out of darkness. Today by your grace we shall triumph in the works of your hands as we are anointed with fresh oil. Today we shall flourish as palm trees and grow like cedars in Lebanon!
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Planted in the House of the Lord, we shall flourish in the courts of our God.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Bringing forth fruit in old age, we shall be fat, green and flourishing!
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…

Family & Friends

  • God, who sets the lonely in families and brings those who are bound into prosperity, guard over our families and loved ones today. As iron sharpens iron so may our relationships bring us closer to Christ; and as two are better than one, so may we be vigilant to watch over each other’s souls and work for each other’s good.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • When your Spirit came in times past, we read that whole households were saved. We pray for the fractured and broken families of our church and cry to you for salvation for all!
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • For those in further education, that they may find good churches to support them and good friendships to sustain them.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your people. May they be enlightened to know your ways, empowered to share their faith, enriched with every blessing and enthralled with love for you. May your people be one, even as you are one with the Father.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • For Pope Francis, his bishops, priests, ministers, and all those that serve your people…
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • For our Orthodox brothers and sisters, tested by persecution and triumphant by faith…
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • For the Churches of the Reformation, the Anglican Communion and the free churches…
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…

The World

  • God of the Nations we stand in the gap and pray for the world.  Today we pray for the Somalia, a terribly lost and unstable nation under temporary leadership of the Union of Islamic Courts. Mighty God your Word says that you bring the counsel of the nations to nothing but the counsel of the Lord stands forever, so we proclaim over this nation for your Kingdom to come and to expel the forces of darkness at work in this land.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Lord Jesus we pray for the southern part of Somalia, Puntland; overrun by civil war, violence and clan leaders craving power. We dare to believe for the peace of God to rule in this land. Would you cause people to turn away from their destructive ways and turn to the cross.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Mighty God you know the threats Christians are subject to in Somalia, threats of murder and calls for all Christians to be eliminated. Come in power we pray, overturn the works of Sharia law and establish the law of God. Increase the boldness of believers in the face of persecution and may no life be taken in vein, that the blood of the martyrs would be the seed of the Church.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • We bring before your throne the 4,000 believers who worship in underground house churches. We pray you would encourage and strengthen the brethren, that they would overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…

 


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 24:41-48

Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed’,

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


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY CHRIST (Optional)

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

Reader:
The Way of Joy: The Principle of Cultivating the Garden of the Heart.

Conscious that my own unhealed pain creates suffering for others, I take refuge in God to heal my sorrow in order that His joy would be my strength and His smile be always upon my lips. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I take responsibility for the garden of my heart, prayerfully transforming seeds of sadness, suffering and affliction, and diligently nurturing the seeds of wonder, joyfulness and hope.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Cultivating the Garden of the Heart.


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.)

Creator God, you made us all in your image:
May we discern you in all that we see,
And serve you in all that we do;
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 God set your hearts free,
To live an abundant life overflowing in joy and compassion,
In the service of others. 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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