Year V: Week 3 of Advent

Sunday: 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 100 (Jubilate Deo)

All:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

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 68:1-18

For the choir director: A song. A psalm of David.

Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies.
    Let those who hate God run for their lives.
Blow them away like smoke.
    Melt them like wax in a fire.
    Let the wicked perish in the presence of God.
But let the godly rejoice.
    Let them be glad in God’s presence.
    Let them be filled with joy.
Sing praises to God and to his name!
    Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.
His name is the Lord
    rejoice in his presence!

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
    this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
    he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

O God, when you led your people out from Egypt,
    when you marched through the dry wasteland, Interlude
the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain
    before you, the God of Sinai,
    before God, the God of Israel.
You sent abundant rain, O God,
    to refresh the weary land.
There your people finally settled,
    and with a bountiful harvest, O God,
    you provided for your needy people.

The Lord gives the word,
    and a great army brings the good news.
Enemy kings and their armies flee,
    while the women of Israel divide the plunder.
Even those who lived among the sheepfolds found treasures—
    doves with wings of silver
    and feathers of gold.
The Almighty scattered the enemy kings
    like a blowing snowstorm on Mount Zalmon.

The mountains of Bashan are majestic,
    with many peaks stretching high into the sky.
Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountains,
    at Mount Zion, where God has chosen to live,
    where the Lord himself will live forever?

Surrounded by unnumbered thousands of chariots,
    the Lord came from Mount Sinai into his sanctuary.
When you ascended to the heights,
    you led a crowd of captives.
You received gifts from the people,
    even from those who rebelled against you.
    Now the Lord God will live among us there.

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 praise you for bringing us to another Lord’s Day! We pray that today might bring glory in your House, refreshment to our families and challenge to our souls. Give us faith to expect the impossible.
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.
  • For compassionate hearts as we minister and expansive hearts as we worship…
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.
  • For a fresh anointing of your Spirit and obedient hearts to live the life we profess…
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.

Family and Friends:

  • Father of all, fill our families with your goodness today. We call back wayward children, declare newness in our relationships and restoration over all that the locust has eaten.
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.
  • For those we are seeking to reach with your gospel…
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.
  • For those who are struggling with mental and physical illness…
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.

The Church:

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for our church, it’s leaders and ministries. May our numbers be multiplied, our faith be strengthened, our leaders be empowered and our love be unbounded. May our Sunday meetings be full, fruitful and touched by fire…
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.
  • For those who lead and serve in your House today, that they may do so with the anointing of your Spirit and supernatural ability.
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.
  • For all who teach our children about faith – may they be inspired to speak your Word.
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.
  • For visitors and those on the fringes of faith – may they encounter you this morning…
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.

The World:

  • God of grace we place our world into your hands. Revive your people and awaken humanity to the call of Christ. As we gather to worship today let your church bear witness to the reality of the Kingdom and let nations bow down to your light.
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.
  • For the leaders of the nations of the world – open their hearts to your wisdom and light…
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.
  • For those who have no voice and cannot speak – let the downtrodden be lifted and the solitary brought into families…
             – Lord, send your Word and set us free.


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 7:12-14

The Most Important Rule

“Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets.

The Way to Heaven Is Hard

“Enter through the narrow gate. The gate is wide and the road is wide that leads to hell, and many people enter through that gate. But the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to true life. Only a few people find that road.

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

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 Blessing Creation.

Understanding that the gospel of great joy is good news to all of creation, and that all of creation is made for the pleasure of God, I seek to live in such a way that maximises the happiness and wholeness of all creation; sentient and non-sentient, spiritual and material. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I refuse to engage in any practice that will bring joy to myself only by diminishing the joy of others.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Blessing Creation.


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.)

Almighty God,
Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness,
And to put on the armour of light,
Now in the time of this mortal life,
In which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
That on the last day,
When he shall come again in his glorious majesty
To judge the living and the dead,
We may rise to the life immortal;
Through him who is alive 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)

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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