Year V: 12 Days of Christmas

Friday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Today is the Tenth 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. The afternoon readings at this time turn to the very front of the Bible as we begin a chronological tour through the scriptures; whilst the readings at Compline will begin working their way through Paul’s letter to the Romans.


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 128

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

How joyful are those who fear the Lord
    all who follow his ways!
You will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
    How joyful and prosperous you will be!
Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine,
    flourishing within your home.
Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees
    as they sit around your table.
That is the Lord’s blessing
    for those who fear him.

May the Lord continually bless you from Zion.
    May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.
May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.
    May Israel have peace!

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 this day of celebration in your House. May the God who is with us fill our hearts and inspire our worship, and may many be added to your Kingdom this day…
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love…
  • For fresh vision and inspiration, and a renewed vigour in serving you…
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love…
  • For victory over every sin and wisdom in every circumstance…
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love…

Family & Friends

  • Heavenly Father we ask for our families, that your Spirit would illumine our spirits and bring direction for the forthcoming year. May our friends know our love and our neighbours know your hope…
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love…
  • For compassionate hearts for the lost and a courageous spirit to act…
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love…
  • For those for whom this season has many painful memories, may your Holy Spirit renew minds and refresh hearts…
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love.

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray that this coming year may be a year of increase! May our hearts burn with love for you, and may those who are being saved be added to the church daily.
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love…
  • For church leaders and their families, that they may know renewed vision, direction and strength…
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love…
  • For those who lead and serve in your House today, may they overflow with the grace of God and be encouraged in their ministry…
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love…

THE WORLD

  • God of grace send forth your word to the nations! Empower your missionaries to spread your gospel and your evangelists to shout the good news from the rooftops! Let this coming year be a year of harvest!
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love…
  • For missionary organisations, those planning short-term missions and those being called into service in a foreign field…
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love…
  • For those who work in our inner cities, bringing the light of your love into places of darkness and despair…
             – Lord, open our hearts to your love…


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

John 1:19-28

John Tells People About Jesus

Here is the truth John told when the leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?”

John spoke freely and did not refuse to answer. He said, “I am not the Christ.”

So they asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He answered, “No, I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?” they asked.

He answered, “No.”

Then they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to tell those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

John told them in the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“I am the voice of one
    calling out in the desert:
‘Make the road straight for the Lord.’”

Some Pharisees who had been sent asked John: “If you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet, why do you baptize people?”

John answered, “I baptize with water, but there is one here with you that you don’t know about. He is the One who comes after me. I am not good enough to untie the strings of his sandals.”

This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing people.

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 Peace: The Principle of Reconciliation in the World.

Recognising that Christ has called me to be a peacemaker, I will always seek to be an instrument of peace in the world. As a follower of the Way of Peace, I refuse to be drawn into conflict but instead work for the good of all and the wellbeing of all creation.

All:
This is The Way of Peace: The Principle of Reconciliation in the World.


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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