Year V: 12 Days of Christmas

Saturday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Today is the Eleventh 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 continue our chronological tour through the scriptures; whilst the readings at Compline continue to work 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 130

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From the depths of despair, O Lord,
    I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
    Pay attention to my prayer.

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
    who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
    that we might learn to fear you.

I am counting on the Lord;
    yes, I am counting on him.
    I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord
    more than sentries long for the dawn,
    yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
    for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
    His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel
    from every kind of sin.

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

  • Father of Lights, we thank you for the blessings of the weekend. Give us faith to try the impossible and courage to persevere to the end. Grant us enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference!
             – For yours is the Kingdom…
  • For strength in the fight, determination in trials and victory in temptation…
             – For yours is the Kingdom…
  • For prosperity in our finances, generosity in our sowing, health in our bodies and protection along our path…
             – For yours is the Kingdom…

Family & Friends

  • God of Glory, grant that today our children will go from strength to strength, and that they will be kept from all attacks of the evil one. Supply every need and answer every prayer…
             – For yours is the Kingdom…
  • For those who are far from you, that our witness would be bold and your Word would be effective…
             – For yours is the Kingdom…
  • For mothers and fathers and all elderly relatives and friends. Bring blessing upon their later years and vigour to their bodies…
             – For yours is the Kingdom…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, you left heaven’s glory to find for ourself a Bride. May you find in your church a spouse without spot and wrinkle, passionate in her love for her Lord and dedicated to declaring that love to the world.
             – For yours is the Kingdom…
  • For those raising the next generation. Empower Christian parents to rear their little ones for Christ and for His cause.
             – For yours is the Kingdom…
  • For our young people, that they may be protected in their schooling and bold in their testimony…
             – For yours is the Kingdom…

The World

  • Lord of all, enable your church to bear true witness of your Kingdom until all nations bow to your sovereignty. Show your power O Lord, and break every evil stronghold, snap every demonic chain and bind every wicked influence…
             – For yours is the Kingdom…
  • For wisdom and clear direction for our Government, our Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his cabinet and all in parliament…
             – For yours is the Kingdom…
  • For our MP, Local Council, support services and public servants. Let your will be done in all places of power…
             – For yours is the Kingdom.


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

Luke 3:1-20

The Preaching of John

It was the fifteenth year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar. These men were under Caesar: Pontius Pilate, the ruler of Judea; Herod, the ruler of Galilee; Philip, Herod’s brother, the ruler of Iturea and Traconitis; and Lysanias, the ruler of Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went all over the area around the Jordan River preaching a baptism of changed hearts and lives for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of Isaiah the prophet:

“This is a voice of one
    who calls out in the desert:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
    Make the road straight for him.
Every valley should be filled in,
    and every mountain and hill should be made flat.
Roads with turns should be made straight,
    and rough roads should be made smooth.
And all people will know about the salvation of God!’”

To the crowds of people who came to be baptized by John, he said, “You are all snakes! Who warned you to run away from God’s coming punishment? Do the things that show you really have changed your hearts and lives. Don’t begin to say to yourselves, ‘Abraham is our father.’ I tell you that God could make children for Abraham from these rocks. The ax is now ready to cut down the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

The people asked John, “Then what should we do?”

John answered, “If you have two shirts, share with the person who does not have one. If you have food, share that also.”

Even tax collectors came to John to be baptized. They said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”

John said to them, “Don’t take more taxes from people than you have been ordered to take.”

The soldiers asked John, “What about us? What should we do?”

John said to them, “Don’t force people to give you money, and don’t lie about them. Be satisfied with the pay you get.”

Since the people were hoping for the Christ to come, they wondered if John might be the one.

John answered everyone, “I baptize you with water, but there is one coming who is greater than I am. I am not good enough to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. He will come ready to clean the grain, separating the good grain from the chaff. He will put the good part of the grain into his barn, but he will burn the chaff with a fire that cannot be put out.” And John continued to preach the Good News, saying many other things to encourage the people.

But John spoke against Herod, the governor, because of his sin with Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother, and because of the many other evil things Herod did. So Herod did something even worse: He put John in prison.

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 Prayer: The Principle of Daily Fellowship with God.

Appreciating that without deep communion with God the life of the Spirit is impossible, I make time to encounter God daily through prayer, worship, the Scriptures and the development of a regular devotional rhythm. As a follower of the Way of Prayer, I will learn the internal disciplines necessary to hear from God and live deeply in His presence.

All:
This is The Way of Prayer: The Principle of Daily Fellowship with God.


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.)

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets,
To preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins,
That we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our
Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may Christ the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you,
Scatter the darkness from before your path,
And make you ready to meet him when he comes in glory. 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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