Year V: Week of Prayer for Unity

Saturday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: This week is set apart by the church all across the world as a time to search our hearts and set our intentions on fulfilling the great desire of the Lord Jesus, “that they may be one…” (John 17:21). Our Invitatory Psalm for the week is the great ecumenical anthem, Psalm 133 and our intercessions reflect this special season. But don’t just pray – get involved with ecumenical events in your area and meet the parts of our amazing global church family that you would otherwise never meet!


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 133 (Ecce, quam bonum!)

All:

Blessed Unity of the People of God
A Song of Ascents. Of David.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing –
Life forevermore.

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 21

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

How the king rejoices in your strength, O Lord!
    He shouts with joy because you give him victory.
For you have given him his heart’s desire;
    you have withheld nothing he requested. Interlude

You welcomed him back with success and prosperity.
    You placed a crown of finest gold on his head.
He asked you to preserve his life,
    and you granted his request.
    The days of his life stretch on forever.
Your victory brings him great honor,
    and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty.
You have endowed him with eternal blessings
    and given him the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord.
    The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling.

You will capture all your enemies.
    Your strong right hand will seize all who hate you.
You will throw them in a flaming furnace
    when you appear.
The Lord will consume them in his anger;
    fire will devour them.
You will wipe their children from the face of the earth;
    they will never have descendants.
Although they plot against you,
    their evil schemes will never succeed.
For they will turn and run
    when they see your arrows aimed at them.
Rise up, O Lord, in all your power.
    With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.

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, in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity we celebrate the fact that you have incorporated us as part of your Bride. May your people the world over celebrate “one body, one Spirit, one hope… one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God.”
             – Father, make us one…
  • Open our hearts to our brothers and sisters all over this world. Break down the walls of prejudice that separate us from each other.
             – Father, make us one…
  • Forgive us when out of fear, foolishness or lack of love we have allowed a hard word or an unkind thought to arise in our hearts against any one of your people.
             – Father, make us one…

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, may our families be restored, faith be remembered and failures be forgotten. Reconcile us with our neighbour and release us from our pride.
             – Father, make us one…
  • May we be bold peacemakers and courageous defenders of the weak.
             – Father, make us one…
  • Give us ears to hear and hearts to understand. Make us instruments of peace in our fractured world.
             – Father, make us one…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church and her leaders. Let us not divide what you have united. Forgive us our historic intolerance, ungodly opinions and selfish motives. May your church be one, even as you are one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
             – Father, make us one…
  • We repent of the historic sectarianism, legalism, racism and political scheming that causes your name to be dishonoured. May we bring you joy as we pray…
             – Father, make us one…
  • Bless all who work within your body to bring unity. Empower Churches Together in their work and inspire church leaders to connect.
             – Father, make us one…

The World

  • Heavenly Father, we pray for the global mission of your church as it engages in your name with rulers, governments and councils. Let her speak with one voice and show with one accord the message and ministry of Jesus.
             – Father, make us one…
  • For Christians on all sides of the political spectrum. Unite them in defending the faith and pleading your cause in places of power.
             – Father, make us one…
  • For Christian Unions, Business Fellowships and those involved in workplace ministry. May they bring your people together to declare your wondrous works!
             – Father, make us one…

 

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 9:27-38

Jesus Heals More People

When Jesus was leaving there, two blind men followed him. They cried out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

After Jesus went inside, the blind men went with him. He asked the men, “Do you believe that I can make you see again?”

They answered, “Yes, Lord.”

Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Because you believe I can make you see again, it will happen.” Then the men were able to see. But Jesus warned them strongly, saying, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” But the blind men left and spread the news about Jesus all around that area.

When the two men were leaving, some people brought another man to Jesus. This man could not talk because he had a demon in him. After Jesus forced the demon to leave the man, he was able to speak. The crowd was amazed and said, “We have never seen anything like this in Israel.”

But the Pharisees said, “The prince of demons is the one that gives him power to force demons out.”

Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Good News about the kingdom, and healing all kinds of diseases and sicknesses. When he saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them because they were hurting and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus said to his followers, “There are many people to harvest but only a few workers to help harvest them. Pray to the Lord, who owns the harvest, that he will send more workers to gather his harvest.”

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 Humility: The Principle of Self Denial.

Remembering that Christ himself taught that we should, “deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow”, I gladly embrace a life of self-denial. As a follower of the Way of Humility, I determine to live in such a way that is an imitation of Christ; denying all selfish, inordinate and unhealthy desires of the body and mind in order that the life of Christ may be truly known.

All:
This is The Way of Humility: The Principle of Self Denial.


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.)

Great God, you are One,
And you bring together what is scattered and mend what is broken.
Unite us with the scattered peoples of earth,
That we may become one family of your children.
Bind up our wounds and heal us in spirit,
That we may be renewed as disciples of Jesus Christ,
Our Savior and Friend. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the one God, in whom all things find their being,
Keep you in fellowship with Him and in unity with His body,
Until He returns at the end of the age. 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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