Year V: Week 3 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 to 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:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 95:1-7 (Venite, exultemus)

All:

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.

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 32

A psalm of David.

Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
    whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
    my body wasted away,
    and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
    My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
    and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
    And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place;
    you protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

Many sorrows come to the wicked,
    but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
    Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

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:
Now we will 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, every 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 and 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 thrive in the courts of our God.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Being fruitful in every season of life, full of health and vitality!
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…

Family & Friends

  • God, who puts the lonely into families and brings those who are surrounded by debt into prosperity, protect 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 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 damaged and broken families of our church and call out 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 instructed to know your ways, empowered to share their faith, enriched with every blessing, and absorbed 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

  • Mighty God, the people of the world belong to you. Today we pray for Belgium, the crossroads of Western Europe.  We thank you for growth amongst the Evangelical churches and unity among the denominations, even in the face of growing disbelief and great spiritual apathy.  Bring revival to the Catholic communion and fill all her Bishops with the Holy Spirit and with fire!
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Bring reconciliation and increased co-operation between the Dutch speaking Flemings of the North and the French speaking Walloons of the South.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Break the distrust that exists between different factions within the government and heal the crippling state of paralysis this often causes.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • We ask for the evangelisation of the city of Brussels and its large international population and especially for those who can reach out to the Muslim inhabitants.
              – The Lord is clothed with strength; our feet shall not be moved…
  • Jesus, it is easy to become nervous and panicked in life, yet you God are our refuge and our very present help in this time of trouble. We trust you Jesus!
              – 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

Acts 8:26-40

Philip Teaches an Ethiopian

An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get ready and go south to the road that leads down to Gaza from Jerusalem—the desert road.” So Philip got ready and went. On the road he saw a man from Ethiopia, a eunuch. He was an important officer in the service of Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians; he was responsible for taking care of all her money. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship. Now, as he was on his way home, he was sitting in his chariot reading from the Book of Isaiah, the prophet. The Spirit said to Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

So when Philip ran toward the chariot, he heard the man reading from Isaiah the prophet. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

He answered, “How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?” Then he invited Philip to climb in and sit with him. The portion of Scripture he was reading was this:

    “He was like a sheep being led to be killed.
    He was quiet, as a lamb is quiet while its wool is being cut;
    he never opened his mouth.
He was shamed and was treated unfairly.
He died without children to continue his family.
    His life on earth has ended.”

The officer said to Philip, “Please tell me, who is the prophet talking about—himself or someone else?” Philip began to speak, and starting with this same Scripture, he told the man the Good News about Jesus.

While they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The officer said, “Look, here is water. What is stopping me from being baptized?” [Philip answered, “If you believe with all your heart, you can.” The officer said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] Then the officer commanded the chariot to stop. Both Philip and the officer went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away; the officer never saw him again. And the officer continued on his way home, full of joy. But Philip appeared in a city called Azotus and preached the Good News in all the towns on the way from Azotus to Caesarea.

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 Simplicity: The Principle of Generosity.

Aware of those around me who suffer lack, I set aside a portion of my income to meet their need. This I do without fanfare, without need for reward and where possible in secret. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I also choose to commit myself to the principle of tithing; joyfully offering the first-fruits of my income as my contribution towards the ongoing life and outreach of my church family.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Generosity.


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 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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