Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: 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 33

Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord;
    it is fitting for the pure to praise him.
Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre;
    make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.
Sing a new song of praise to him;
    play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.
For the word of the Lord holds true,
    and we can trust everything he does.
He loves whatever is just and good;
    the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.

The Lord merely spoke,
    and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word,
    and all the stars were born.
He assigned the sea its boundaries
    and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.
Let the whole world fear the Lord,
    and let everyone stand in awe of him.
For when he spoke, the world began!
    It appeared at his command.

The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations
    and thwarts all their schemes.
But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever;
    his intentions can never be shaken.

What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord,
    whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.

The Lord looks down from heaven
    and sees the whole human race.
From his throne he observes
    all who live on the earth.
He made their hearts,
    so he understands everything they do.
The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
    nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—
    for all its strength, it cannot save you.

But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
    those who rely on his unfailing love.
He rescues them from death
    and keeps them alive in times of famine.

We put our hope in the Lord.
    He is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
    for our hope is in you alone.

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

  • King of all, fill us today with knowledge of your will with spiritual wisdom and understanding. We want to live a life worthy of you, and to please you in every way. We pray that today we may produce results in every good work, that our heart may be strengthened with all power and courage to do your will.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Jireh for understanding in dealing with our finances, provision for every need and an abundance for every good work.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Rophé for insight in dealing with our flesh, healing for every sickness and strength for every endeavour.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Shalom for wisdom in dealing with the stress of life, calm in every storm and peace in every step.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…

Family & Friends

  • Father of Jesus, we pray for those we know who do not know you. Give us opportunities to witness to them, grace to speak into their lives and words to bring them into your light.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • For those we have hurt with thoughtless comments, those we have injured through false words and those we have wounded through selfish actions.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • For those whose families are fracturing, whose homes are breaking and whose children are suffering. Restore and renew the Covenant, O God!
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church that she will be enriched with spiritual wisdom and discovery in knowing Christ; that her heart will be enlightened, that she will know the hope that is ours, the treasure of your heritage in the saints and your matchless power towards believers.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • May your people be established and grounded in love; fully able to understand the width, length, height and depth of the love of Christ, which exceeds all knowledge.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • May your people be filled with the complete measure of the fullness of God. Dwell in your people and take ownership of every part!
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we join with you at the Throne of Grace and pray for humanity.  We ask you for the nation of Belize, a nation where superstition and the occult still has tremendous hold over the people.  Show yourself as the one true God, who was, and is, and is to come.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We lift up the Pastors who are currently serving in your Church in Belize, that you would strengthen them, increase their numbers and that out of their hearts shall flow rivers of living water.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We ask for unity in your Church in this nation, that barriers would dissolve, differences would be resolved and your Bride would be one as you are one.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We thank you for missionaries who are sowing the seed of your gospel in this area, we pray that you would go before them and that the words they speak would fall onto good ground.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • Father, we pray for wisdom for decision makers at this time – leaders, doctors, scientists and politicians. Holy Spirit bring wisdom.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…

 


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 9:1-22

Saul Is Converted

In Jerusalem Saul was still threatening the followers of the Lord by saying he would kill them. So he went to the high priest and asked him to write letters to the synagogues in the city of Damascus. Then if Saul found any followers of Christ’s Way, men or women, he would arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem.

So Saul headed toward Damascus. As he came near the city, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?”

The voice answered, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do.”

The people traveling with Saul stood there but said nothing. They heard the voice, but they saw no one. Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes, but he could not see. So those with Saul took his hand and led him into Damascus. For three days Saul could not see and did not eat or drink.

There was a follower of Jesus in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision, “Ananias!”

Ananias answered, “Here I am, Lord.”

The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to Straight Street. Find the house of Judas, and ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He is there now, praying. Saul has seen a vision in which a man named Ananias comes to him and lays his hands on him. Then he is able to see again.”

But Ananias answered, “Lord, many people have told me about this man and the terrible things he did to your holy people in Jerusalem. Now he has come here to Damascus, and the leading priests have given him the power to arrest everyone who worships you.”

But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! I have chosen Saul for an important work. He must tell about me to those who are not Jews, to kings, and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

So Ananias went to the house of Judas. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus sent me. He is the one you saw on the road on your way here. He sent me so that you can see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something that looked like fish scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he was able to see again! Then Saul got up and was baptized. After he ate some food, his strength returned.

Saul Preaches in Damascus

Saul stayed with the followers of Jesus in Damascus for a few days. Soon he began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “Jesus is the Son of God.”

All the people who heard him were amazed. They said, “This is the man who was in Jerusalem trying to destroy those who trust in this name! He came here to arrest the followers of Jesus and take them back to the leading priests.”

But Saul grew more powerful. His proofs that Jesus is the Christ were so strong that his own people in Damascus could not argue with him.

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 the Gentle Footprint.

Conscious that the human race is fast destroying the natural habitat we all rely on for survival, I choose to live in such a way that reduces the suffering of all living creatures, healing and preserving our precious planet. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I will guard the creation entrusted to us, and consume in such a way that is mindful, ethical and sustainable.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of the Gentle Footprint.


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.)

Lord God, your Son left the riches of heaven,
And became poor for our sake.
When we prosper save us from pride,
When we are needy save us from despair,
That we may trust in you alone,
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 the Father,
The tenderness of the Son,
And the presence of the Spirit,
Gladden your heart,
And bring peace to your soul,
This day and all days. 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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