Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Friday: 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 34

A psalm of David, regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away.

I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
    he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
    he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
    for those who fear him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
    but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Come, my children, and listen to me,
    and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
Does anyone want to live a life
    that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies!
Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
    his ears are open to their cries for help.
But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
    he will erase their memory from the earth.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

The righteous person faces many troubles,
    but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
    not one of them is broken!

Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
    No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

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

  • Mighty Lord forgive us the coldness of our hearts and the rebellion that so often lurks under the surface. Erase the remnant of our old selves and let the power of Jesus Christ reign in our hearts. Renew us in your image, O God, and transform us by your Word.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • May holiness and true faith reside within us. Give us new hearts to replace the old and a new song with which to praise God!
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • May love and compassion replace sin and selfishness and may what we sing and confess be the reality in our daily lives.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, our desire is to build a Christ-centred family. May our home be full of peace, beauty, colour, simplicity, and love. May the essence of Christ saturate every heart.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • May we bring encouragement, comfort, wisdom, and joy to our friends. May they experience our acceptance, loyalty, and faithfulness every day.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For those weighed down with crushing burdens, difficult circumstances, and depressing situations. Bring hope and release, O God.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • Reveal to us how we may show genuine concern for those who do not believe, through caring words and loving deeds.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, our desire is to live worthy of the call you have made on our lives. Send us into the world as pioneers! Command us to the heights as mountaineers! Give us the spirit that refuses the easy road, the soft choice, and the comfortable life when the cry is heard, “Who will go for us?”
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For hearts passionate for missions, souls forged in the furnace of adversity, hands trained in the fury of battle and bodies toughened for the use of the Master.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For missionaries, evangelists and those who take your word to the nations of the world. Protect, keep, empower, and inspire!
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we present to you the world that you created and the people that you died for. Today we pray for the Nation of Benin, the least evangelised country in Africa. We pray for revival in your Church, that Christians would stop turning to traditional occult practices for the answers, but that they would turn and seek the most High God.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • We pray that you would raise up Mothers and Fathers of the faith, who are able to Disciple, Feed and Guide your people.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For the thousands of children who are trafficked each year from the boarders of Benin to work as slave labourers to their Eastern neighbours; we pray for Jubilee and a releasing of these little ones from the bonds of slavery.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For an increase in missionaries, that the lost would be become found and the forgotten be brought into family.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • God, you promised to your people in the wilderness that you would be their healer (Exo 15:26) if they would listen to you and follow your commandments! Forgive us as we have gone our own way, help us follow your voice as you bring healing in our lives.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…


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 9:23-31

After many days, they made plans to kill Saul. They were watching the city gates day and night, but Saul learned about their plan. One night some followers of Saul helped him leave the city by lowering him in a basket through an opening in the city wall.

Saul Preaches in Jerusalem

When Saul went to Jerusalem, he tried to join the group of followers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he was really a follower. But Barnabas accepted Saul and took him to the apostles. Barnabas explained to them that Saul had seen the Lord on the road and the Lord had spoken to Saul. Then he told them how boldly Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus.

And so Saul stayed with the followers, going everywhere in Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He would often talk and argue with the Jewish people who spoke Greek, but they were trying to kill him. When the followers learned about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and from there sent him to Tarsus.

The church everywhere in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace and became stronger. Respecting the Lord by the way they lived, and being encouraged by the Holy Spirit, the group of believers continued to grow.

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 Moderation.

Recognising that my body is a temple, and that a simple life lived at a sustainable speed is deeply beneficial, I choose to be mindful of my habits of diet and exercise, and to dress simply and modestly. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I will not overeat, consume excess intoxicating substances, pollute my mind with impure thoughts or neglect my body through lack of adequate exercise.

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


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.)

Father God, who spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
And has in these days spoken to us by your Son,
Fill us with your Spirit,
That we may speak your Word,
Perform your will,
And fulfill the greater works that you promised,
Through Jesus Christ. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the embrace of the Father,
Be the comfort you desire.
The name of the Son,
Be the one on whom you rely.
The presence of the Spirit,
Be with you every hour.
The Three in One,
Be the focus of all your life. 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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