Year V: Week 4 of Ordinary Time

Sunday: 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 36

For the choir director: A psalm of David, the servant of the Lord.

Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts.
    They have no fear of God at all.
In their blind conceit,
    they cannot see how wicked they really are.
Everything they say is crooked and deceitful.
    They refuse to act wisely or do good.
They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots.
    Their actions are never good.
    They make no attempt to turn from evil.

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
    How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
    in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
    letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life,
    the light by which we see.

Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you;
    give justice to those with honest hearts.
Don’t let the proud trample me
    or the wicked push me around.
Look! Those who do evil have fallen!
    They are thrown down, never to rise again.

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, we use this day to meet in your presence and worship you. Build your church and do not let hell come near it. Bring in not just people, but a depth in our spiritual understanding; that people from the North, South, East and West will hear your voice and enter into your kingdom with joy!
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • Give us hearts that are ready to receive your Word and hands ready to reach out in love.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • Give us feet that are ready to do your will and voices ready to sing out in praise.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, bring peace and contentment to our families today. Heal those who are sick, restore those who are broken, strengthen those that are weak and comfort those who experience pain.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • Make us bold in our witness, constant in our prayers and relentless in our love.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • Give us eyes to see the lonely and grace to welcome them into our homes.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for our church. Give her leaders ears to hear your voice with clarity, her ministries the energy to do your will with compassion and her people enthusiasm follow your path with zeal. May we live the message we proclaim.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • For those who work in practical ministries. Give them strength as they serve you and encourage them in their calling.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • For those who teach your Word to children and to adults. May their words bring life to the dead and encouragement to the weak.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • For those who you would call today. Convict, convince, convert, and consume!
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…

The World

  • High King of Heaven, we intercede for the peoples of the earth and pray today for Bosnia and Herzegovina, still traumatised by the bitterness of an ethnic-religious war. We pray that you would bring peace to this land and unity to those who live there.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • For the increasing Evangelical movement in this country.  We lift up the believers and ask that you would keep them from the Enemy, place them in influential roles and may the Wisdom of Solomon be theirs in abundance!
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • For the un-evangelised Muslims, that they would encounter the most High God and the love of Christ through those you are equipping to send.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • Repair broken lives, restore faith and let your Kingdom come in Bosnia, even as it is in Heaven!
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • God we ask for your protection on our world, our nation, our friends and our family in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak at this time.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…

 


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 10:1-33

Peter Teaches Cornelius

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, an officer in the Italian group of the Roman army. Cornelius was a religious man. He and all the other people who lived in his house worshiped the true God. He gave much of his money to the poor and prayed to God often. One afternoon about three o’clock, Cornelius clearly saw a vision. An angel of God came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

Cornelius stared at the angel. He became afraid and said, “What do you want, Lord?”

The angel said, “God has heard your prayers. He has seen that you give to the poor, and he remembers you. Send some men now to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is also called Peter. He is staying with a man, also named Simon, who is a tanner and has a house beside the sea.” When the angel who spoke to Cornelius left, Cornelius called two of his servants and a soldier, a religious man who worked for him. Cornelius explained everything to them and sent them to Joppa.

About noon the next day as they came near Joppa, Peter was going up to the roof to pray. He was hungry and wanted to eat, but while the food was being prepared, he had a vision. He saw heaven opened and something coming down that looked like a big sheet being lowered to earth by its four corners. In it were all kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice said to Peter, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.”

But Peter said, “No, Lord! I have never eaten food that is unholy or unclean.”

But the voice said to him again, “God has made these things clean, so don’t call them ‘unholy’!” This happened three times, and at once the sheet was taken back to heaven.

While Peter was wondering what this vision meant, the men Cornelius sent had found Simon’s house and were standing at the gate. They asked, “Is Simon Peter staying here?”

While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Listen, three men are looking for you. Get up and go downstairs. Go with them without doubting, because I have sent them to you.”

So Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for. Why did you come here?”

They said, “A holy angel spoke to Cornelius, an army officer and a good man; he worships God. All the people respect him. The angel told Cornelius to ask you to come to his house so that he can hear what you have to say.” So Peter asked the men to come in and spend the night.

The next day Peter got ready and went with them, and some of the followers from Joppa joined him. On the following day they came to Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him. But Peter helped him up, saying, “Stand up. I too am only a human.” As he talked with Cornelius, Peter went inside where he saw many people gathered. He said, “You people understand that it is against our law for Jewish people to associate with or visit anyone who is not Jewish. But God has shown me that I should not call any person ‘unholy’ or ‘unclean.’ That is why I did not argue when I was asked to come here. Now, please tell me why you sent for me.”

Cornelius said, “Four days ago, I was praying in my house at this same time—three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, there was a man standing before me wearing shining clothes. He said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and has seen that you give to the poor and remembers you. So send some men to Joppa and ask Simon Peter to come. Peter is staying in the house of a man, also named Simon, who is a tanner and has a house beside the sea.’ So I sent for you immediately, and it was very good of you to come. Now we are all here before God to hear everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

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 Community: The Principle of Small Groups.

Mindful that the excitement of celebration must be balanced with the growth that can only happen in a smaller group, I commit myself to being part of a smaller midweek gathering. As a follower of the Way of Community, I dedicate myself to the support and encouragement of this group of like-minded pilgrims.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Small Groups.


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.)

Almighty God,
Send down upon your Church,
The riches of your Spirit,
And kindle in all who minister the gospel,
Your countless gifts of grace;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face shine on you,
and be gracious to you;
May the Lord turn his face toward you,
And give you peace. 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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