Year V: Week 6 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 72

A psalm of Solomon.

Give your love of justice to the king, O God,
    and righteousness to the king’s son.
Help him judge your people in the right way;
    let the poor always be treated fairly.
May the mountains yield prosperity for all,
    and may the hills be fruitful.
Help him to defend the poor,
    to rescue the children of the needy,
    and to crush their oppressors.
May they fear you as long as the sun shines,
    as long as the moon remains in the sky.
    Yes, forever!

May the king’s rule be refreshing like spring rain on freshly cut grass,
    like the showers that water the earth.
May all the godly flourish during his reign.
    May there be abundant prosperity until the moon is no more.
May he reign from sea to sea,
    and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.
Desert nomads will bow before him;
    his enemies will fall before him in the dust.
The western kings of Tarshish and other distant lands
    will bring him tribute.
The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba
    will bring him gifts.
All kings will bow before him,
    and all nations will serve him.

He will rescue the poor when they cry to him;
    he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them.
He feels pity for the weak and the needy,
    and he will rescue them.
He will redeem them from oppression and violence,
    for their lives are precious to him.

Long live the king!
    May the gold of Sheba be given to him.
May the people always pray for him
    and bless him all day long.
May there be abundant grain throughout the land,
    flourishing even on the hilltops.
May the fruit trees flourish like the trees of Lebanon,
    and may the people thrive like grass in a field.
May the king’s name endure forever;
    may it continue as long as the sun shines.
May all nations be blessed through him
    and bring him praise.

Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel,
    who alone does such wonderful things.
Praise his glorious name forever!
    Let the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and amen!

(This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse.)

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 strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • Planted in the House of the Lord, we shall thrive in the courts of our God.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • Being fruitful in every season of life, full of health and vitality!
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…

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 strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • 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 strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For those in further education, that they may find good churches to support them and good friendships to sustain them.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…

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 strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For Pope Francis, his bishops, priests, ministers, and all those that serve your people…
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For our Orthodox brothers and sisters, tested by persecution and triumphant by faith…
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For the Churches of the Reformation, the Anglican Communion, and the free churches…
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we join with you at the Throne of Grace and pray for humanity.  We ask you for the Republic of Congo, thank you for the faithful martyrs of the land who were prepared to pay the price to see salvation in their nation. We pray that the sacrifice of their lives would be a foundation for a future harvest.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • The people of Congo are still living in the shadow of previous wars.  We pray for the warlords who are still active that you bring peace into their minds and light into their restless hearts; that their need for violence would cease.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • We pray for deliverance from the occult practices that effect many; for the thousands of children terrified by witchcraft, for those under oppression from mutilation and cannibalism. We bind the evil spirits that are at work, for your Word says that whatever is bound on earth is bound in heaven.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • Cause a revival to flow through your Churches, we pray that as your name is lifted high you would draw all men into your Kingdom.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • 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 strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…


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 18:1-17

Paul in Corinth

Later Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. Here he met a Jew named Aquila who had been born in the country of Pontus. But Aquila and his wife, Priscilla, had recently moved to Corinth from Italy, because Claudius commanded that all Jews must leave Rome. Paul went to visit Aquila and Priscilla. Because they were tentmakers, just as he was, he stayed with them and worked with them. Every Sabbath day he talked with the Jews and Greeks in the synagogue, trying to persuade them to believe in Jesus.

Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia and joined Paul in Corinth. After this, Paul spent all his time telling people the Good News, showing them that Jesus is the Christ. But they would not accept Paul’s teaching and said some evil things. So he shook off the dust from his clothes and said to them, “If you are not saved, it will be your own fault! I have done all I can do! After this, I will go to other nations.” Paul left the synagogue and moved into the home of Titius Justus, next to the synagogue. This man worshiped God. Crispus was the leader of that synagogue, and he and all the people living in his house believed in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also listened to Paul and believed and were baptized.

During the night, the Lord told Paul in a vision: “Don’t be afraid. Continue talking to people and don’t be quiet. I am with you, and no one will hurt you because many of my people are in this city.” Paul stayed there for a year and a half, teaching God’s word to the people.

Paul Is Brought Before Gallio

When Gallio was the governor of the country of Southern Greece, some people came together against Paul and took him to the court. They said, “This man is teaching people to worship God in a way that is against our law.”

Paul was about to say something, but Gallio spoke, saying, “I would listen to you if you were complaining about a crime or some wrong. But the things you are saying are only questions about words and names—arguments about your own law. So you must solve this problem yourselves. I don’t want to be a judge of these things.” And Gallio made them leave the court.

Then they all grabbed Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him there before the court. But this did not bother Gallio.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Joy: The Principle of Cultivating the Garden of the Heart.

Conscious that my own unhealed pain creates suffering for others, I take refuge in God to heal my sorrow in order that His joy would be my strength and His smile be always upon my lips. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I take responsibility for the garden of my heart, prayerfully transforming seeds of sadness, suffering and affliction, and diligently nurturing the seeds of wonder, joyfulness and hope.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Cultivating the Garden of the Heart.


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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