Year V: Week 6 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 76

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph. A song to be accompanied by stringed instruments.

God is honoured in Judah;
    his name is great in Israel.
Jerusalem is where he lives;
    Mount Zion is his home.
There he has broken the fiery arrows of the enemy,
    the shields and swords and weapons of war. Interlude

You are glorious and more majestic
    than the everlasting mountains.
Our boldest enemies have been plundered.
    They lie before us in the sleep of death.
    No warrior could lift a hand against us.
At the blast of your breath, O God of Jacob,
    their horses and chariots lay still.

No wonder you are greatly feared!
    Who can stand before you when your anger explodes?
From heaven you sentenced your enemies;
    the earth trembled and stood silent before you.
You stand up to judge those who do evil, O God,
    and to rescue the oppressed of the earth. Interlude
Human defiance only enhances your glory,
    for you use it as a weapon.

Make vows to the Lord your God, and keep them.
    Let everyone bring tribute to the Awesome One.
For he breaks the pride of princes,
    and the kings of the earth fear him.

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

  • 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 like incense to you…
  • 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 like incense to you…
  • 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 like incense to you…

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 like incense to you…
  • 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 like incense to you…
  • For those weighed down with crushing burdens, difficult circumstances, and depressing situations. Bring hope and release, O God.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • 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 like incense to you…

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 like incense to you…
  • 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 like incense to you…
  • For missionaries, evangelists and those who take your word to the nations of the world. Protect, keep, empower, and inspire!
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…

The World

  • Mighty God, the whole world is in your hands and you have compassion on all peoples.  We ask today for the nation of Croatia, still in recovery from a history of conflict and trauma.  We pray that you would bring reconciliation, and that the chains of conflict resulting from ethnic differences would be broken.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • For the minority groups who have very little exposure to the gospel. Mobilise your Church to reach the unreached and to love the unlovable.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • We ask that you would continue to restore this nation from the effects of communism. Deliver your people from the scars of the past and bring them into fresh hope for your glory.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • We intercede and stand with those who are already standing in the gap and praying for the transformation of Croatia. May we see with the eyes of faith a move of your spirit, that every knee would bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • 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 like incense to you…


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 19:1-20

Paul in Ephesus

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul was visiting some places on the way to Ephesus. There he found some followers and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They said, “We have never even heard of a Holy Spirit.”

So he asked, “What kind of baptism did you have?”

They said, “It was the baptism that John taught.”

Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of changed hearts and lives. He told people to believe in the one who would come after him, and that one is Jesus.”

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Paul laid his hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them. They began speaking different languages and prophesying. There were about twelve people in this group.

Paul went into the synagogue and spoke out boldly for three months. He talked with the people and persuaded them to accept the things he said about the kingdom of God. But some of them became stubborn. They refused to believe and said evil things about the Way of Jesus before all the people. So Paul left them, and taking the followers with him, he went to the school of a man named Tyrannus. There Paul talked with people every day for two years. Because of his work, every Jew and Greek in Asia heard the word of the Lord.

The Sons of Sceva

God used Paul to do some very special miracles. Some people took handkerchiefs and clothes that Paul had used and put them on the sick. When they did this, the sick were healed and evil spirits left them.

But some people also were traveling around and making evil spirits go out of people. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to force the evil spirits out. They would say, “By the same Jesus that Paul talks about, I order you to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this.

But one time an evil spirit said to them, “I know Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”

Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them. Because he was so much stronger than all of them, they ran away from the house naked and hurt. All the people in Ephesus—Jews and Greeks—learned about this and were filled with fear and gave great honour to the Lord Jesus. Many of the believers began to confess openly and tell all the evil things they had done. Some of them who had used magic brought their magic books and burned them before everyone. Those books were worth about fifty thousand silver coins.

So in a powerful way the word of the Lord kept spreading and growing.

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 Joy: The Principle of Blessing Creation.

Understanding that the gospel of great joy is good news to all of creation, and that all of creation is made for the pleasure of God, I seek to live in such a way that maximises the happiness and wholeness of all creation; sentient and non-sentient, spiritual and material. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I refuse to engage in any practice that will bring joy to myself only by diminishing the joy of others.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Blessing Creation.


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 fulfil 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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