Year V: Week 6 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: 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 78:1-38

A psalm of Asaph.

O my people, listen to my instructions.
    Open your ears to what I am saying,
    for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—
    stories we have heard and known,
    stories our ancestors handed down to us.
We will not hide these truths from our children;
    we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
    about his power and his mighty wonders.
For he issued his laws to Jacob;
    he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
    to teach them to their children,
so the next generation might know them—
    even the children not yet born—
    and they in turn will teach their own children.
So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
    not forgetting his glorious miracles
    and obeying his commands.
Then they will not be like their ancestors—
    stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,
    refusing to give their hearts to God.

The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
    turned their backs and fled on the day of battle.
They did not keep God’s covenant
    and refused to live by his instructions.
They forgot what he had done—
    the great wonders he had shown them,
the miracles he did for their ancestors
    on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt.
For he divided the sea and led them through,
    making the water stand up like walls!
In the daytime he led them by a cloud,
    and all night by a pillar of fire.
He split open the rocks in the wilderness
    to give them water, as from a gushing spring.
He made streams pour from the rock,
    making the waters flow down like a river!

Yet they kept on sinning against him,
    rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
They stubbornly tested God in their hearts,
    demanding the foods they craved.
They even spoke against God himself, saying,
    “God can’t give us food in the wilderness.
Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out,
    but he can’t give his people bread and meat.”
When the Lord heard them, he was furious.
    The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob.
    Yes, his anger rose against Israel,
for they did not believe God
    or trust him to care for them.
But he commanded the skies to open;
    he opened the doors of heaven.
He rained down manna for them to eat;
    he gave them bread from heaven.
They ate the food of angels!
    God gave them all they could hold.
He released the east wind in the heavens
    and guided the south wind by his mighty power.
He rained down meat as thick as dust—
    birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore!
He caused the birds to fall within their camp
    and all around their tents.
The people ate their fill.
    He gave them what they craved.
But before they satisfied their craving,
    while the meat was yet in their mouths,
the anger of God rose against them,
    and he killed their strongest men.
    He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.

But in spite of this, the people kept sinning.
    Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him.
So he ended their lives in failure,
    their years in terror.
When God began killing them,
    they finally sought him.
    They repented and took God seriously.
Then they remembered that God was their rock,
    that God Most High was their redeemer.
But all they gave him was lip service;
    they lied to him with their tongues.
Their hearts were not loyal to him.
    They did not keep his covenant.
Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins
    and did not destroy them all.
Many times he held back his anger
    and did not unleash his fury!

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, you call us at different times to work and to rest. May this weekend bring opportunities for service, for stillness, time for others and occasions for rest.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Prepare us to receive your Word, our voices to proclaim your gospel and our hands to serve our Lord.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For hands quick to obey, for minds clean and holy, for speech kind and truthful and for motives pure and godly.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

 Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you are the friend of sinner’s and elevate the lowly; you lift the weak and heal the broken. Keep me from thoughtlessly following the crowd when my Lord stooped to minister to those on the edges of society. May I find my mission in the margins.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For vigilance to the call of your Spirit, consideration to the needs of others and concern to the cry of the lost.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Bring wholeness to my family today. May they be blessed in the city, blessed in the field, and blessed wherever they go.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Bring salvation to my friends today. May their adversity be your opportunity and their deepest needs be met in the deepest love of Calvary.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we plead for your people, joining the prayers of the Church on earth with the prayers of the Church that is triumphant in glory. Bring everything to a finish and return for a bride that is spotless and pure!
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For those who lead in worship and those who minister in prayer and advice. May they know genuine anointing and constant refreshing.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For our Pastors, Leaders, and those in authority. Give them the courage to speak boldly, strength to lead bravely and compassion to love tenderly.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For Followers who sit at a distance – open their hearts to the fullness of Christ. For Disciples who walk in your footsteps – may they be held by the power of God. For Pilgrims who stand before your throne – may they inspire by the testimony of their lives.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

The World

  • God of the Nations we stand in the gap and pray for the world.  Today we pray for the people of Cuba, home to 11 million people subject to communism, economic instability and hostility towards those who are believers. Come in power Lord Jesus and drive the Enemy from this land!
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Thank you for the radical faith of your Church. Persecution has caused your followers to strengthen in faith and to become bold in their witness.  Would you pour out your blessing on your people.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • We ask for worship leaders and anointed musicians to proclaim the good news through the gift of music.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Deliver those caught up in spiritualism, and cut the support that this practice receives from the government. May your Bride shine as a light into the darkness and cut the chains of satanic bondage!
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and your mercies never come to an end! We ask you Jesus, in your mercy, to heal those who are sick with the Coronavirus today!
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!


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 19:21-41

After these things, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, planning to go through the countries of Macedonia and Southern Greece and then on to Jerusalem. He said, “After I have been to Jerusalem, I must also visit Rome.” Paul sent Timothy and Erastus, two of his helpers, ahead to Macedonia, but he himself stayed in Asia for a while.

Trouble in Ephesus

And during that time, there was some serious trouble in Ephesus about the Way of Jesus. A man named Demetrius, who worked with silver, made little silver models that looked like the temple of the goddess Artemis. Those who did this work made much money. Demetrius had a meeting with them and some others who did the same kind of work. He told them, “Men, you know that we make a lot of money from our business. But look at what this man Paul is doing. He has convinced and turned away many people in Ephesus and in almost all of Asia! He says the gods made by human hands are not real. There is a danger that our business will lose its good name, but there is also another danger: People will begin to think that the temple of the great goddess Artemis is not important. Her greatness will be destroyed, and Artemis is the goddess that everyone in Asia and the whole world worships.”

When the others heard this, they became very angry and shouted, “Artemis, the goddess of Ephesus, is great!” The whole city became confused. The people grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, who were from Macedonia and were traveling with Paul, and ran to the theatre. Paul wanted to go in and talk to the crowd, but the followers did not let him. Also, some leaders of Asia who were friends of Paul sent him a message, begging him not to go into the theatre. Some people were shouting one thing, and some were shouting another. The meeting was completely confused; most of them did not know why they had come together. They put a man named Alexander in front of the people, and some of them told him what to do. Alexander waved his hand so he could explain things to the people. But when they saw that Alexander was a Jew, they all shouted the same thing for two hours: “Great is Artemis of Ephesus!”

Then the city clerk made the crowd be quiet. He said, “People of Ephesus, everyone knows that Ephesus is the city that keeps the temple of the great goddess Artemis and her holy stone that fell from heaven. Since no one can say this is not true, you should be quiet. Stop and think before you do anything. You brought these men here, but they have not said anything evil against our goddess or stolen anything from her temple. If Demetrius and those who work with him have a charge against anyone they should go to the courts and judges where they can argue with each other. If there is something else you want to talk about, it can be decided at the regular town meeting of the people. I say this because some people might see this trouble today and say that we are rioting. We could not explain this, because there is no real reason for this meeting.” After the city clerk said these things, he told the people to go home.

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 Encouragement.

Mindful that God has “made all things richly to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17), I choose a life-affirming attitude that encourages, celebrates and blesses all that is noble in life. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I celebrate all that is good in others and take pleasure in the happiness of those around me.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Encouragement.


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.)

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit,
Upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
Grant that your people may be fervent,
In the fellowship of your gospel,
That, always abiding in you,
They may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you.  Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the beauty of God be reflected in your eyes,
The love of God be embodied in your hands,
The wisdom of God be present in your words
And the knowledge of God be implanted in your heart,
That all might see, and seeing, may believe.  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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