Year V: Week 8 of Ordinary Time

Tuesday: 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 97

Psalm 97

The Lord is king!
    Let the earth rejoice!
    Let the farthest coastlands be glad.
Dark clouds surround him.
    Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire spreads ahead of him
    and burns up all his foes.
His lightning flashes out across the world.
    The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
    every nation sees his glory.
Those who worship idols are disgraced—
    all who brag about their worthless gods—
    for every god must bow to him.
Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced,
    and all the towns of Judah are glad
    because of your justice, O Lord!
For you, O Lord, are supreme over all the earth;
    you are exalted far above all gods.

You who love the Lord, hate evil!
    He protects the lives of his godly people
    and rescues them from the power of the wicked.
Light shines on the godly,
    and joy on those whose hearts are right.
May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord
    and praise his holy name!

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

  • This is the day that the Lord has made – we shall rejoice and be glad in it! Give us open hearts to receive your grace, open minds to receive your Word and heavenly strength to renew our bodies.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Open our eyes to the lonely, the broken, the troubled and the outcasts that cross our path today.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Open our ears to your Spirit and all that we have to those in need, that we may be providers for the poor and ministers to those you want to reach.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, we ask for protection over our families and provision for every need. We place them in your hands and ask for your plans to be completed in their lives. May we be an example of faith, endurance, dedication, and grace to those we love.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Bring healing where life has torn us. Bring forgiveness where sin has broken us. Bring restoration where conflict has divided us.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Bring direction to our children, peace to our parents, faith to our friends and happiness to our families.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your people of every nationality. Forgive our historical separation, cultural divides and selfish ways that have so distorted the face of Christ to the world. Unite us in your love and complete us in your image.
               – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • For the churches in our area. Make your ministers shining lights, your churches sunlight in the darkness and people willing in the Day of your Power.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • For the work of Churches Together and other ecumenical bodies, that your people may be one…
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we present to you the world that you created and the people that you died for. Today we pray for Equatorial Guinea, a nation who’s flag means ‘unity’, ‘peace’ and ‘justice’. May these three values be placed back on the agenda within Government as they lead this country forward.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • For corruption and mismanagement of the great oil wealth to stop and that the people would be blessed from the abundance of oil in this land; closing the gap between rich and poor.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • For the 85% who proclaim Christianity but have yet to be born again.  We pray that they would respond to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • We pray that the traditional animistic practices which still taint the gospel message would be rooted out, and that your people would be taught how to truly live in you.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Holy Spirit you empower Gods people to do ‘even greater works’ to display Gods power. As we pray today for those who are sick with this virus outbreak may your power be seen in their healing!
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

 

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 24:1-27

Paul Is Accused

Five days later Ananias, the high priest, went to the city of Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They had come to make charges against Paul before the governor. Paul was called into the meeting, and Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, “Most Excellent Felix! Our people enjoy much peace because of you, and many wrong things in our country are being made right through your wise help. We accept these things always and in every place, and we are thankful for them. But not wanting to take any more of your time, I beg you to be kind and listen to our few words. We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up his people everywhere in the world. He is a leader of the Nazarene group. Also, he was trying to make the Temple unclean, but we stopped him. [And we wanted to judge him by our own law. But the officer Lysias came and used much force to take him from us. And Lysias commanded those who wanted to accuse Paul to come to you.] By asking him questions yourself, you can decide if all these things are true.” The others agreed and said that all of this was true.

When the governor made a sign for Paul to speak, Paul said, “Governor Felix, I know you have been a judge over this nation for a long time. So I am happy to defend myself before you. You can learn for yourself that I went to worship in Jerusalem only twelve days ago. Those who are accusing me did not find me arguing with anyone in the Temple or stirring up the people in the synagogues or in the city. They cannot prove the things they are saying against me now. But I will tell you this: I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way of Jesus. The others say that the Way of Jesus is not the right way. But I believe everything that is taught in the law of Moses and that is written in the books of the Prophets. I have the same hope in God that they have—the hope that all people, good and bad, will surely be raised from the dead. This is why I always try to do what I believe is right before God and people.

“After being away from Jerusalem for several years, I went back to bring money to my people and to offer sacrifices. I was doing this when they found me in the Temple. I had finished the cleansing ceremony and had not made any trouble; no people were gathering around me. But there were some people from Asia who should be here, standing before you. If I have really done anything wrong, they are the ones who should accuse me. Or ask these people here if they found any wrong in me when I stood before the council in Jerusalem. But I did shout one thing when I stood before them: ‘You are judging me today because I believe that people will rise from the dead!’”

Felix already understood much about the Way of Jesus. He stopped the trial and said, “When commander Lysias comes here, I will decide your case.” Felix told the officer to keep Paul guarded but to give him some freedom and to let his friends bring what he needed.

Paul Speaks to Felix and His Wife

After some days Felix came with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish, and asked for Paul to be brought to him. He listened to Paul talk about believing in Christ Jesus. But Felix became afraid when Paul spoke about living right, self-control, and the time when God will judge the world. He said, “Go away now. When I have more time, I will call for you.” At the same time Felix hoped that Paul would give him some money, so he often sent for Paul and talked with him.

But after two years, Felix was replaced by Porcius Festus as governor. But Felix had left Paul in prison to please the Jews.

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.)

Gracious Father,
By the obedience of Jesus
You brought salvation to our wayward world:
Draw us into harmony with your will,
That we may find all things restored in him,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the peace of God enfold us,
The love of God uphold us,
And the wisdom of God control us.  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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