Year V: Week 8 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 98

A psalm.

Sing a new song to the Lord,
    for he has done wonderful deeds.
His right hand has won a mighty victory;
    his holy arm has shown his saving power!
The Lord has announced his victory
    and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.
    The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
    break out in praise and sing for joy!
Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and melodious song,
with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.
    Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
    Let the earth and all living things join in.
Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
    Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
before the Lord,
    for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
    and the nations with fairness.

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

  • Mighty God, the whole world is in your hands and you have compassion on everyone.  We ask today for Eritrea, and thank and praise you for the growing house church movement born out of persecution. Would you continue to sustain your people as they live each day by faith.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • We pray for this country that is labelled of ‘Particular Concern’ due to it’s lack of religious freedom. Would you enable the release of all imprisoned and tortured believers and enable new laws which will bring an increase in religious freedom. We declare this with the eyes of faith.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • We pray for doors to re-open to Christian aid workers after being expelled from the country in 2002. Would you break down barriers and open the boarders once again for your love to be demonstrated through the lives of your missionaries.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For the less reached people groups including the Tigre, the Jabarti and the Arab Rashiada. We pray that those who already have your love would have an opportunity to extend the hand of grace and for Christ to be preached whatever the cost.
              – 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 25:1-12

Paul Asks to See Caesar

Three days after Festus became governor, he went from Caesarea to Jerusalem. There the leading priests and the important leaders made charges against Paul before Festus. They asked Festus to do them a favour. They wanted him to send Paul back to Jerusalem, because they had a plan to kill him on the way. But Festus answered that Paul would be kept in Caesarea and that he himself was returning there soon. He said, “Some of your leaders should go with me. They can accuse the man there in Caesarea, if he has really done something wrong.”

Festus stayed in Jerusalem another eight or ten days and then went back to Caesarea. The next day he told the soldiers to bring Paul before him. Festus was seated on the judge’s seat when Paul came into the room. The people who had come from Jerusalem stood around him, making serious charges against him, which they could not prove. This is what Paul said to defend himself: “I have done nothing wrong against the law, against the Temple, or against Caesar.”

But Festus wanted to please the people. So he asked Paul, “Do you want to go to Jerusalem for me to judge you there on these charges?”

Paul said, “I am standing at Caesar’s judgment seat now, where I should be judged. I have done nothing wrong to them; you know this is true. If I have done something wrong and the law says I must die, I do not ask to be saved from death. But if these charges are not true, then no one can give me to them. I want Caesar to hear my case!”

Festus talked about this with his advisers. Then he said, “You have asked to see Caesar, so you will go to Caesar!”

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 Forgiveness.

Aware that without constant diligence all humans are prone to conflict, I make it my solemn commitment to walk in forgiveness with my brothers and sisters. As a follower of the Way of Community, I would rather be wronged than break the bond of love and rather turn the other cheek than retaliate.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Forgiveness.


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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