Year V: Week 12 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: 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 the 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 135

Praise the Lord!

Praise the name of the Lord!
    Praise him, you who serve the Lord,
you who serve in the house of the Lord,
    in the courts of the house of our God.

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
    celebrate his lovely name with music.
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
    Israel for his own special treasure.

I know the greatness of the Lord
    that our Lord is greater than any other god.
The Lord does whatever pleases him
    throughout all heaven and earth,
    and on the seas and in their depths.
He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth.
    He sends the lightning with the rain
    and releases the wind from his storehouses.

He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home,
    both people and animals.
He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt
    against Pharaoh and all his people.
He struck down great nations
    and slaughtered mighty kings—
Sihon king of the Amorites,
    Og king of Bashan,
    and all the kings of Canaan.
He gave their land as an inheritance,
    a special possession to his people Israel.

Your name, O Lord, endures forever;
    your fame, O Lord, is known to every generation.
For the Lord will give justice to his people
    and have compassion on his servants.

The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold,
    shaped by human hands.
They have mouths but cannot speak,
    and eyes but cannot see.
They have ears but cannot hear,
    and mouths but cannot breathe.
And those who make idols are just like them,
    as are all who trust in them.

O Israel, praise the Lord!
    O priests—descendants of Aaron—praise the Lord!
O Levites, praise the Lord!
    All you who fear the Lord, praise the Lord!
The Lord be praised from Zion,
    for he lives here in Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord!

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

  • King of all, fill us today with knowledge of your will with spiritual wisdom and understanding. We want to live a life worthy of you, and to please you in every way. We pray that today we may produce results in every good work, that our heart may be strengthened with all power and courage to do your will.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Jireh for understanding in dealing with our finances, provision for every need and an abundance for every good work.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Rophé for insight in dealing with our flesh, healing for every sickness and strength for every endeavour.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Shalom for wisdom in dealing with the stress of life, calm in every storm and peace in every step.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

Family & Friends

  • Father of Jesus, we pray for those we know who do not know you. Give us opportunities to witness to them, grace to speak into their lives and words to bring them into your light.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • For those we have hurt with thoughtless comments, those we have injured through false words and those we have wounded through selfish actions.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • For those whose families are fracturing, whose homes are breaking and whose children are suffering. Restore and renew the Covenant, O God!
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church that she will be enriched with spiritual wisdom and discovery in knowing Christ; that her heart will be enlightened, that she will know the hope that is ours, the treasure of your heritage in the saints and your matchless power towards believers.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • May your people be established and grounded in love; fully able to understand the width, length, height and depth of the love of Christ, which exceeds all knowledge.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • May your people be filled with the complete measure of the fullness of God. Dwell in your people and take ownership of every part!
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

The World

  • Mighty God, the whole world is in your hands and you have compassion on all people.  We pray today for Italy, a culturally rich nation with a huge Christian inheritance. We pray those walking in darkness will see your light. Breath your life into dry bones and cause Italy to become alive to your Spirit.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • For those enslaved by dead tradition and disillusioned by the church, we pray that they would encounter the living Christ and discover that He is the way, the truth and the life.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray for our Catholic brothers and sisters and especially Pope Francis. We pray you would continue to bless him with your wisdom and love as he continues to walk in your statutes.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • With much of Italy remaining untouched by your gospel, we pray for your message to spread like wildfire throughout this nation and for your church to arise with a sense of urgency to save the lost and to see your Kingdom come.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • Father, we pray for wisdom for decision makers at this time – leaders, doctors, scientists and politicians. Holy Spirit bring wisdom.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…


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

Luke 7:18-30

John Asks a Question

John’s followers told him about all these things. He called for two of his followers and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the One who is to come, or should we wait for someone else?”

When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you with this question: ‘Are you the One who is to come, or should we wait for someone else?’”

At that time, Jesus healed many people of their sicknesses, diseases, and evil spirits, and he gave sight to many blind people. Then Jesus answered John’s followers, “Go tell John what you saw and heard here. The blind can see, the crippled can walk, and people with skin diseases are healed. The deaf can hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor. Those who do not stumble in their faith because of me are blessed!”

When John’s followers left, Jesus began talking to the people about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed blown by the wind? What did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, people who have fine clothes and much wealth live in kings’ palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet. This was written about him:

‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare the way for you.’

I tell you, John is greater than any other person ever born, but even the least important person in the kingdom of God is greater than John.”

(When the people, including the tax collectors, heard this, they all agreed that God’s teaching was good, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and experts on the law refused to accept God’s plan for themselves; they did not let John baptize them.)

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.)

Lord God, your Son left the riches of heaven,
And became poor for our sake.
When we prosper save us from pride,
When we are needy save us from despair,
That we may trust in you alone,
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 the Father,
The tenderness of the Son,
And the presence of the Spirit,
Gladden your heart,
And bring peace to your soul,
This day and all days.  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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