Year V: Week 15 of Ordinary Time

Sunday: Afternoon Prayer


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.


God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


Psalm 39

For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of David.

I said to myself, “I will watch what I do
    and not sin in what I say.
I will hold my tongue
    when the ungodly are around me.”
But as I stood there in silence—
    not even speaking of good things—
    the turmoil within me grew worse.
The more I thought about it,
    the hotter I got,
    igniting a fire of words:
Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
    Remind me that my days are numbered—
    how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
    My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
    at best, each of us is but a breath.” Interlude

We are merely moving shadows,
    and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
    not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
    My only hope is in you.
Rescue me from my rebellion.
    Do not let fools mock me.
I am silent before you; I won’t say a word,
    for my punishment is from you.
But please stop striking me!
    I am exhausted by the blows from your hand.
When you discipline us for our sins,
    you consume like a moth what is precious to us.
    Each of us is but a breath. Interlude

Hear my prayer, O Lord!
    Listen to my cries for help!
    Don’t ignore my tears.
For I am your guest—
    a traveller passing through,
    as my ancestors were before me.
Leave me alone so I can smile again
    before I am gone and exist no more.

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


(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


Numbers 31:25-54

Dividing the Goods

The Lord said to Moses, “You, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the family groups should take a count of the goods, the men, and the animals that were taken. Then divide those possessions between the soldiers who went to war and the rest of the people. From the soldiers who went to war, take a tax for the Lord of one item out of every five hundred. This includes people, cattle, donkeys, or sheep. Take it from the soldiers’ half, and give it to Eleazar the priest as the Lord’s share. And from the people’s half, take one item out of every fifty. This includes people, cattle, donkeys, sheep, or other animals. Give that to the Levites, who take care of the Lord’s Holy Tent.” So Moses and Eleazar did as the Lord commanded Moses.

There remained from what the soldiers had taken 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 women who had not had sexual relations with a man. The soldiers who went to war got 337,000 sheep, and they gave 675 of them to the LordThey got 36,000 cattle, and they gave 72 of them to the LordThey got 30,500 donkeys, and they gave 61 of them to the LordThey got 16,000 people, and they gave 32 of them to the LordMoses gave the Lord’s share to Eleazar the priest, as the Lord had commanded him.

Moses separated the people’s half from the soldiers’ half. The people got 337,500 sheep, 36,000 cattle, 30,500 donkeys, and 16,000 people. From the people’s half Moses took one item out of every fifty for the Lord. This included the animals and the people. Then he gave them to the Levites, who took care of the Lord’s Holy Tent. This was what the Lord had commanded Moses.

Then the officers of the army, the commanders of a thousand men and commanders of a hundred men, came to Moses. They told Moses, “We, your servants, have counted our soldiers under our command, and not one of them is missing. So we have brought the Lord a gift of the gold things that each of us found: arm bands, bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and necklaces. These are to remove our sins so we will belong to the Lord.”

So Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from them, which had been made into all kinds of objects. The commanders of a thousand men and the commanders of a hundred men gave the Lord the gold, and all of it together weighed about 420 pounds; each soldier had taken something for himself. Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from the commanders of a thousand men and the commanders of a hundred men. Then they put it in the Meeting Tent as a memorial before the Lord for the people of Israel.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Pause for Reflection……


(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Lord Jesus, we thank you for another morning in Your House,
For the Word as pronounced to your people,
For the Worship as presented by your people,
For the Witness as proclaimed through your people,
And for the gathering of your Bride all over the world.
We ask your blessings upon the rest of this day,
May we enjoy Sabbath rest, renewed strength and a firmer hope,
As we run the race and stretch forth towards the prize.  Amen


GRACE (Optional)


Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our 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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