Year V: Week 18 of Ordinary Time

Wednesday: Afternoon 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.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 71

Lord, I have come to you for protection;
    don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me and rescue me,
    for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me,
    and set me free.
Be my rock of safety
    where I can always hide.
Give the order to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked,
    from the clutches of cruel oppressors.
O Lord, you alone are my hope.
    I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.
Yes, you have been with me from birth;
    from my mother’s womb you have cared for me.
    No wonder I am always praising you!

My life is an example to many,
    because you have been my strength and protection.
That is why I can never stop praising you;
    I declare your glory all day long.
And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside.
    Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing.
For my enemies are whispering against me.
    They are plotting together to kill me.
They say, “God has abandoned him.
    Let’s go and get him,
    for no one will help him now.”

O God, don’t stay away.
    My God, please hurry to help me.
Bring disgrace and destruction on my accusers.
    Humiliate and shame those who want to harm me.
But I will keep on hoping for your help;
    I will praise you more and more.
I will tell everyone about your righteousness.
    All day long I will proclaim your saving power,
    though I am not skilled with words.
I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord.
    I will tell everyone that you alone are just.

O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood,
    and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do.
Now that I am old and grey,
    do not abandon me, O God.
Let me proclaim your power to this new generation,
    your mighty miracles to all who come after me.

Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens.
    You have done such wonderful things.
    Who can compare with you, O God?
You have allowed me to suffer much hardship,
    but you will restore me to life again
    and lift me up from the depths of the earth.
You will restore me to even greater honour
    and comfort me once again.

Then I will praise you with music on the harp,
    because you are faithful to your promises, O my God.
I will sing praises to you with a lyre,
    O Holy One of Israel.
I will shout for joy and sing your praises,
    for you have ransomed me.
I will tell about your righteous deeds
    all day long,
for everyone who tried to hurt me
    has been shamed and humiliated.

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 
(Optional)

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


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Deuteronomy 5:1-21

The Ten Commandments

Moses called all the people of Israel together and said: Listen, Israel, to the commands and laws I am giving you today. Learn them and obey them carefully. The Lord our God made an Agreement with us at Mount Sinai. He did not make this Agreement with our ancestors, but he made it with us, with all of us who are alive here today. The Lord spoke to you face to face from the fire on the mountain. (At that time I stood between you and the Lord in order to tell you what the Lord said; you were afraid of the fire, so you would not go up on the mountain.) The Lord said:

“I am the Lord your God; I brought you out of the land of Egypt where you were slaves.

“You must not have any other gods except me.

“You must not make for yourselves any idols or anything to worship that looks like something in the sky above or on the earth below or in the water below the land. You must not worship or serve any idol, because I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. If people sin against me and hate me, I will punish their children, even their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But I will be very kind for a thousand lifetimes to those who love me and obey my commands.

“You must not use the name of the Lord your God thoughtlessly, because the Lord will punish anyone who uses his name in this way.

“Keep the Sabbath as a holy day, as the Lord your God has commanded you. You may work and get everything done during six days each week, but the seventh day is a day of rest to honour the Lord your God. On that day no one may do any work: not you, your son or daughter, your male or female slaves, your ox, your donkey, or any of your animals, or the foreigners living in your cities. That way your servants may rest as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there by his great power and strength. So the Lord your God has commanded you to rest on the Sabbath day.

“Honour your father and your mother as the Lord your God has commanded you. Then you will live a long time, and things will go well for you in the land that the Lord your God is going to give you.

“You must not murder anyone.

“You must not be guilty of adultery.

“You must not steal.

“You must not tell lies about your neighbour.

“You must not want to take your neighbour’s wife. You must not want to take your neighbour’s house or land, his male or female slaves, his ox or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

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

Reader:
Holy Spirit, guide us through the rest of our day.
May we know your wisdom in our hearts,
Your strength in our bodies,
And your peace in our lives.  Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

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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