Year V: Week 18 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: 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 69:1-18

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Lilies.”

Save me, O God,
    for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
    I can’t find a foothold.
I am in deep water,
    and the floods overwhelm me.
I am exhausted from crying for help;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
    waiting for my God to help me.
Those who hate me without cause
    outnumber the hairs on my head.
Many enemies try to destroy me with lies,
    demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.

O God, you know how foolish I am;
    my sins cannot be hidden from you.
Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me,
    O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated,
    O God of Israel.
For I endure insults for your sake;
    humiliation is written all over my face.
Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me;
    they treat me like a stranger.

Passion for your house has consumed me,
    and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
When I weep and fast,
    they scoff at me.
When I dress in burlap to show sorrow,
    they make fun of me.
I am the favourite topic of town gossip,
    and all the drunks sing about me.

But I keep praying to you, Lord,
    hoping this time you will show me favour.
In your unfailing love, O God,
    answer my prayer with your sure salvation.
Rescue me from the mud;
    don’t let me sink any deeper!
Save me from those who hate me,
    and pull me from these deep waters.
Don’t let the floods overwhelm me,
    or the deep waters swallow me,
    or the pit of death devour me.

Answer my prayers, O Lord,
    for your unfailing love is wonderful.
Take care of me,
    for your mercy is so plentiful.
Don’t hide from your servant;
    answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble!
Come and redeem me;
    free me from my enemies.

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

  • Mighty Lord, you call us at different times to work and to rest. May this weekend bring opportunities for service, for stillness, time for others and occasions for rest.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Prepare us to receive your Word, our voices to proclaim your gospel and our hands to serve our Lord.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For hands quick to obey, for minds clean and holy, for speech kind and truthful and for motives pure and godly.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

 Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you are the friend of sinner’s and elevate the lowly; you lift the weak and heal the broken. Keep me from thoughtlessly following the crowd when my Lord stooped to minister to those on the edges of society. May I find my mission in the margins.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For vigilance to the call of your Spirit, consideration to the needs of others and concern to the cry of the lost.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Bring wholeness to my family today. May they be blessed in the city, blessed in the field, and blessed wherever they go.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Bring salvation to my friends today. May their adversity be your opportunity and their deepest needs be met in the deepest love of Calvary.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we plead for your people, joining the prayers of the Church on earth with the prayers of the Church that is triumphant in glory. Bring everything to a finish and return for a bride that is spotless and pure!
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For those who lead in worship and those who minister in prayer and advice. May they know genuine anointing and constant refreshing.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For our Pastors, Leaders, and those in authority. Give them the courage to speak boldly, strength to lead bravely and compassion to love tenderly.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For Followers who sit at a distance – open their hearts to the fullness of Christ. For Disciples who walk in your footsteps – may they be held by the power of God. For Pilgrims who stand before your throne – may they inspire by the testimony of their lives.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we join with you at the Throne of Grace and pray for humanity.  We bring the people of North Macedonia to you, where high unemployment and significant poverty are the lasting consequences of the painful breakup of Yugoslavia.  Jesus we thank you for economic growth and your continued blessing over this country and its people.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Father we pray for our Orthodox brothers and sisters who make up the bulk of your church in this land, we thank you for their faithfulness through times of persecution during the 20th century and believe for your Holy Spirit to empower growth.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • May the struggles of 2001 not be repeated in this land; rather let harmony between the ethnic and religious sections of Macedonian society enable this nation to live in peace.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Jesus we thank you for one of the fastest growing evangelical churches in Europe.  Continue to build their focus of oneness in Christ, which is seeing city wide worship events and pastors prayer networks – ‘Let Love Reign!’
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and your mercies never come to an end! We ask you Jesus, in your mercy, to heal those who are sick with the Coronavirus today!
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!


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 14:12-24

You Will Be Rewarded

Then Jesus said to the man who had invited him, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, don’t invite only your friends, your family, your other relatives, and your rich neighbours. At another time they will invite you to eat with them, and you will be repaid. Instead, when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then you will be blessed, because they have nothing and cannot pay you back. But you will be repaid when the good people rise from the dead.”

A Story About a Big Banquet

One of those at the table with Jesus heard these things and said to him, “Blessed are the people who will share in the meal in God’s kingdom.”

Jesus said to him, “A man gave a big banquet and invited many people. When it was time to eat, the man sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come. Everything is ready.’

“But all the guests made excuses. The first one said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go look at it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen; I must go and try them. Please excuse me.’ A third person said, ‘I just got married; I can’t come.’ So the servant returned and told his master what had happened. Then the master became angry and said, ‘Go at once into the streets and alleys of the town, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ Later the servant said to him, ‘Master, I did what you commanded, but we still have room.’ The master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes, and urge the people there to come so my house will be full. I tell you, none of those whom I invited first will eat with me.’”

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 Compassion: The Principle of Compassionate Listening.

Mindful of the brokenness of those around me, I determine to cultivate the art of deep, non-judgemental listening. As a follower of the Way of Compassion, I will seek rather to understand than to be understood.

All:
This is The Way of Compassion: The Principle of Compassionate Listening.


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.)

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit,
Upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
Grant that your people may be fervent,
In the fellowship of your gospel,
That, always abiding in you,
They may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you.  Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the beauty of God be reflected in your eyes,
The love of God be embodied in your hands,
The wisdom of God be present in your words
And the knowledge of God be implanted in your heart,
That all might see, and seeing, may believe.  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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