Year V: Week 20 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 90

A prayer of Moses, the man of God.

Lord, through all the generations
    you have been our home!
Before the mountains were born,
    before you gave birth to the earth and the world,
    from beginning to end, you are God.

You turn people back to dust, saying,
    “Return to dust, you mortals!”
For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,
    as brief as a few night hours.
You sweep people away like dreams that disappear.
    They are like grass that springs up in the morning.
In the morning it blooms and flourishes,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.
We wither beneath your anger;
    we are overwhelmed by your fury.
You spread out our sins before you—
    our secret sins—and you see them all.
We live our lives beneath your wrath,
    ending our years with a groan.

Seventy years are given to us!
    Some even live to eighty.
But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble;
    soon they disappear, and we fly away.
Who can comprehend the power of your anger?
    Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.
Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
    so that we may grow in wisdom.

Lord, come back to us!
    How long will you delay?
    Take pity on your servants!
Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
    so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!
    Replace the evil years with good.
Let us, your servants, see you work again;
    let our children see your glory.
And may the Lord our God show us his approval
    and make our efforts successful.
    Yes, make our efforts successful!

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 13:1-8

False Prophets

Prophets or those who tell the future with dreams might come to you and say they will show you a miracle or a sign. The miracle or sign might even happen, and then they might say, “Let’s serve other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let’s worship them.” But you must not listen to those prophets or dreamers. The Lord your God is testing you, to find out if you love him with your whole being. Serve only the Lord your God. Respect him, keep his commands, and obey him. Serve him and be loyal to him. The prophets or dreamers must be killed, because they said you should turn against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and saved you from the land where you were slaves. They tried to turn you from doing what the Lord your God commanded you to do. You must get rid of the evil among you.

Someone might try to lead you to serve other gods—it might be your brother, your son or daughter, the wife you love, or a close friend. The person might say, “Let’s go and worship other gods.” (These are gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the people who live around you, either nearby or far away, from one end of the land to the other.) Do not give in to such people. Do not listen or feel sorry for them, and do not let them go free or protect them.

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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