Year V: Week 23 of Ordinary Time

Monday: 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 119:49-56

Zayin

Remember your promise to me;
    it is my only hope.
Your promise revives me;
    it comforts me in all my troubles.
The proud hold me in utter contempt,
    but I do not turn away from your instructions.
I meditate on your age-old regulations;
    Lord, they comfort me.
I become furious with the wicked,
    because they reject your instructions.
Your decrees have been the theme of my songs
    wherever I have lived.
I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord;
    therefore, I obey your instructions.
This is how I spend my life:
    obeying your commandments.

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

  • Almighty God, we thank you for the start of a new week and trust you for the power to serve you with courage and boldness. Give us wisdom in our work life, persistence in our prayer life, diligence to fulfil our responsibilities and rest in our times of relaxation.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…
  • For the power to overcome sin, the determination to overcome obstacles and the stubbornness to overcome evil.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…
  • For bodily health, spiritual intensity, mental clarity, and physical provision.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…
  • For protection from every attack, safety from every danger, freedom from every fear and victory over every temptation.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…

 Family & Friends

  • Father of all, bless our families and those who we spend time with. May their paths be straight and their road untroubled, and may they experience a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and true happiness.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…
  • Bring those who don’t know you into a saving relationship with your Son.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…
  • Bring healing to those who are sick, companionship to those who struggle alone and joy to those who mourn.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we ask for blessings upon your church, that families may be strongly defended, children powerfully protected and leaders heavily anointed! Equip the local church to reach the city and empower your people to reach the world.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…
  • For the members of our church, as they head to their places of work…
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…
  • For those teachers and students, and the work of God in schools and places of further education.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we join with you at the Throne of Grace and pray for humanity.  We ask you for Slovakia, that you would continue to navigate this nation out of the shadows of the Soviet Union. We thank you that you are blessing this country with one of the world’s fastest developing economies and we pray you would impart Godly wisdom into those in power, giving them the ability to lead the nation with justice and fairness.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • Mighty God we lift up to you the small indigenous Romany community who suffers persecution and abuse at the hands of Slovak Police. While they are made to feel like second class citizens, we know that you have a heart for them and we pray that the message of your love and acceptance would reach them and would sink deep into their spirit.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • In your name we come against the spiritual stagnation within the Christian community. May your people not be content with a diminishing church attendance but gain an urgency to see your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • We pray that you would shine a light in the darkness over those who suffer from depression and those who consider taking their own lives. Anoint your Church to arise and to be your hands and your feet, to bring comfort and hope to those who find themselves in hopeless situations.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • Jesus, over 50 times in scripture you bring healing to people and groups in need of health and wholeness, today we ask you to heal those who are infected by Covid-19.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…

 

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

Matthew 24:29-35

“Soon after the trouble of those days,

‘the sun will grow dark,
    and the moon will not give its light.
The stars will fall from the sky.
    And the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’

“At that time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the peoples of the world will cry. They will see the Son of Man coming on clouds in the sky with great power and glory. He will use a loud trumpet to send his angels all around the earth, and they will gather his chosen people from every part of the world.

“Learn a lesson from the fig tree: When its branches become green and soft and new leaves appear, you know summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things happening, you will know that the time is near, ready to come. I tell you the truth, all these things will happen while the people of this time are still living. Earth and sky will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed.

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.)

Holy God, Faithful and unchanging:
Enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
And draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,
That we may truly worship you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
One God, now and for ever.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the Wisdom of God, the Love of God,
And the Grace of God strengthen you,
To be Christ’s hands and heart in this world.
In the name of the One who creates,
Redeems, and sustains all things.  Amen.


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:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 34:1-10  (Benedicam Domino)

All: 

The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God
A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

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 119:49-56

ז Zayin

Remember the word to Your servant,
Upon which You have caused me to hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
For Your word has given me life.
The proud have me in great derision,
Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.
I remembered Your judgments of old, O Lord,
And have comforted myself.
Indignation has taken hold of me
Because of the wicked, who forsake Your law.
Your statutes have been my songs
In the house of my pilgrimage.
I remember Your name in the night, O Lord,
And I keep Your law.
This has become mine,
Because I kept Your precepts.

  

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:
Let us 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

  • Almighty God, we thank you for the start of a new week and trust you for empowerment to serve you with courage and boldness. Give wisdom in our work life, persistence in our prayer life, diligence to fulfil our responsibilities and rest in our times of relaxation.
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…
  • For power to overcome sin, the tenacity to overcome obstacles and the stubbornness to overcome evil.
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…
  • For bodily health, spiritual fervour, mental clarity and material provision.
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…
  • For protection from every arrow, safety from every danger, freedom from every fear and victory over every temptation.
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…

 Family & Friends

  • Father of all, bless our families and those with whom we do life. May their paths be straight and their road untroubled, and may they experience a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and true happiness.
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…
  • Bring those who are far from your kingdom into a saving relationship with your Son.
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…
  • Bring healing to those who are sick, companionship to those who struggle alone and joy to those who mourn.
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we ask for blessings upon your church, that families may be strongly defended, children powerfully protected and leaders heavily anointed! Equip the local church to reach the city and empower your people to reach the world.
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…
  • For the members of our church, as they head to their places of work…
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…
  • For those that teach and those that are taught, and the work of God in schools and places of further education.
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…

The World

  • God of the Nations we stand in the gap and pray for the world.  Today we pray for the Seychelles, beautiful and tranquil to the eyes of tourists but for the inhabitants life is hard with unequal distribution of wealth, and still some elements of racial slavery. Only you, Mighty God, can come in power and establish a better way of living.
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…
  • We bind the works of the evil one who is seeking to infect Christianity with Spiritism and voodoo traditions, for it is written that whatever is bound on earth is bound on heaven!
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…
  • The outer Islands are yet to fully hear of the message of your gospel and so we pray for a commissioning of the Churches who serve these Islands to arise and to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord to all who will hear.
              –  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…

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

Matthew 24:29-35

The Coming of the Son of Man

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

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.)

Holy God, Faithful and unchanging:
Enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
And draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,
That we may truly worship you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
One God, now and for ever.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the Wisdom of God, the Love of God,
And the Grace of God strengthen you,
To be Christ’s hands and heart in this world.
In the name of the One who creates,
Redeems, and sustains all things.  Amen.


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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