Year V: Week 9 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: 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 to 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 114

When the Israelites escaped from Egypt—
    when the family of Jacob left that foreign land—
the land of Judah became God’s sanctuary,
    and Israel became his kingdom.

The Red Sea saw them coming and hurried out of their way!
    The water of the Jordan River turned away.
The mountains skipped like rams,
    the hills like lambs!
What’s wrong, Red Sea, that made you hurry out of their way?
    What happened, Jordan River, that you turned away?
Why, mountains, did you skip like rams?
    Why, hills, like lambs?

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
    at the presence of the God of Jacob.
He turned the rock into a pool of water;
    yes, a spring of water flowed from solid rock.

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

  • King of all, fill us today with knowledge of your will with spiritual wisdom and understanding. We want to live a life worthy of you, and to please you in every way. We pray that today we may produce results in every good work, that our heart may be strengthened with all power and courage to do your will.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Jireh for understanding in dealing with our finances, provision for every need and an abundance for every good work.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Rophé for insight in dealing with our flesh, healing for every sickness and strength for every endeavour.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Shalom for wisdom in dealing with the stress of life, calm in every storm and peace in every step.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

Family & Friends

  • Father of Jesus, we pray for those we know who do not know you. Give us opportunities to witness to them, grace to speak into their lives and words to bring them into your light.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • For those we have hurt with thoughtless comments, those we have injured through false words and those we have wounded through selfish actions.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • For those whose families are fracturing, whose homes are breaking and whose children are suffering. Restore and renew the Covenant, O God!
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church that she will be enriched with spiritual wisdom and discovery in knowing Christ; that her heart will be enlightened, that she will know the hope that is ours, the treasure of your heritage in the saints and your matchless power towards believers.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • May your people be established and grounded in love; fully able to understand the width, length, height and depth of the love of Christ, which exceeds all knowledge.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • May your people be filled with the complete measure of the fullness of God. Dwell in your people and take ownership of every part!
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

The World

  • Mighty God, the whole world is in your hands and you have compassion on all people.  We ask today for Gambia, one of the poorest nations in the world with many forced to beg just to survive. We pray that they will receive heavenly strength, both physically and spiritually.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • With 95% of the population claiming they are of Muslim belief, equip the 4% who are Christians with the boldness and faith-filled spirit to speak about their faith in Jesus.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • Would you mobilise Mothers and Fathers of the faith to train and disciple those who have made a decision to follow you. May they be nurtured into maturity empowered for service.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • May your Kingdom come in Gambia as in heaven.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • Father, we pray for wisdom for decision makers at this time – leaders, doctors, scientists and politicians. Holy Spirit bring wisdom.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…


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

Acts 28:17-31

Three days later Paul sent for the leaders there. When they came together, he said, “Brothers, I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors. But I was arrested in Jerusalem and given to the Romans. After they asked me many questions, they could find no reason why I should be killed. They wanted to let me go free, but the evil people there argued against that. So I had to ask to come to Rome to have my trial before Caesar. But I have no charge to bring against my own people. That is why I wanted to see you and talk with you. I am bound with this chain because I believe in the hope of Israel.”

They answered Paul, “We have received no letters from Judea about you. None of our Jewish brothers who have come from there brought news or told us anything bad about you. But we want to hear your ideas, because we know that people everywhere are speaking against this religious group.”

Paul and the people chose a day for a meeting and on that day many more of the Jews met with Paul at the place he was staying. He spoke to them all day long. Using the law of Moses and the prophets’ writings, he explained the kingdom of God, and he tried to persuade them to believe these things about Jesus. Some believed what Paul said, but others did not. So they argued and began leaving after Paul said one more thing to them: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors through Isaiah the prophet, saying,

‘Go to this people and say:
You will listen and listen, but you will not understand.
    You will look and look, but you will not learn,
because these people have become stubborn.
    They don’t hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise, they might really understand
    what they see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears.
They might really understand in their minds
    and come back to me and be healed.’

“I want you to know that God has also sent his salvation to all nations, and they will listen!” [After Paul said this, the Jews left. They were arguing very much with each other.]

Paul stayed two full years in his own rented house and welcomed all people who came to visit him. He boldly preached about the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ, and no one stopped him.

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 Prayer: The Principle of Daily Fellowship with God.

Appreciating that without deep communion with God the life of the Spirit is impossible, I make time to encounter God daily through prayer, worship, the Scriptures and the development of a regular devotional rhythm. As a follower of the Way of Prayer, I will learn the internal disciplines necessary to hear from God and live deeply in His presence.

All:
This is The Way of Prayer: The Principle of Daily Fellowship with God.


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.)

Lord God, your Son left the riches of heaven,
And became poor for our sake.
When we prosper save us from pride,
When we are needy save us from despair,
That we may trust in you alone,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the love of the Father,
The tenderness of the Son,
And the presence of the Spirit,
Gladden your heart,
And bring peace to your soul,
This day and all days.  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.

Standard
Year V: Week 9 of Ordinary Time

Wednesday: 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 to 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 107:1-16

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.
Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
    Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
    from east and west,
    from north and south.

Some wandered in the wilderness,
    lost and homeless.
Hungry and thirsty,
    they nearly died.
Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them straight to safety,
    to a city where they could live.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
For he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom,
    imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
They rebelled against the words of God,
    scorning the counsel of the Most High.
That is why he broke them with hard labour;
    they fell, and no one was there to help them.
Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom;
    he snapped their chains.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
    and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
For he broke down their prison gates of bronze;
    he cut apart their bars of iron.

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, every morning your grace and glory captivates us! We thank you for a new day and give praise to you who caused light to shine out of darkness. Today by your grace we shall triumph in the works of your hands and we are anointed with fresh oil. Today we shall flourish as palm trees and grow like cedars in Lebanon!
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • Planted in the House of the Lord, we shall thrive in the courts of our God.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • Being fruitful in every season of life, full of health and vitality!
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…

Family & Friends

  • God, who puts the lonely into families and brings those who are surrounded by debt into prosperity, protect our families and loved ones today. As iron sharpens iron so may our relationships bring us closer to Christ; and as two are better than one, so may we be vigilant to watch over each other and work for each other’s good.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • When your Spirit came in times past, we read that whole households were saved. We pray for the damaged and broken families of our church and call out to you for salvation for all!
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For those in further education, that they may find good churches to support them and good friendships to sustain them.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your people. May they be instructed to know your ways, empowered to share their faith, enriched with every blessing, and absorbed with love for you. May your people be one, even as you are one with the Father.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For Pope Francis, his bishops, priests, ministers, and all those that serve your people…
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For our Orthodox brothers and sisters, tested by persecution and triumphant by faith…
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For the Churches of the Reformation, the Anglican Communion, and the free churches…
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we present to you the world that you created and the people that you died for. Today we pray for Gabon, a nation at peace but with neighbours often at war.  May this land know the true peace of Christ, not as the world gives but as you give.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • We pray for the President and government of Gabon who almost suffered a coup d’état in 2019. May there be stability and wise leadership to take this country forward.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • Thank you for the growth of the evangelical church both in numbers and in faith as they pray fervently for the salvation of their land. We know you are a Father who hears and answers prayers.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • May the gap between rich and poor continue to decrease, that Gabon would be a nation where everyone is provided for and no one lacks anything.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • Jesus, it is easy to become nervous and panicked in life, yet you God are our refuge and our very present help in this time of trouble. We trust you Jesus!
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…

 


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

Acts 28:11-16

Paul Goes to Rome

We got on a ship from Alexandria that had stayed on the island during the winter. On the front of the ship was the sign of the twin gods. We stopped at Syracuse for three days. From there we sailed to Rhegium. The next day a wind began to blow from the south, and a day later we came to Puteoli. We found some believers there who asked us to stay with them for a week. Finally, we came to Rome. The believers in Rome heard that we were there and came out as far as the Market of Appius and the Three Inns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he was encouraged and thanked God.

Paul in Rome

When we arrived at Rome, Paul was allowed to live alone, with the soldier who guarded him.

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 Peace: The Principle of Reconciliation in the World.

Recognising that Christ has called me to be a peacemaker, I will always seek to be an instrument of peace in the world. As a follower of the Way of Peace, I refuse to be drawn into conflict but instead work for the good of all and the wellbeing of all creation.

All:
This is The Way of Peace: The Principle of Reconciliation in the World.


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.)

Creator God, you made us all in your image:
May we discern you in all that we see,
And serve you in all that we do;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the love of God set your hearts free,
To live an abundant life overflowing in joy and compassion,
In the service of others. 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 9 of Ordinary Time

Tuesday: 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 to 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 106:1-23

Praise the Lord!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.
Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord?
    Who can ever praise him enough?
There is joy for those who deal justly with others
    and always do what is right.

Remember me, Lord, when you show favour to your people;
    come near and rescue me.
Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones.
    Let me rejoice in the joy of your people;
    let me praise you with those who are your heritage.

Like our ancestors, we have sinned.
    We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!
Our ancestors in Egypt
    were not impressed by the Lord’s miraculous deeds.
They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them.
    Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.
Even so, he saved them—
    to defend the honour of his name
    and to demonstrate his mighty power.
He commanded the Red Sea to dry up.
    He led Israel across the sea as if it were a desert.
So he rescued them from their enemies
    and redeemed them from their foes.
Then the water returned and covered their enemies;
    not one of them survived.
Then his people believed his promises.
    Then they sang his praise.

Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done!
    They wouldn’t wait for his counsel!
In the wilderness their desires ran wild,
    testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland.
So he gave them what they asked for,
    but he sent a plague along with it.
The people in the camp were jealous of Moses
    and envious of Aaron, the Lord’s holy priest.
Because of this, the earth opened up;
    it swallowed Dathan
    and buried Abiram and the other rebels.
Fire fell upon their followers;
    a flame consumed the wicked.

The people made a calf at Mount Sinai;
    they bowed before an image made of gold.
They traded their glorious God
    for a statue of a grass-eating bull.
They forgot God, their saviour,
    who had done such great things in Egypt—
such wonderful things in the land of Ham,
    such awesome deeds at the Red Sea.
So he declared he would destroy them.
    But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the Lord and the people.
    He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them.

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

  • This is the day that the Lord has made – we shall rejoice and be glad in it! Give us open hearts to receive your grace, open minds to receive your Word and heavenly strength to renew our bodies.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Open our eyes to the lonely, the broken, the troubled and the outcasts that cross our path today.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Open our ears to your Spirit and all that we have to those in need, that we may be providers for the poor and ministers to those you want to reach.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, we ask for protection over our families and provision for every need. We place them in your hands and ask for your plans to be completed in their lives. May we be an example of faith, endurance, dedication, and grace to those we love.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Bring healing where life has torn us. Bring forgiveness where sin has broken us. Bring restoration where conflict has divided us.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Bring direction to our children, peace to our parents, faith to our friends and happiness to our families.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your people of every nationality. Forgive our historical separation, cultural divides and selfish ways that have so distorted the face of Christ to the world. Unite us in your love and complete us in your image.
               – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • For the churches in our area. Make your ministers shining lights, your churches sunlight in the darkness and people willing in the Day of your Power.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • For the work of Churches Together and other ecumenical bodies, that your people may be one…
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we join with you at the Throne of Grace and pray for humanity.  We ask you for the people of France. We pray that you will break through the atheism in this land. May Christ the Chief Cornerstone be the foundation of this land once again.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Would you bring peace to a nation that has seen much unrest in recent years. May the land be known as a force for peace in the world.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • With differences and division increasing and bringing separation between the Church and the state we pray that your kingdom would be established in the hearts of the French leaders.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • We declare for ears and hearts to be open to your Word. That this nation would see the hand of God moving and become hungry for a move of your spirit.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Holy Spirit you empower Gods people to do ‘even greater works’ to display Gods power. As we pray today for those who are sick with this virus outbreak may your power be seen in their healing!
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

 

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

Acts 27:39-28:10

The Ship Is Destroyed

When daylight came, the sailors saw land. They did not know what land it was, but they saw a bay with a beach and wanted to sail the ship to the beach if they could. So they cut the ropes to the anchors and left the anchors in the sea. At the same time, they untied the ropes that were holding the rudders. Then they raised the front sail into the wind and sailed toward the beach. But the ship hit a sandbank. The front of the ship stuck there and could not move, but the back of the ship began to break up from the big waves.

The soldiers decided to kill the prisoners so none of them could swim away and escape. But Julius, the officer, wanted to let Paul live and did not allow the soldiers to kill the prisoners. Instead he ordered everyone who could swim to jump into the water first and swim to land. The rest were to follow using wooden boards or pieces of the ship. And this is how all the people made it safely to land.

Paul on the Island of Malta

When we were safe on land, we learned that the island was called Malta. The people who lived there were very good to us. Because it was raining and very cold, they made a fire and welcomed all of us. Paul gathered a pile of sticks and was putting them on the fire when a poisonous snake came out because of the heat and bit him on the hand. The people living on the island saw the snake hanging from Paul’s hand and said to each other, “This man must be a murderer! He did not die in the sea, but Justice does not want him to live.” But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and was not hurt. The people thought that Paul would swell up or fall down dead. They waited and watched him for a long time, but nothing bad happened to him. So they changed their minds and said, “He is a god!”

There were some fields around there owned by Publius, an important man on the island. He welcomed us into his home and was very good to us for three days. Publius’ father was sick with a fever and dysentery. Paul went to him, prayed, and put his hands on the man and healed him. After this, all the other sick people on the island came to Paul, and he healed them, too. The people on the island gave us many honours. When we were ready to leave, three months later, they gave us the things we needed.

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 Peace: The Principle of Ecumenism Amongst the Churches.

Conscious of the terrible disfigurement to the face of Christ through the fragmenting of His body on earth, I will work for the fulfilment of Jesus’ Prayer “that they may be one.” As a follower of the Way of Peace, I will not engage in unprofitable theological controversy, or allow my personal opinions to break the bond of love with my brothers and sisters of other churches, but will humbly seek to learn from their experience of faith.

All:
This is The Way of Peace: The Principle of Ecumenism Amongst the Churches.


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.)

Gracious Father,
By the obedience of Jesus
You brought salvation to our wayward world:
Draw us into harmony with your will,
That we may find all things restored in him,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the peace of God enfold us,
The love of God uphold us,
And the wisdom of God control us.  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.

Standard
Year V: Week 9 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 to 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 105:1-24

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
    Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
Exult in his holy name;
    rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.
Remember the wonders he has performed,
    his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
you children of his servant Abraham,
    you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.

He is the Lord our God.
    His justice is seen throughout the land.
He always stands by his covenant—
    the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
This is the covenant he made with Abraham
    and the oath he swore to Isaac.
He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
    and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant:
“I will give you the land of Canaan
    as your special possession.”

He said this when they were few in number,
    a tiny group of strangers in Canaan.
They wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
Yet he did not let anyone oppress them.
    He warned kings on their behalf:
“Do not touch my chosen people,
    and do not hurt my prophets.”

He called for a famine on the land of Canaan,
    cutting off its food supply.
Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them—
    Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
They bruised his feet with fetters
    and placed his neck in an iron collar.
Until the time came to fulfil his dreams,
    the Lord tested Joseph’s character.
Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free;
    the ruler of the nation opened his prison door.
Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household;
    he became ruler over all the king’s possessions.
He could instruct the king’s aides as he pleased
    and teach the king’s advisers.

Then Israel arrived in Egypt;
    Jacob lived as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
And the Lord multiplied the people of Israel
    until they became too mighty for their 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

  • 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

  • Mighty God, the people of the world belong to you.  Today we pray for Finland, known as one of the most peaceful and wealthy countries in the European Union. In the middle of comfortable lives, we pray that the need for a Saviour is not forgotten.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…
  • We pray that as the Church faces the challenges of stagnation and decline that you would breathe your spirit into dry bones to live again.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…
  • Thank you for the missionary spirit found in Finland seeking to reach the un-evangelised. We pray that you would bless the work of their hands and cause your servants to walk in victory.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…
  • We pray that your gospel would continue to take ground and push back the influx of darkness which seeks to steal, kill and destroy.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…
  • 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.
              – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise…

 

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

Acts 27:13-38

The Storm

When a good wind began to blow from the south, the men on the ship thought, “This is the wind we wanted, and now we have it.” So they pulled up the anchor, and we sailed very close to the island of Crete. But then a very strong wind named the “northeaster” came from the island. The ship was caught in it and could not sail against it. So we stopped trying and let the wind carry us. When we went below a small island named Cauda, we were barely able to bring in the lifeboat. After the men took the lifeboat in, they tied ropes around the ship to hold it together. The men were afraid that the ship would hit the sandbanks of Syrtis, so they lowered the sail and let the wind carry the ship. The next day the storm was blowing us so hard that the men threw out some of the cargo. A day later with their own hands they threw out the ship’s equipment. When we could not see the sun or the stars for many days, and the storm was very bad, we lost all hope of being saved.

After the men had gone without food for a long time, Paul stood up before them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me. You should not have sailed from Crete. Then you would not have all this trouble and loss. But now I tell you to cheer up because none of you will die. Only the ship will be lost. Last night an angel came to me from the God I belong to and worship. The angel said, ‘Paul, do not be afraid. You must stand before Caesar. And God has promised you that he will save the lives of everyone sailing with you.’ So men, have courage. I trust in God that everything will happen as his angel told me. But we will crash on an island.”

On the fourteenth night we were still being carried around in the Adriatic Sea. About midnight the sailors thought we were close to land, so they lowered a rope with a weight on the end of it into the water. They found that the water was one hundred twenty feet deep. They went a little farther and lowered the rope again. It was ninety feet deep. The sailors were afraid that we would hit the rocks, so they threw four anchors into the water and prayed for daylight to come. Some of the sailors wanted to leave the ship, and they lowered the lifeboat, pretending they were throwing more anchors from the front of the ship. But Paul told the officer and the other soldiers, “If these men do not stay in the ship, your lives cannot be saved.” So the soldiers cut the ropes and let the lifeboat fall into the water.

Just before dawn Paul began persuading all the people to eat something. He said, “For the past fourteen days you have been waiting and watching and not eating. Now I beg you to eat something. You need it to stay alive. None of you will lose even one hair off your heads.” After he said this, Paul took some bread and thanked God for it before all of them. He broke off a piece and began eating. They all felt better and started eating, too. There were two hundred seventy-six people on the ship. When they had eaten all they wanted, they began making the ship lighter by throwing the grain into the sea.

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 Peace: The Principle of Harmony Amongst the Saints.

Admitting that at best I only see dimly and understand incompletely, I determine to live in unity with my brothers and sisters, maintaining at all times the unity of the spirit. As a follower of the Way of Peace, I will quickly forgive perceived wrongs committed against me, and not allow anger, resentment or unkind words to abide in my heart or on my lips.

All:
This is The Way of Peace: The Principle of Harmony Amongst the Saints.


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 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 9 of Ordinary Time

Sunday: 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 to 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 100  (Jubilate Deo)

All: 

A Song of Praise for the Lord’s Faithfulness to His People
A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

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 104:1-15

Let all that I am praise the Lord.

Lord my God, how great you are!
    You are robed with honour and majesty.
    You are dressed in a robe of light.
You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens;
    you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot;
    you ride upon the wings of the wind.
The winds are your messengers;
    flames of fire are your servants.

You placed the world on its foundation
    so it would never be moved.
You clothed the earth with floods of water,
    water that covered even the mountains.
At your command, the water fled;
    at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away.
Mountains rose and valleys sank
    to the levels you decreed.
Then you set a firm boundary for the seas,
    so they would never again cover the earth.

You make springs pour water into the ravines,
    so streams gush down from the mountains.
They provide water for all the animals,
    and the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds nest beside the streams
    and sing among the branches of the trees.
You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home,
    and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labour.
You cause grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for people to use.
You allow them to produce food from the earth—
    wine to make them glad,
olive oil to soothe their skin,
    and bread to give them strength.

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 use this day to meet in your presence and worship you. Build your church and do not let hell come near it. Bring in not just people, but a depth in our spiritual understanding; that people from the North, South, East and West will hear your voice and enter into your kingdom with joy!
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • Give us hearts that are ready to receive your Word and hands ready to reach out in love.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • Give us feet that are ready to do your will and voices ready to sing out in praise.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, bring peace and contentment to our families today. Heal those who are sick, restore those who are broken, strengthen those that are weak and comfort those who experience pain.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • Make us bold in our witness, constant in our prayers and relentless in our love.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • Give us eyes to see the lonely and grace to welcome them into our homes.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for our church. Give her leaders ears to hear your voice with clarity, her ministries the energy to do your will with compassion and her people enthusiasm follow your path with zeal. May we live the message we proclaim.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • For those who work in practical ministries. Give them strength as they serve you and encourage them in their calling.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • For those who teach your Word to children and to adults. May their words bring life to the dead and encouragement to the weak.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • For those who you would call today. Convict, convince, convert, and consume!
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…

The World

  • Mighty God, we lift to you our broken world and pray today for the people of Fiji. For the government, who have suffered four coups within the last two decades. We declare that stability and wise minds will lead this country forward in peace.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • We ask for the salvation of the Indo-Fijians currently practising Hinduism. May they be pointed towards you with repentant hearts and eyes open to your love.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • For rest to fill this land once again and peace to find root in every area of society.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • For ecumenical unity amongst the ever increasing churches, working together under one name with one goal in sight.
              – For the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting…
  • God we ask for your protection on our world, our nation, our friends and our family in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak at this time.
              – 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

Acts 27:1-12

Paul Sails for Rome

It was decided that we would sail for Italy. An officer named Julius, who served in the emperor’s army, guarded Paul and some other prisoners. We got on a ship that was from the city of Adramyttium and was about to sail to different ports in Asia. Aristarchus, a man from the city of Thessalonica in Macedonia, went with us. The next day we came to Sidon. Julius was very good to Paul and gave him freedom to go visit his friends, who took care of his needs. We left Sidon and sailed close to the island of Cyprus, because the wind was blowing against us. We went across the sea by Cilicia and Pamphylia and landed at the city of Myra, in Lycia. There the officer found a ship from Alexandria that was going to Italy, so he put us on it.

We sailed slowly for many days. We had a hard time reaching Cnidus because the wind was blowing against us, and we could not go any farther. So we sailed by the south side of the island of Crete near Salmone. Sailing past it was hard. Then we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

We had lost much time, and it was now dangerous to sail, because it was already after the Day of Cleansing. So Paul warned them, “Men, I can see there will be a lot of trouble on this trip. The ship, the cargo, and even our lives may be lost.” But the captain and the owner of the ship did not agree with Paul, and the officer believed what the captain and owner of the ship said. Since that harbour was not a good place for the ship to stay for the winter, most of the men decided that the ship should leave. They hoped we could go to Phoenix and stay there for the winter. Phoenix, a city on the island of Crete, had a harbour which faced southwest and northwest.

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 Peace: The Principle of Cultivation of a Tranquil Heart.

Recognising that only a heart that is at peace can minister peace to a broken world, I determine to keep myself in the love of God. As a follower of the Way of Peace, I establish my heart in the presence of God by the daily practice of the spiritual disciplines.

All:
This is The Way of Peace: The Principle of Cultivation of a Tranquil Heart.


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.)

Almighty God,
Send down upon your Church,
The riches of your Spirit,
And kindle in all who minister the gospel,
Your countless gifts of grace;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face shine on you,
and be gracious to you;
May the Lord turn his face toward you,
And give you peace. 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 8 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Feast: St. James the Greater, Apostle : James was a fisherman; the elder brother of the apostle John, and was part of Jesus’ ‘inner-circle’ that was made up of Peter, James and John and witnessed with them events such as the Transfiguration. Along with John, he received the nickname from Jesus of ‘Boanerges’ meaning ‘Son ofThunder.’ He was one of the first martyrs of the early church, being sawn in two by Herod Agrippa. He is not to be confused with James the Brother of Jesus who wrote the Epistle bearing his 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 108

A song. A psalm of David.

My heart is confident in you, O God;
    no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart!
Wake up, lyre and harp!
    I will wake the dawn with my song.
I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
    I will sing your praises among the nations.
For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
    Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
    May your glory shine over all the earth.

Now rescue your beloved people.
    Answer and save us by your power.
God has promised this by his holiness:
“I will divide up Shechem with joy.
    I will measure out the valley of Succoth.
Gilead is mine,
    and Manasseh, too.
Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors,
    and Judah, my sceptre, will produce my kings.
But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant,
    and I will wipe my feet on Edom
    and shout in triumph over Philistia.”

Who will bring me into the fortified city?
    Who will bring me victory over Edom?
Have you rejected us, O God?
    Will you no longer march with our armies?
Oh, please help us against our enemies,
    for all human help is useless.
With God’s help we will do mighty things,
    for he will trample down our foes.

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

  • High King of Heaven, we intercede for the peoples of the earth and pray today for the people of East Timor, a nation undermined by an Indonesian invasion in 1999 destroying the Island’s infrastructure and economy and bringing terror to it’s streets. We call upon our God who is able to heal, save and restore this land.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For the many thousands traumatised after having lost everything and as a result often led into gang culture. We pray that hope would be revealed to them by the Churches ministering in this area, and that they would turn their hearts towards you, who is able to restore that which the locust has eaten.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • We ask for servants who are willing to risk it all to proclaim the gospel to those in need of hearing about Jesus.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • There is a great need for well trained and spiritually active Pastors. Thank you that you know every need before we even ask.  We pray that this need would be met to the glory of your Kingdom.
              – 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

Acts 26:12-32

“One time the leading priests gave me permission and the power to go to Damascus. On the way there, at noon, I saw a light from heaven. It was brighter than the sun and flashed all around me and those who were traveling with me. We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew language, saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are only hurting yourself by fighting me.’ I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Stand up! I have chosen you to be my servant and my witness—you will tell people the things that you have seen and the things that I will show you. This is why I have come to you today. I will keep you safe from your own people and also from the others. I am sending you to them to open their eyes so that they may turn away from darkness to the light, away from the power of Satan and to God. Then their sins can be forgiven, and they can have a place with those people who have been made holy by believing in me.’

“King Agrippa, after I had this vision from heaven, I obeyed it. I began telling people that they should change their hearts and lives and turn to God and do things to show they really had changed. I told this first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem, and in every part of Judea, and also to the other people. This is why the Jews took me and were trying to kill me in the Temple. But God has helped me, and so I stand here today, telling all people, small and great, what I have seen. But I am saying only what Moses and the prophets said would happen— that the Christ would die, and as the first to rise from the dead, he would bring light to all people.”

Paul Tries to Persuade Agrippa

While Paul was saying these things to defend himself, Festus said loudly, “Paul, you are out of your mind! Too much study has driven you crazy!”

Paul said, “Most excellent Festus, I am not crazy. My words are true and sensible. King Agrippa knows about these things, and I can speak freely to him. I know he has heard about all of these things, because they did not happen off in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe what the prophets wrote? I know you believe.”

King Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian in such a short time?”

Paul said, “Whether it is a short or a long time, I pray to God that not only you but every person listening to me today would be saved and be like me—except for these chains I have.”

Then King Agrippa, Governor Festus, Bernice, and all the people sitting with them stood up and left the room. Talking to each other, they said, “There is no reason why this man should die or be put in jail.” And Agrippa said to Festus, “We could let this man go free, but he has asked Caesar to hear his case.”

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 Peace: The Principle of Repentance Towards God.

Accepting that my sin has cut me off from God and caused untold suffering to others, I turn from a life of selfishness; receiving the forgiveness offered in Christ. As a follower of the Way of Peace, I determine to live a life of holiness.

All:
This is The Way of Peace: The Principle of Repentance Towards God.


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.

Standard
Year V: Week 8 of Ordinary Time

Friday: 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 to 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 103

A psalm of David.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness
    and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He revealed his character to Moses
    and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
    nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
    he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
    tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
    he remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
    like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone—
    as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever
    with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
    of those who are faithful to his covenant,
    of those who obey his commandments!

The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
    from there he rules over everything.

Praise the Lord, you angels,
    you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
    listening for each of his commands.
Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
    who serve him and do his will!
Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
    everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord.

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

  • Mighty Lord forgive us the coldness of our hearts and the rebellion that so often lurks under the surface. Erase the remnant of our old selves and let the power of Jesus Christ reign in our hearts. Renew us in your image, O God, and transform us by your Word.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • May holiness and true faith reside within us. Give us new hearts to replace the old and a new song with which to praise God!
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • May love and compassion replace sin and selfishness and may what we sing and confess be the reality in our daily lives.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, our desire is to build a Christ-centred family. May our home be full of peace, beauty, colour, simplicity, and love. May the essence of Christ saturate every heart.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • May we bring encouragement, comfort, wisdom, and joy to our friends. May they experience our acceptance, loyalty, and faithfulness every day.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • For those weighed down with crushing burdens, difficult circumstances, and depressing situations. Bring hope and release, O God.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • Reveal to us how we may show genuine concern for those who do not believe, through caring words and loving deeds.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, our desire is to live worthy of the call you have made on our lives. Send us into the world as pioneers! Command us to the heights as mountaineers! Give us the spirit that refuses the easy road, the soft choice, and the comfortable life when the cry is heard, “Who will go for us?”
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • For hearts passionate for missions, souls forged in the furnace of adversity, hands trained in the fury of battle and bodies toughened for the use of the Master.
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…
  • For missionaries, evangelists and those who take your word to the nations of the world. Protect, keep, empower, and inspire!
              – May our prayers be like incense to you…

The World

  • High King of Heaven, we intercede for the peoples of the earth and pray today for the people of Eswatani (formerly Swaziland). A small nation in desperate need of intercession and economic breakthrough. We specifically pray for King Mswati III and his Monarchy as he rules this land, give him Godly wisdom to make right and just decisions and the love of Christ to have compassion on those within his rule.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • Lord have mercy on those held captive by disease and HIV/AIDS. Pour your healing over every person suffering and bring release and hope! We also pray for a generation of orphans who have lost their parents through this devastating illness. May they rise up and lead their country to full authentic faith in Christ Jesus.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • Almighty God we pray for those suffering under economic and political problems and struggling to find employment and a purpose in life. Jehovah Jireh would you provide for every need and open doors for employment, Jehovah Rapha would you heal every sickness, Jehovah Nissi would you wage war against the enemy seeking to kill, steal and destroy.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We lift up your body of believers in this land, that they will not live in compromise but stand firm against the occult practices and immorality taking platform in this nation. Equip them with the truth of your word and love.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • God, you promised to your people in the wilderness that you would be their healer (Exo. 15:26) if they would listen to you and follow your commandments! Forgive us as we have gone our own way, help us follow your voice as you bring healing in our lives.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…


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

Acts 26:1-11

Paul Defends Himself

Agrippa said to Paul, “You may now speak to defend yourself.”

Then Paul raised his hand and began to speak. He said, “King Agrippa, I am very blessed to stand before you and will answer all the charges the evil people make against me. You know so much about all the customs and the things they argue about, so please listen to me patiently.

“All my people know about my whole life, how I lived from the beginning in my own country and later in Jerusalem. They have known me for a long time. If they want to, they can tell you that I was a good Pharisee. And the Pharisees obey the laws of my tradition more carefully than any other group. Now I am on trial because I hope for the promise that God made to our ancestors. This is the promise that the twelve tribes of our people hope to receive as they serve God day and night. My king, they have accused me because I hope for this same promise! Why do any of you people think it is impossible for God to raise people from the dead?

“I, too, thought I ought to do many things against Jesus from Nazareth. And that is what I did in Jerusalem. The leading priests gave me the power to put many of God’s people in jail, and when they were being killed, I agreed it was a good thing. In every synagogue, I often punished them and tried to make them speak against Jesus. I was so angry against them I even went to other cities to find them and punish them.

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 Community: The Principle of Stability.

Conscious that a tree often uprooted and replanted will become stunted and weak, I commit myself to the Principle of Stability. As a follower of the Way of Community, I will avoid moving from church to church, group to group and ministry to ministry, but will learn to blossom where I am planted.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Stability.


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.)

Father God, who spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
And has in these days spoken to us by your Son,
Fill us with your Spirit,
That we may speak your Word,
Perform your will,
And fulfill the greater works that you promised,
Through Jesus Christ.  Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the embrace of the Father,
Be the comfort you desire.
The name of the Son,
Be the one on whom you rely.
The presence of the Spirit,
Be with you every hour.
The Three in One,
Be the focus of all your 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 8 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: 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 to 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 99

The Lord is king!
    Let the nations tremble!
He sits on his throne between the cherubim.
    Let the whole earth quake!
The Lord sits in majesty in Jerusalem,
    exalted above all the nations.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
    Your name is holy!
Mighty King, lover of justice,
    you have established fairness.
You have acted with justice
    and righteousness throughout Israel.
Exalt the Lord our God!
    Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests;
    Samuel also called on his name.
They cried to the Lord for help,
    and he answered them.
He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud,
    and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them.
Lord our God, you answered them.
    You were a forgiving God to them,
    but you punished them when they went wrong.

Exalt the Lord our God,
    and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,
    for the Lord our God is holy!

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

  • King of all, fill us today with knowledge of your will with spiritual wisdom and understanding. We want to live a life worthy of you, and to please you in every way. We pray that today we may produce results in every good work, that our heart may be strengthened with all power and courage to do your will.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Jireh for understanding in dealing with our finances, provision for every need and an abundance for every good work.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Rophé for insight in dealing with our flesh, healing for every sickness and strength for every endeavour.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Shalom for wisdom in dealing with the stress of life, calm in every storm and peace in every step.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

Family & Friends

  • Father of Jesus, we pray for those we know who do not know you. Give us opportunities to witness to them, grace to speak into their lives and words to bring them into your light.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • For those we have hurt with thoughtless comments, those we have injured through false words and those we have wounded through selfish actions.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • For those whose families are fracturing, whose homes are breaking and whose children are suffering. Restore and renew the Covenant, O God!
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church that she will be enriched with spiritual wisdom and discovery in knowing Christ; that her heart will be enlightened, that she will know the hope that is ours, the treasure of your heritage in the saints and your matchless power towards believers.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • May your people be established and grounded in love; fully able to understand the width, length, height and depth of the love of Christ, which exceeds all knowledge.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • May your people be filled with the complete measure of the fullness of God. Dwell in your people and take ownership of every part!
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

The World

  • God of the Nations we stand in the gap and pray for the world.  Today we pray for the people of Estonia, now existing as a democracy after years of oppression. We pray for the leaders of this nation, that we will see biblical values modelled by a wise and upright government.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray for this land to be re-evangelised with your gospel after an open door for many religious sects is open bringing false teaching. Would you raise up men and women with genuine faith who are able to awaken revival in this land.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • For the outreach to 50,000 university students. May seed fall onto good ground and a produce great harvest of souls.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • We pray for your bride as she seeks to bring glory to your name, would you increase her, renew her without spot or blemish and make her a lighthouse to bring many people to Christ.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…
  • Father, we pray for wisdom for decision makers at this time – leaders, doctors, scientists and politicians. Holy Spirit bring wisdom.
              – We wait for the Lord, our eternal help…

 


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

Acts 25:13-27

Paul Before King Agrippa

A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to visit Festus. They stayed there for some time, and Festus told the king about Paul’s case. Festus said, “There is a man that Felix left in prison. When I went to Jerusalem, the leading priests and the elders there made charges against him, asking me to sentence him to death. But I answered, ‘When a man is accused of a crime, Romans do not hand him over until he has been allowed to face his accusers and defend himself against their charges.’ So when these people came here to Caesarea for the trial, I did not waste time. The next day I sat on the judge’s seat and commanded that the man be brought in. They stood up and accused him, but not of any serious crime as I thought they would. The things they said were about their own religion and about a man named Jesus who died. But Paul said that he is still alive. Not knowing how to find out about these questions, I asked Paul, ‘Do you want to go to Jerusalem and be judged there?’ But he asked to be kept in Caesarea. He wants a decision from the emperor. So I ordered that he be held until I could send him to Caesar.”

Agrippa said to Festus, “I would also like to hear this man myself.”

Festus said, “Tomorrow you will hear him.”

The next day Agrippa and Bernice appeared with great show, acting like very important people. They went into the judgment room with the army leaders and the important men of Caesarea. Then Festus ordered the soldiers to bring Paul in. Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are gathered here with us, you see this man. All the people, here and in Jerusalem, have complained to me about him, shouting that he should not live any longer. When I judged him, I found no reason to order his death. But since he asked to be judged by Caesar, I decided to send him. But I have nothing definite to write the emperor about him. So I have brought him before all of you—especially you, King Agrippa. I hope you can question him and give me something to write. I think it is foolish to send a prisoner to Caesar without telling what charges are against him.”

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 Community: The Principle of Transparency.

Remembering that scripture encourages us to “confess your sins to one another that you might be healed”, I embrace the Principle of Transparency. As a follower of the Way of Community, I will be open with my church community about my personal struggles and failures, avoiding wearing a mask that would make me appear better than I really am.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Transparency.


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.)

Lord God, your Son left the riches of heaven,
And became poor for our sake.
When we prosper save us from pride,
When we are needy save us from despair,
That we may trust in you alone,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the love of the Father,
The tenderness of the Son,
And the presence of the Spirit,
Gladden your heart,
And bring peace to your soul,
This day and all days.  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.

Standard
Year V: Week 8 of Ordinary Time

Wednesday: 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 to 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 98

A psalm.

Sing a new song to the Lord,
    for he has done wonderful deeds.
His right hand has won a mighty victory;
    his holy arm has shown his saving power!
The Lord has announced his victory
    and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.
    The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
    break out in praise and sing for joy!
Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and melodious song,
with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.
    Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
    Let the earth and all living things join in.
Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
    Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
before the Lord,
    for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
    and the nations with fairness.

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, every morning your grace and glory captivates us! We thank you for a new day and give praise to you who caused light to shine out of darkness. Today by your grace we shall triumph in the works of your hands and we are anointed with fresh oil. Today we shall flourish as palm trees and grow like cedars in Lebanon!
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • Planted in the House of the Lord, we shall thrive in the courts of our God.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • Being fruitful in every season of life, full of health and vitality!
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…

Family & Friends

  • God, who puts the lonely into families and brings those who are surrounded by debt into prosperity, protect our families and loved ones today. As iron sharpens iron so may our relationships bring us closer to Christ; and as two are better than one, so may we be vigilant to watch over each other and work for each other’s good.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • When your Spirit came in times past, we read that whole households were saved. We pray for the damaged and broken families of our church and call out to you for salvation for all!
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For those in further education, that they may find good churches to support them and good friendships to sustain them.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your people. May they be instructed to know your ways, empowered to share their faith, enriched with every blessing, and absorbed with love for you. May your people be one, even as you are one with the Father.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For Pope Francis, his bishops, priests, ministers, and all those that serve your people…
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For our Orthodox brothers and sisters, tested by persecution and triumphant by faith…
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For the Churches of the Reformation, the Anglican Communion, and the free churches…
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…

The World

  • Mighty God, the whole world is in your hands and you have compassion on everyone.  We ask today for Eritrea, and thank and praise you for the growing house church movement born out of persecution. Would you continue to sustain your people as they live each day by faith.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • We pray for this country that is labelled of ‘Particular Concern’ due to it’s lack of religious freedom. Would you enable the release of all imprisoned and tortured believers and enable new laws which will bring an increase in religious freedom. We declare this with the eyes of faith.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • We pray for doors to re-open to Christian aid workers after being expelled from the country in 2002. Would you break down barriers and open the boarders once again for your love to be demonstrated through the lives of your missionaries.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • For the less reached people groups including the Tigre, the Jabarti and the Arab Rashiada. We pray that those who already have your love would have an opportunity to extend the hand of grace and for Christ to be preached whatever the cost.
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…
  • Jesus, it is easy to become nervous and panicked in life, yet you God are our refuge and our very present help in this time of trouble. We trust you Jesus!
              – The Lord is strong and mighty; we are confident in Him…


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

Acts 25:1-12

Paul Asks to See Caesar

Three days after Festus became governor, he went from Caesarea to Jerusalem. There the leading priests and the important leaders made charges against Paul before Festus. They asked Festus to do them a favour. They wanted him to send Paul back to Jerusalem, because they had a plan to kill him on the way. But Festus answered that Paul would be kept in Caesarea and that he himself was returning there soon. He said, “Some of your leaders should go with me. They can accuse the man there in Caesarea, if he has really done something wrong.”

Festus stayed in Jerusalem another eight or ten days and then went back to Caesarea. The next day he told the soldiers to bring Paul before him. Festus was seated on the judge’s seat when Paul came into the room. The people who had come from Jerusalem stood around him, making serious charges against him, which they could not prove. This is what Paul said to defend himself: “I have done nothing wrong against the law, against the Temple, or against Caesar.”

But Festus wanted to please the people. So he asked Paul, “Do you want to go to Jerusalem for me to judge you there on these charges?”

Paul said, “I am standing at Caesar’s judgment seat now, where I should be judged. I have done nothing wrong to them; you know this is true. If I have done something wrong and the law says I must die, I do not ask to be saved from death. But if these charges are not true, then no one can give me to them. I want Caesar to hear my case!”

Festus talked about this with his advisers. Then he said, “You have asked to see Caesar, so you will go to Caesar!”

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 Community: The Principle of Forgiveness.

Aware that without constant diligence all humans are prone to conflict, I make it my solemn commitment to walk in forgiveness with my brothers and sisters. As a follower of the Way of Community, I would rather be wronged than break the bond of love and rather turn the other cheek than retaliate.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Forgiveness.


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.)

Creator God, you made us all in your image:
May we discern you in all that we see,
And serve you in all that we do;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the love of God set your hearts free,
To live an abundant life overflowing in joy and compassion,
In the service of others. 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 8 of Ordinary Time

Tuesday: 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 to 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 97

Psalm 97

The Lord is king!
    Let the earth rejoice!
    Let the farthest coastlands be glad.
Dark clouds surround him.
    Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire spreads ahead of him
    and burns up all his foes.
His lightning flashes out across the world.
    The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
    every nation sees his glory.
Those who worship idols are disgraced—
    all who brag about their worthless gods—
    for every god must bow to him.
Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced,
    and all the towns of Judah are glad
    because of your justice, O Lord!
For you, O Lord, are supreme over all the earth;
    you are exalted far above all gods.

You who love the Lord, hate evil!
    He protects the lives of his godly people
    and rescues them from the power of the wicked.
Light shines on the godly,
    and joy on those whose hearts are right.
May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord
    and praise his holy name!

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

  • This is the day that the Lord has made – we shall rejoice and be glad in it! Give us open hearts to receive your grace, open minds to receive your Word and heavenly strength to renew our bodies.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Open our eyes to the lonely, the broken, the troubled and the outcasts that cross our path today.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Open our ears to your Spirit and all that we have to those in need, that we may be providers for the poor and ministers to those you want to reach.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, we ask for protection over our families and provision for every need. We place them in your hands and ask for your plans to be completed in their lives. May we be an example of faith, endurance, dedication, and grace to those we love.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Bring healing where life has torn us. Bring forgiveness where sin has broken us. Bring restoration where conflict has divided us.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Bring direction to our children, peace to our parents, faith to our friends and happiness to our families.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your people of every nationality. Forgive our historical separation, cultural divides and selfish ways that have so distorted the face of Christ to the world. Unite us in your love and complete us in your image.
               – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • For the churches in our area. Make your ministers shining lights, your churches sunlight in the darkness and people willing in the Day of your Power.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • For the work of Churches Together and other ecumenical bodies, that your people may be one…
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we present to you the world that you created and the people that you died for. Today we pray for Equatorial Guinea, a nation who’s flag means ‘unity’, ‘peace’ and ‘justice’. May these three values be placed back on the agenda within Government as they lead this country forward.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • For corruption and mismanagement of the great oil wealth to stop and that the people would be blessed from the abundance of oil in this land; closing the gap between rich and poor.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • For the 85% who proclaim Christianity but have yet to be born again.  We pray that they would respond to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • We pray that the traditional animistic practices which still taint the gospel message would be rooted out, and that your people would be taught how to truly live in you.
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • Holy Spirit you empower Gods people to do ‘even greater works’ to display Gods power. As we pray today for those who are sick with this virus outbreak may your power be seen in their healing!
              – Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!

 

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

Acts 24:1-27

Paul Is Accused

Five days later Ananias, the high priest, went to the city of Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They had come to make charges against Paul before the governor. Paul was called into the meeting, and Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, “Most Excellent Felix! Our people enjoy much peace because of you, and many wrong things in our country are being made right through your wise help. We accept these things always and in every place, and we are thankful for them. But not wanting to take any more of your time, I beg you to be kind and listen to our few words. We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up his people everywhere in the world. He is a leader of the Nazarene group. Also, he was trying to make the Temple unclean, but we stopped him. [And we wanted to judge him by our own law. But the officer Lysias came and used much force to take him from us. And Lysias commanded those who wanted to accuse Paul to come to you.] By asking him questions yourself, you can decide if all these things are true.” The others agreed and said that all of this was true.

When the governor made a sign for Paul to speak, Paul said, “Governor Felix, I know you have been a judge over this nation for a long time. So I am happy to defend myself before you. You can learn for yourself that I went to worship in Jerusalem only twelve days ago. Those who are accusing me did not find me arguing with anyone in the Temple or stirring up the people in the synagogues or in the city. They cannot prove the things they are saying against me now. But I will tell you this: I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way of Jesus. The others say that the Way of Jesus is not the right way. But I believe everything that is taught in the law of Moses and that is written in the books of the Prophets. I have the same hope in God that they have—the hope that all people, good and bad, will surely be raised from the dead. This is why I always try to do what I believe is right before God and people.

“After being away from Jerusalem for several years, I went back to bring money to my people and to offer sacrifices. I was doing this when they found me in the Temple. I had finished the cleansing ceremony and had not made any trouble; no people were gathering around me. But there were some people from Asia who should be here, standing before you. If I have really done anything wrong, they are the ones who should accuse me. Or ask these people here if they found any wrong in me when I stood before the council in Jerusalem. But I did shout one thing when I stood before them: ‘You are judging me today because I believe that people will rise from the dead!’”

Felix already understood much about the Way of Jesus. He stopped the trial and said, “When commander Lysias comes here, I will decide your case.” Felix told the officer to keep Paul guarded but to give him some freedom and to let his friends bring what he needed.

Paul Speaks to Felix and His Wife

After some days Felix came with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish, and asked for Paul to be brought to him. He listened to Paul talk about believing in Christ Jesus. But Felix became afraid when Paul spoke about living right, self-control, and the time when God will judge the world. He said, “Go away now. When I have more time, I will call for you.” At the same time Felix hoped that Paul would give him some money, so he often sent for Paul and talked with him.

But after two years, Felix was replaced by Porcius Festus as governor. But Felix had left Paul in prison to please the Jews.

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 Community: The Principle of Small Groups.

Mindful that the excitement of celebration must be balanced with the growth that can only happen in a smaller group, I commit myself to being part of a smaller midweek gathering. As a follower of the Way of Community, I dedicate myself to the support and encouragement of this group of like-minded pilgrims.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Small Groups.


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.)

Gracious Father,
By the obedience of Jesus
You brought salvation to our wayward world:
Draw us into harmony with your will,
That we may find all things restored in him,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the peace of God enfold us,
The love of God uphold us,
And the wisdom of God control us.  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.

Standard