Morning Prayer: Tue, 13 Dec – Psalm 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23; Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13; Matthew 21:28-32 ~ unashamed and unafraid

Tuesday in the Third Week of Advent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)

+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
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Reading: Psalm 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23 (NLT)

I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
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In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
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The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
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Reading: Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13 (NLT)

What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem, the city of violence and crime! No one can tell it anything; it refuses all correction. It does not trust in the Lord or draw near to its God.
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“Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the Lord together. My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia will come to present their offerings. On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed, for you will no longer be rebels against me. I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you. There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain. Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will never tell lies or deceive one another. They will eat and sleep in safety, and no one will make them afraid.”
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Reading: Matthew 21:28-32 (NLT)

“But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.

“Which of the two obeyed his father?”

They replied, “The first.”

Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.
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Prayer:

Sovereign God, may your Kingdom come! It is time for us to wake from our sleep: the day of our salvation is near.

+ Help us to show our repentance by a new way of living.
+ Prepare us for the coming of your Word by opening our hearts to receive him.
+ Help us to overcome our pride, and raise us from the depths of our weakness.
+ Throw down the walls of hatred between nations; clear the way for those who work for peace.

Sovereign God, may your kingdom come! On earth as it is in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen!
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“Christ is Here (Through the Prophets)” – New Scottish Hymns Band


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Blessing

Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell among us and be our peace today.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Mon, 12 Dec – Psalm 24:4-9; Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17; Matthew 21:23-27 ~ open up

Monday in the Third Week of Advent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)

+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
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Reading: Psalm 24:4-9 (NLT)

Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.

Eastern Gate City Walls of Jerusalem
Eastern Gate
City Walls of Jerusalem

Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle.

Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.
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Reading: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17 (NLT)

Then the Spirit of God came upon him, and this is the message he delivered:

“This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open:

How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob; how lovely are your homes, O Israel! They spread before me like palm groves, like gardens by the riverside. They are like tall trees planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. Water will flow from their buckets; their offspring have all they need. Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted.

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This is the message Balaam delivered: “This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open:

I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the heads of Moab’s people, cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth.

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Reading: Matthew 21:23-27 (NLT)

When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”

“I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,” Jesus replied.  “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”

They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask us why we didn’t believe John. But if we say it was merely human, we’ll be mobbed because the people believe John was a prophet.” So they finally replied, “We don’t know.”

And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”
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Prayer:

Come, Lord Jesus – as we take up again our daily work, bless us.

+ You are the Daystar, powerfully dispelling our darkness: awaken our faith from sleep.
+ Reveal your presence in the world through our lives.
+ Create a new world, where justice and peace may find a home.
+ End the long night of our pride, and make us humble of heart.

In your love, Father, listen to our prayer: may your Son at his coming dispel by his grace all darkness in our hearts, and may his justice and peace reign forever. Amen.
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“Daystar Carol 2014 Odun”


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Blessing

Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell among us and be our peace today.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Sat, 10 Dec – Psalm 80:2- 3, 15-16, 18-19; Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11; Matthew 17:9-13 ~ come to rescue us

Saturday in the Second Week of Advent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)

+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
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Reading: Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19 (NLT)

Show us your mighty power. Come to rescue us! Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.
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Take care of this grapevine that you yourself have planted, this son you have raised for yourself. For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies. May they perish at the sight of your frown.
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Then we will never abandon you again. Revive us so we can call on your name once more. Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.
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Reading: Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11 (RSVCE)

Monastery of St Catherine, Icon: The Prophet Elijah.
Monastery of St Catherine, Icon: The Prophet Elijah.

Then the prophet Eli′jah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch. He brought a famine upon them, and by his zeal he made them few in number. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, and also three times brought down fire. How glorious you were, O Eli′jah, in your wondrous deeds! And who has the right to boast which you have?
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You who were taken up by a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with horses of fire; you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written, to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury, to turn the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.

Blessed are those who saw you, and those who have been adorned in love; for we also shall surely live.
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Reading: Matthew 17:9-13 (NLT)

The icon of John the Baptist from Assumption Cathedral of the Ryazan Kremlin. XVI century
The icon of John the Baptist from Assumption Cathedral of the Ryazan Kremlin. XVI century

As they went back down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Then his disciples asked him, “Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?”

Jesus replied, “Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, but he wasn’t recognized, and they chose to abuse him. And in the same way they will also make the Son of Man suffer.” Then the disciples realized he was talking about John the Baptist.
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Prayer:

Mighty God: As now we live in faith and hope, prepare us to see your face.

Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!

+ We await your return: Come, Jesus, our Saviour!
+ We await your wisdom and understanding: Come, Jesus, our Saviour!
+ We await your counsel and power: Come, Jesus, our Saviour!
+ We await your revelation of the Father: Come, Jesus, our Saviour!

Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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“Days of Elijah” – Paul Wilbur

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Blessing

Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell among us and be my peace today.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Fri, 09 Dec – Psalm 1:1-6; Isaiah 48:17-19; Matthew 11:16-19 ~ listen and prosper

Friday in the Second Week of Advent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)

+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
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Reading: Psalm 1:1-6 (NLT)

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Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
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Reading: Isaiah 48:17-19 (NLT)

This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea. Your descendants would have been like the sands along the seashore—too many to count! There would have been no need for your destruction, or for cutting off your family name.”

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Reading: Matthew 11:16-19 (NLT)

“To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,

‘We played wedding songs, and you didn’t dance, so we played funeral songs, and you didn’t mourn.’

For John didn’t spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.”
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Prayer:

Heavenly Father:

+ You have taught me what is good
+ You have led, me along the paths to follow
+ You have given me a love for Your Word
+ You have blessed my life that I may bless others

In this season of Advent: fill me with Your Spirit

+ That I may enter into the joy of the season
+ That I may hear and obey Your Word to me
+ That I may live faithfully in this age
+ That I may be prepared for the age to come

Lord Jesus Christ: be glorified in me and, through me, in others. Amen.
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“Song on Psalm 1” – Sons of Korah


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Blessing

Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell among us and be my peace today.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Thu, 08 Dec – Psalm 98:1-4; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38 ~ God’s plan unfolds

Thursday in the Second Week of Advent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)

+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
__________

Reading: Psalm 98:1-4 (NLT)

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!
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Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12 (NLT)

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. downloadGod decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.
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Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.
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Reading: Luke 1:26-38 (NLT)

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

“Blessed Art Thou Among Women,” By Walter Rane
“Blessed Art Thou Among Women,” By Walter Rane

Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.”

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
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Prayer:

All praise to you, Lord God, for you have done marvelous deeds.

+ You have won for us a mighty victory in Christ Jesus
+ You have shown us your saving power in Christ Jesus
+ You have revealed to us your righteousness in Christ Jesus
+ You have fulfilled your promise of love and faithfulness to us in Christ Jesus

Blessed are you, Mary, favored servant of God.

+ You overcame fear and confusion through faithful obedience
+ You believed that nothing is impossible with God
+ You gave birth to Jesus, Son of the Most High
+ You gave birth to Jesus, whose Kingdom is forever

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

+ You have united us with Christ Jesus and blessed us with every spiritual blessing
+ You have loved us and chosen us in Christ Jesus to be holy and faultless
+ You have adopted us into your family through Christ Jesus
+ You have have poured out your grace on us through Christ Jesus

Glory to you, Lord God, we are united with Christ Jesus according to you purpose and plan. Jesus is ours and we are his! Amen.
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“Union with Christ “ – New Scottish Hymns Band


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Blessing

Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell among us and be my peace today.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!