Rejoice with Jerusalem!

REJOICE WITH JERUSALEM!

Isaiah 62:6 (NLT)

“Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord.”

Isaiah 66:10 (NLT)

“Rejoice with Jerusalem! Be glad with her, all you who love her and all you who mourn for her.”

Morning Prayer: Thursday, 29 June – Acts 9:20-31 ~ Good News for the Church

Morning Prayer

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

Opening Prayer

Draw me close, Holy Spirit, as I read the Scriptures and reflect on your Word. Let the word of faith be on my lips and in my heart, and let all other words slip away. May there be one voice I hear today — the voice of truth and grace. Amen.
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Reading: Acts 9:20-31 (NLT)

Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”

All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?”

Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot. So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.

When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.

So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown.

The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.
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Pray for the Persecuted Church:

+ Pray for those in the midst of persecution (Hebrews 13:3, NLT)

Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.

+ Pray for those who are doing the persecuting (Matthew 5:44, NLT)

Jesus: I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

+ Pray for the families and loved ones of those being persecuted (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

+ Pray that churches would rise up (Acts 4:29-30 NLT)

“Now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

+ Pray that world leaders would do all they can to fight this persecution (Psalm 2:10-11 NLT)

Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.

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“I Love Thy Kingdom Lord” – Grace Community Church – Sun Valley, California


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Concluding Prayer – Psalm 140:1-2, 12-13 (NLT)

O Lord, rescue me from evil people. Protect me from those who are violent, those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long.
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I know the Lord will help those they persecute; he will give justice to the poor. Surely righteous people are praising your name; the godly will live in your presence.
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+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Christ the King Sunday, 20 Nov: 2 Samuel 5:1-3; Psalm 122:1-5; Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43 ~ the victory of love

Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

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

Today we worship Christ the King – wounded and resurrected – who promises us a place in Paradise.

Opening Prayer:

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, You gave us Your Son, the beloved One who was rejected, the Savior who appeared defeated. Yet the mystery of His kingship illumines our lives. Show us in His death the victory that crowns the ages, and in His broken body the love that unites heaven and earth. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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“Come, Christians, Join to Sing” – the London Philharmonic Orchestra


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A Reading from the Old Testament: 2 Samuel 5:1-3 (NLT)
[The choosing of David as King of Israel in ancient times.]

Then all the tribes of Israel went to David at Hebron and told him, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, when Saul was our king, you were the one who really led the forces of Israel. And the Lord told you, ‘You will be the shepherd of my people Israel. You will be Israel’s leader.’”

So there at Hebron, King David made a covenant before the Lord with all the elders of Israel. And they anointed him king of Israel.
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 122:1-5 (NLT)

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” And now here we are, standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is a well-built city; its seamless walls cannot be breached. All the tribes of Israel—the Lord’s people—make their pilgrimage here. They come to give thanks to the name of the Lord, as the law requires of Israel. Here stand the thrones where judgment is given, the thrones of the dynasty of David.
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“Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem”


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A Reading from the Letters: Colossians 1:12-20 (NLT)
[Jesus is given all the titles a king would have.]

king-jesus01

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.

He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.

He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.

He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body.

He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself.

He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 23:35-43 (NLT)
[On the cross, Jesus promises heaven to the good thief.]

The Good Thief on the Cross Jacopo Bassano (late 1500’s)
The Good Thief on the Cross
Jacopo Bassano (late 1500’s)

The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
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“Jesus: Remember me” – Taize


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Intercessory Prayer:

Sovereign God: In Jesus Christ, You have won for us the victory of love. Hear us now as we seek Your help to live and love as Your Kingdom people.

+ For church leaders everywhere, that they may be true servants after the example of Christ our King….  Lord, hear us.
+ For the Jewish people, gathered in Jerusalem and scattered abroad, that they may continue to grow in the love of Your name….  Lord, hear us.
+ For world leaders, that they may set aside their own self-interest and work for the good of all….  Lord, hear us.
+ For migrants and refugees of good will, that they may find compassion and peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who serve our communities, that they may not give in to discouragement…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people who suffer in mind or body, that the King of Calvary may be their strength…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who have died in Christ, that they, with the good thief, may find a place in Paradise already prepared for them…. Lord, hear us.

Lord God, King of the universe, You are the source of Your people’s joy! Hear our prayers through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“Ride On, King Jesus” – Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir


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Benediction:

To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Timothy 1:17
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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Prayer: 13 Aug – Philippians 2:14-15 ~ shine like bright lights

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

Opening Sentence

Give your light, Lord, to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Morning Reading: Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT)

shining-like-stars-22-638

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

Prayer

Lord God, source and origin of our salvation, make our lives here on earth so proclaim your glory that we may praise you without ceasing 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.

“Let There Be Light” – The City Harmonic

Blessing

The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

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

Morning Prayer: 06 Aug – Revelation 21:10,23 ~ show me your glory

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

The Transfiguration of the Lord

Opening Sentence

Today Jesus Christ was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as snow.

Today Jesus Christ was transfigured and the voice of the Father bore witness to him.

The Law was given by Moses, prophecy by Elijah: they were seen in majesty, shining with the Lord on the mountain.

Morning Reading: Revelation 21:10,23 (NLT)

glory of God 1

So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
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And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you are with God the Father and all power is given to you, in heaven and on earth. Help me to work well today: transfigure my heart with your presence – that I may see as you see.

+ Lord: I don’t always feel the joy and power of your presence; when I am weak and tired help me to look forward to the glory that is to come.
+ Lord: Remember all who live in depression and distress; bring to them new vision, and the hope of the gospel.
+ Lord: I praise you and thank you for the greatness of your glory; be with me as I set out to build up your new creation.

Father, at the Transfiguration in glory of your Only-Begotten Son, you confirmed the mysteries of faith by the witness to Jesus of the prophets Moses and Elijah. You foreshadowed there what I shall be when you bring my sonship to its perfection. Grant that by listening to the voice of Jesus I may become heirs with him, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

“Show Me Your Glory” – Jesus Culture/Kim Walker Smith

Blessing

The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

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