Morning Prayer: Friday, 30 June – Acts 9:32-43 ~ Good News for Lydda & Joppa

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 9:32-43 (NLT)

Meanwhile, Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda. There he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly. Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.

There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas. She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. About this time she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room. But the believers had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, “Please come as soon as possible!”

So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Get up, Tabitha.” And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive.

The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord. And Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, living with Simon, a tanner of hides.
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Reflection and Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ:

You bring Good News to the poor; you release the captives and set free the oppressed; you bring sight to the blind; you announce the coming of the kingdom of God.

+ May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

You call us to repentance – a turning, or returning, to God – and faith in the Good News of your kingdom’s presence here among us now.

+ May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

You sent out the twelve apostles to bring the Good News of the kingdom; to heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons.

+ May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

You sent out the seventy-two other disciples with kingdom authority to heal the sick, set free the demonized in your name.

+ May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

You give every believer the same kingdom authority, through the power of your Spirit at work within us, to bring the Good News of the kingdom into our homes, into our families, into our communities and into our workplaces.

+ May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for this amazing privilege and opportunity to bring the Good News of the kingdom to those around us, and to play our part in your work. Fill us afresh with your Spirit today that what we say and do honor may you to the glory of our Father in heaven. Amen.
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“Here As In Heaven” – Elevation Worship


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Concluding Prayer – Psalm 145:1, 4-7, 13, 21 (NLT)

I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever.
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Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.
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For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.
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I will praise the Lord, and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever.
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+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: 04 March – Mark 12:28-34 ~ love God, love people

Friday of the Third Week of Lent

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

Opening Sentence

Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.
(Isaiah 55:6)

Morning Reading: Mark 12:28-34 (NLT)

One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

The Good Samaritan Théodule-Augustin Ribot, before 1870  Musée des Beaux-Arts de Pau Pau, Aquitaine, France
The Good Samaritan
Théodule-Augustin Ribot, before 1870
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Pau
Pau, Aquitaine, France

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Morning Prayer

Thank you Lord Jesus: you died on the cross that I might live. Revive my life in you today.

+ You have taught me by your life and renewed me by your passion; do not allow me to grow used to sin.
+ You call on me to care for the poor and hungry; may I deny myself today to help my brothers and sisters in their need.
+ I accept from your hands this day of Lent; may I dedicate it to you by acts of love.
+ End the rebellion within my heart; make me generous and willing to share.

Lord God, open my heart to your grace. Restrain me from all human waywardness and keep me faithful to your commandments. May I love you with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength; and may I love my neighbor as myself. Through my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Lord Reign In Me” – Brenton Brown

There are many people | Who will say they’re Christians | And they live like Christians on the Sabbath day | But come Monday morning, til the coming Sunday | They will fight their neighbor all along the way

Oh you don’t love God, if you don’t love your neighbor | If you gossip about him, if you never have mercy | If he gets into trouble, and you don’t try to help him | Then you don’t love your neighbor, and you don’t love God

In the Holy Bible, in the Book of Matthew | Read the 18th chapter in the 21st verse | Jesus plainly tells us that we must have mercy | There’s a special warning in the 35th verse

There’s a God almighty, and you’ve got to love him | If you want salvation and a home on high | If you say you love him while you hate your neighbor | Then you don’t have religion, you just told a lie

Closing Sentence

Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. (Isaiah 55:7)

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

Morning Prayer: 29 January – Mark 4:26-34 ~ a work in progress

Friday of Third Week in Ordinary Time

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

Opening Sentence

Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.

Morning Reading: Mark 4:26-34 (NLT)

Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”

Trinity Church, Wall St
Trinity Church, Wall St

Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”

Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.

Morning Prayer

Sovereign God: by your grace, you have sown your Kingdom seeds in my life – may they produce a bountiful harvest in me.

+ Renew my mind – that I may be transformed into the image of Christ.
+ Live in me – that I may display your good and perfect will for me.
+ Watch over me – that your Word and Spirit may finish what you have begun in me.
+ Humble me – that I may be content with small victories until you come again in glory.

Almighty Father, let your light so penetrate my mind that, living by your Word and Spirit, I may always follow you, my leader and guide. Through my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

“Take Heart My Friend” – Fernando Ortega

Blessing

“I am certain that God, who began the good work within us, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6)

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

Morning Prayer: 14 May – Acts 1:1-11; Ephesians 1:17-23; Mark 16:15-20 ~ prelude to power

The Ascension of the Lord

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

Opening sentence and prayer:

You, Christ, are the king of glory.
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Lord Jesus, on this day You promised the Holy Spirit to the apostles, for the spreading of Your gospel to the ends of the earth – strengthen us by the power of the Spirit in bearing witness before the world. Fill us with a holy joy; teach us how to thank You with reverence and love on account of the ascension of Christ Your Son. You have raised us up with Him: where He, the head, has preceded us in glory, there we, the body, are called in hope. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Reading from Acts: Acts 1:1-11 (NLT)

In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

power button wings black

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
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A Reading from the Letters: Ephesians 1:17-23 (NLT)

youth_praying

I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called — his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else — not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
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Go and teach all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world. (Matthew 28:19-20)
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A Reading from the Gospels: Mark 16:15-20 (NLT)

And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”

When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.
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Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing:

May the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

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

Morning Prayer: 06 May – Acts 15:1-6; John 15:1-8 ~ circumspection

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

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

Opening sentence and prayer:

In You, Lord, is the source of life. Alleluia.
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Christ our Savior, You have overcome death to give us joy and have risen to lift us to the heights – awaken our hearts and make us holy this day by the gift of the Spirit. Angels in heaven praise You, Your people on earth adore You – in this Easter season let us worship You in spirit and in truth. Lord Jesus, look with kindness on Your people who hope for the resurrection – have mercy on us today and keep us from all evil. Christ, our life, we look forward to the day of Your coming; let us appear with you and share in your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

A Reading from Acts: Acts 14:19-28 (NLT)

Governing body 1st Century
Governing body 1st Century

While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them, arguing vehemently. Finally, the church decided to send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent the delegates to Jerusalem, and they stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria to visit the believers. They told them — much to everyone’s joy — that the Gentiles, too, were being converted.

When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.”

So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue.
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Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord; whoever remains in me will bear much fruit. (John 15:4-5)
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 15:1-8 (NLT)

pruning a vine

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
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Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing:

May the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

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