Morning Prayer on Wednesday
Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Ember Day

Preparation

O Lord, open our lips
Alland our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

One or more of the following is said or sung:
a prayer of thanksgiving (page 109),
a suitable hymn,
or A Song of God’s Glorious Name

1O Lord our governor,
how glorious is your name in all the world!

2Your majesty above the heavens is praised
out of the mouths of babes at the breast.

3You have founded a stronghold against your foes,
that you might still the enemy and the avenger.

4When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have ordained,

5What are mortals, that you should be mindful of them;
mere human beings, that you should seek them out?

6You have made them little lower than the angels
and crown them with glory and honour.

7You have given them dominion over the works of your hands
and put all things under their feet,

8All sheep and oxen,
even the wild beasts of the field,

9The birds of the air, the fish of the sea
and whatsoever moves in the paths of the sea.

10O Lord our governor,
how glorious is your name in all the world!

Psalm 8

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

This opening prayer may be said

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Word of God

Psalmody

The appointed psalmody is said.

Psalm 119.1-32

Refrain: Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.

1 Blessed are those whose way is pure, 
who walk in the law of the Lord.

2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies 
and seek him with their whole heart,

3 Those who do no wickedness, 
but walk in his ways.

4 You, O Lord, have charged 
that we should diligently keep your commandments. R

5 O that my ways were made so direct 
that I might keep your statutes.

6 Then should I not be put to shame, 
because I have regard for all your commandments.

7 I will thank you with an unfeigned heart, 
when I have learned your righteous judgements.

8 I will keep your statutes; 
O forsake me not utterly. R

9 How shall young people cleanse their way 
to keep themselves according to your word?

10 With my whole heart have I sought you; 
O let me not go astray from your commandments.

11 Your words have I hidden within my heart, 
that I should not sin against you.

12 Blessed are you, O Lord; 
O teach me your statutes. R

13 With my lips have I been telling 
of all the judgements of your mouth.

14 I have taken greater delight in the way of your testimonies 
than in all manner of riches.

15 I will meditate on your commandments 
and contemplate your ways.

16 My delight shall be in your statutes 
and I will not forget your word. R

17 O do good to your servant that I may live, 
and so shall I keep your word.

18 Open my eyes, that I may see 
the wonders of your law.

19 I am a stranger upon earth; 
hide not your commandments from me.

20 My soul is consumed at all times 
with fervent longing for your judgements. R

21 You have rebuked the arrogant; 
cursed are those who stray from your commandments.

22 Turn from me shame and rebuke, 
for I have kept your testimonies.

23 Rulers also sit and speak against me, 
but your servant meditates on your statutes.

24 For your testimonies are my delight; 
they are my faithful counsellors. R

25 My soul cleaves to the dust; 
O give me life according to your word.

26 I have acknowledged my ways and you have answered me; 
O teach me your statutes.

27 Make me understand the way of your commandments, 
and so shall I meditate on your wondrous works.

28 My soul melts away in tears of sorrow; 
raise me up according to your word. R

29 Take from me the way of falsehood; 
be gracious to me through your law.

30 I have chosen the way of truth 
and your judgements have I laid before me.

31 I hold fast to your testimonies; 
O Lord, let me not be put to shame.

32 I will run the way of your commandments, 
when you have set my heart at liberty.

Refrain: Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.

Faithful God,
let your word be the treasure of our hearts,
that we may delight in your truth
and walk in the glorious liberty of your Son Jesus Christ.

Each psalm or group of psalms may end with

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

If there are two Scripture readings, the first may be read here, or both may be read after the canticle.

1 Kings 3

Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt; he took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David, until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. The people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.

Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David; only, he sacrificed and offered incense at the high places. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the principal high place; Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt-offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, ‘Ask what I should give you.’ And Solomon said, ‘You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart towards you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?’

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honour all your life; no other king shall compare with you. If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your life.’

Then Solomon awoke; it had been a dream. He came to Jerusalem, where he stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. He offered up burnt-offerings and offerings of well-being, and provided a feast for all his servants.

Later, two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. One woman said, ‘Please, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were together; there was no one else with us in the house, only the two of us were in the house. Then this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your servant slept. She laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, I saw that he was dead; but when I looked at him closely in the morning, clearly it was not the son I had borne.’ But the other woman said, ‘No, the living son is mine, and the dead son is yours.’ The first said, ‘No, the dead son is yours, and the living son is mine.’ So they argued before the king.

Then the king said, ‘One says, “This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead”; while the other says, “Not so! Your son is dead, and my son is the living one.” So the king said, ‘Bring me a sword’, and they brought a sword before the king. The king said, ‘Divide the living boy in two; then give half to one, and half to the other.’ But the woman whose son was alive said to the king—because compassion for her son burned within her—‘Please, my lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him!’ The other said, ‘It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it.’ Then the king responded: ‘Give the first woman the living boy; do not kill him. She is his mother.’ All Israel heard of the judgement that the king had rendered; and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him, to execute justice.

Canticle

A Song of the Word of the Lord, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 35 (page 586), may be said

Refrain:

AllReturn to the Lord, who will have mercy,
to our God, who will richly pardon. Alleluia.

1Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;

2Let the wicked abandon their ways,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;

3Return to the Lord, who will have mercy;
to our God, who will richly pardon.

4‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,’ says the Lord.

5‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

6‘As the rain and the snow come down from above,
and return not again but water the earth,

7‘Bringing forth life and giving growth,
seed for sowing and bread to eat,

8‘So is my word that goes forth from my mouth;
it will not return to me fruitless,

9‘But it will accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the task I gave it.’

Isaiah 55.6-11

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

AllReturn to the Lord, who will have mercy,
to our God, who will richly pardon. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

The reading(s) may be followed by a time of silence.

Acts 14.8-end

In Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet and had never walked, for he had been crippled from birth. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. And Paul, looking at him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said in a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on your feet.’ And the man sprang up and began to walk. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in human form!’ Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice. When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, ‘Friends, why are you doing this? We are mortals just like you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all the nations to follow their own ways; yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good—giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.’ Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.

But Jews came there from Antioch and Iconium and won over the crowds. Then they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples surrounded him, he got up and went into the city. The next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, then on to Iconium and Antioch. There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, ‘It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.’ And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.

Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had completed. When they arrived, they called the church together and related all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith for the Gentiles. And they stayed there with the disciples for some time.

A suitable song or chant, or a responsory in this or another form, may follow

Lord, you will guide me with your counsel
and afterwards receive me with glory.
AllLord, you will guide me with your counsel
and afterwards receive me with glory.

For I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
AllAnd afterwards receive me with glory.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllLord, you will guide me with your counsel
and afterwards receive me with glory.

from Psalm 73

Gospel Canticle

The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah) is normally said,
or A Song of Redemption (page 620) may be said

Refrain:

AllYou show mercy to our ancestors,
and remember your holy covenant.

1Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,
who has come to his people and set them free.

2He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,
born of the house of his servant David.

3Through his holy prophets God promised of old
to save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all that hate us,

4To show mercy to our ancestors,
and to remember his holy covenant.

5This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

6Free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

7And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

8To give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of all their sins.

9In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

10To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Luke 1.68-79

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Refrain:

AllYou show mercy to our ancestors,
and remember your holy covenant.

Prayers

Intercessions are offered
for the day and its tasks
for the world and its needs
for the Church and her life

The cycle on pages 364–365 and the prayer on page 377 may be used.

These responses may be used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

(or)

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day is said

Almighty God,
whose only Son has opened for us
a new and living way into your presence:
give us pure hearts and steadfast wills
to worship you in spirit and in truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Lord’s Prayer is said

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

AllOur Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

AllOur Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy 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 thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Conclusion

The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil,
and keep us in eternal life.
AllAmen.

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
AllThanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.