Morning Services - September 2014

The pattern for daily services

O God, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

I pray to you, O God:
you hear my voice in the morning;

Early in the day I offer my prayer
and wait for your answer.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may we reflect the light of your presence to all whom we will meet this day,
Amen. (Note 1)

A Psalm (leader and congregation reading alternate verses)(note 2)

A Bible reading

Short reflection

Hymn (Note 3)

Prayers and Lord's Prayer

Benediction

Note 1: This short introduction above was used at all sea-day services. It helped provide a measure of continuity day by day.

Note 2: Hymn & Psalms and Singing the Faith (Methodist hymn books)and doubtless other books as well have many of the Psalms and some canticles set out in this way. Usually, only part of a psalm was read.

Note 3: I have given only the first line of hymns, partly because of space, and partly because some require a copyright licence to reproduce them. More details of the hymns used are here.

Readings, hymns and prayers for sea-day morning services in September 2014.
Prayers are linked to these readings but could be used in other settings.

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Tuesday 2 September119:1-8Luke 4:16-30Lord, your Church on earth is seekingHugh SherlockAbbot's Leigh 8.7.8.7.D
Prayer
We thank you, God, for the sheer variety of people around us - from all parts of our country, all with different stories. We come from different churches, some evangelical, some catholic, some solidly middle of the road. But all of us are at different stages on the journey of faith, and sometimes, almost inevitably, we get anxious about the church we belong to. So many suggestions that the church is dwindling, congregations declining, budgets getting squeezed, ecumenical partnerships being entered upon because of the economics of survival, rather than because of our search for unity. Help us to maintain our confidence not in our churches, but in you who are the Lord of the Church. And help us not to judge our fellow Christians by the size of their congregation, their success rating, or even their popularity, because the only thing that matters is our faithfulness to our calling - our mission to proclaim by life and lip the love of God. So keep us faithful to you, as you are most assuredly faithful to us.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
Amen. God, hear our prayer.

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Wednesday 3 September119:9-16Luke 4:38-44Wounded world that cries for healingShirley Erena MurrayAustria 8.7.8.7.D
Prayer
God, you gave us life, breathed your spirit into us at our birth, nurtured us and brought us into the human family. Our spirits are awakened by love, enthused by truth, and affronted by evil. You call us to live life to its full, and to enjoy the rich world you have entrusted to our care.
So we look around and see so much that diminishes our human spirit, denies the holiness of life, dismisses the sacred moments when heaven and earth meet. We want to shout against injustice, against violence, against hatred, against those who seek only their own advancement regardless of the wellbeing of others.
We pray for shalom, that desire for all that is good and life-enhancing amongst all your people. We pray for a deeper understanding of what it means to be human, to accept others regardless of race, religion or history.
We pray for a genuine acceptance of others who walk the way of Jesus, whether or not they realise that they do. Give us, we pray, a wider view of your purposes that can transcend our limited understanding, Give us, we pray, a bigger vision of how things could be, and the belief that good may prevail over evil.
And lastly, we hold in our minds and hearts all those millions whose stories we read and hear - refugees seeking a place to call home, modern-day slaves who cry for freedom, and people whose lives are governed by poverty of all kinds. In this wounded world, we pray for healing.
In the name of Jesus we pray,
Amen.

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Thursday 4 September119:17-24Luke 5:1-11Lord, when you singled out the ThreeFred Pratt GreenCornwall 8.8.6.D
Prayer
Gracious God, we can look back on so many ways in which you have revealed yourself to us, perhaps over many years of gradual and growing awareness. We think today of people who are being touched by your message - whether through evangelism, or through the ministry of churches or ministers, or through the social outreach to help those in particular need. Help us, in all our friendships, whether long-established or even just on this cruise, always to reflect the love and compassion which drew the crowds to Jesus and made them give up everything to follow him. And help us to acknowledge Jesus not only as our teacher and guide, but also as the Lord of our lives.
In his name we pray,
Amen.

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Friday 5 September119:25-32Luke 5:33-39Church of the living ChristShirley Erena MurrayLittle Cornard 66 66 88
Prayer
Gracious God, draw near to us as we draw near to you. As we live through each day, guide us along the right way as followers of Jesus. When our traditions become mere habit, help us to see beyond them to a new way forward. When our understanding of your way has become foggy, help us to see more clearly. When we are tempted to think that faith in you is only about our church and our beliefs, help us to widen our gaze to see the world which you created and which you love. Help us, we pray, to take those ancient words of Isaiah to heart, and to see our ministry as followers of Jesus, in which a concern and a compassion for the poor guides all our actions.
In his name we pray:
Amen

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Saturday 6 September119:33-40Luke 6:1-5Call us from our ordered livesMary K BeallLucerna Laudoniae 77 77 77
Prayer
Gracious God, sometimes it is so hard to distinguish between things that are important and valuable, and things that are unimportant and trivial. We let ourselves get sidetracked and distracted by so many things, and we find ourselves going into auto mode. Help us, in all the busyness of our lives, to remember and focus upon things that matter - not to forsake all that is light-hearted and fun, but not to ignore the meaning of life and of community. And help us also to be open to fresh expressions of our faith, both in our worship and also in those beliefs that form the foundations of our lives.
In the name of Jesus we pray,
Amen

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Monday 8 September119:41-48Luke 6:12-19Christ who called disciples to himTimothy Dudley-SmithGrafton 87 87 87
Prayer
Gracious God, we thank you for the faith that we have, the beliefs about you that form the foundation of what we believe about everything else. But sometimes our faith and our beliefs are shaken by questions, by events, by other understandings that we find difficult. Give us the courage to face questions and avoid easy answers. Help us to grow in confidence so that we can offer ideas and insights that spring from our belief and our commitment to follow in the way of Jesus.
In his name we pray,
Amen

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Monday 15 September119:57-64Luke 6:39-45Let us build a house where love can dwellMarty HaughenTwo Oaks
Prayer
Gracious God, we see your hand at work in so many people - aid workers in places of war, people digging wells in Africa, sailors rescuing immigrants in over-crowded boats, young people taking time out to teach in village schools in far-off lands - so many unexpected people doing some compassionate act for people completely unknown. It is humbling for us to realise that your work of healing and restoring goes on and on, often by people who hardly know your name. So help us, we pray, to be more open to opportunities that come our way, where we can put into practice the compassion, love and concern that we have learned from you, our gracious master.
In the name of Jesus we pray,
Amen

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Wednesday 24 September119:65-72Luke 9:1-6What is our mission in this placeChristopher IdleVox Dilecti DCM
Prayer
Gracious God, all around us are signs of human misery, of disunity and conflict, not just on the world stage but closer to home. Forgive us our natural inclination to distrust one another, find fault even when there is none, to look on the dark side of life. Help us to see your light in our darkness, to look for sign of your kingdom as we move around in your world. Help us, too, to understand better our role in the divine drama, to work at our performance so that together we might bring your kingdom a little nearer to people who don't know of it. And help us to bring shalom into the lives of those around us, that there may be wholeness and healing and life in all its fullness.
In the name of Jesus we pray,
Amen.

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Thursday 25 September119:73-80Luke 9:10-17Come, let us live by loveMichael ForsterDiademata DSM
Prayer
Gracious God, we know only too well that your faithfulness towards us is unchanging and generous, beyond anything we can deserve by merit. We know also that it is so easy to believe this in our heads, to know the theory (as it were) of our small faith and your great love. So help us, we pray, to put the theory into practice, and to live our lives as if all we believe were actually true, and to believe that in your great love, all we need will be supplied. And help us, too, to examine honestly what we think we really do need, and to be willing to think again about our priorities, to distinguish more clearly between what we need and what we'd like, so that we might follow more faithfully in the way of Jesus.
In his name we pray,
Amen

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Saturday 27 September119:81-88Luke 9:37-43We have come at Christ's own biddingCarl P DawBethany 87 87 D
Prayer
Gracious God, when we are tempted to focus only on the security and comfort of faith, remind us of this story, in which failure followed the most intense experience of your glory. Remind us that we are those who follow the servant Christ, whose faith and trust in you led him to give up everything for your kingdom of love, justice and peace. Give us, we pray, the courage to believe that you can make a difference in our untidy and anxious world, and help us to discover our part in that vision. Bless and encourage us on Mondays, when the worries of the week ahead seem to press us down. Walk with us as we tread our way through life, following as best we can the way of Jesus.
In his name we pray.
Amen

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Monday 29 September119:89-96Luke 9:51-62Will you come and follow meJohn Bell & Graham MauleKelvingrove
Prayer
Gracious God, we are thankful for all that we have learned and shared as members of your Church, for the folk we hold dear and those we hold in our prayers. Help us remember that your church is a community that seeks to follow your leading, but is constrained by all kinds of things that limit our possibilities. So help us to see life as a pilgrimage - a journey of faith in which we can set our hands to your work, can learn and share with others along the way, and can fix our eyes on you, the God who walks in our midst and leads us ever onwards towards your kingdom. And we pray for our churches back home, for the people and their pastors, that in these days when much is said of declining churches, we may retain our vision of how things might be, if we follow God into the future trying not to look back.
In the name of Jesus we pray,
Amen

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Tuesday 30 September119:97-104Luke 10:1-12Go forth and tell!James E SeddonGo Forth 10 10 10 10
Prayer
Gracious God, be with us as we go about our everyday lives, trying to live according to our faith in you and following the way of Jesus. We are surrounded by people who do not know the story we tell, and many are people we might describe as "good." Help us remember that it is not for us to judge others, but to demonstrate the love and compassion that we see in Jesus. Help us to be faithful to you by the way we live and speak, and by the way we relate to other people.

Words of St Theresa of Avila:

Christ has no body on earth but ours; no hands but ours; no feet but ours.
Ours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ looks out to the world.
Ours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good.
Ours are the hands with which he is to bless others now.

In the name of Jesus we pray,
Amen

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Wednesday 1 October119:105-112Luke 10:17-24Put peace into each other's handsFred KaanSt Columba CM
Prayer
Gracious God, we thank you that you have revealed to us something of your love and compassion, and of your dream for this world to be just and peaceful. We can think of men and women now and in the past who have been lights in the world's darkness, and have illuminated the way for us who follow. So here we are, open to your light and wisdom, open to your guiding hand along the way, and we pray that we may always be ready to respond to your call. Keep us rejoicing that you have called us, and keep us faithful to that call.
In the name of Jesus we pray,
Amen

DatePsalmReadingHymnAuthorTune
Thursday 2 October119:113-120Luke 10:25-37In Christ we liveBrian WrenGonfalon Royal LM
Prayer
Gracious God, we can look back on our lives up to this point, and find many times when you have been very close to us - those "thin spaces" where heaven touched earth, as Celtic Christians called such moments. There may not be many such moments, but they are precious to us. They remind us of your continual presence, your walking alongside us, your guiding hand along our way. So now we think of our homecoming, for whatever lies ahead. Help us, we pray, to keep in mind your way of caring for all, your compassion for the weak and vulnerable, your insistence that no-one is outside the circle of your love. So bless us we go forward, following the way of Jesus, and rejoicing in the fullness of life that you have given us.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
Amen


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