Morning Prayer

Epiphany Season

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Fourth Day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity




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


          Your light springs up for the righteous

          and all the peoples have seen your glory.


          Blessed are you, Sovereign God,

          king of the nations,

          to you be praise and glory for ever.

          From the rising of the sun to its setting

          your name is proclaimed in all the world.

          As the Sun of Righteousness dawns in our hearts

          anoint our lips with the seal of your Spirit

          that we may witness to your gospel

          and sing your praise in all the earth.

          Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


          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. Amen.




Psalm 76

1        In Judah God is known;

his name is great in Israel.

2        At Salem is his tabernacle,

and his dwelling place in Zion.

3        There broke he the flashing arrows of the bow,

the shield, the sword and the weapons of war.

4        In the light of splendour you appeared,

glorious from the eternal mountains.

5        The boastful were plundered; they have slept their sleep;

none of the warriors can lift their hand.

6        At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,

both horse and chariot fell stunned.

7        Terrible are you in majesty:

who can stand before your face when you are angry?

8        You caused your judgement to be heard from heaven;

the earth trembled and was still,

9        When God arose to judgement,

to save all the meek upon earth.

10      You crushed the wrath of the peoples

and bridled the wrathful remnant.

11      Make a vow to the Lord your God and keep it;

let all who are round about him bring gifts

to him that is worthy to be feared.

12      He breaks down the spirit of princes

and strikes terror in the kings of the earth.

Glory 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.

Psalm 148

1        Alleluia. Praise the Lord from the heavens;

praise him in the heights.

2        Praise him, all you his angels;

praise him, all his host.

3        Praise him, sun and moon;

praise him, all you stars of light.

4        Praise him, heaven of heavens,

and you waters above the heavens.

5        Let them praise the name of the Lord;

for he commanded and they were created.

6        He made them fast for ever and ever;

he gave them a law which shall not pass away.

7        Praise the Lord from the earth,

you sea monsters and all deeps;

8        Fire and hail, snow and mist,

tempestuous wind, fulfilling his word;

9        Mountains and all hills,

fruit trees and all cedars;

10      Wild beasts and all cattle,

creeping things and birds on the wing;

11      Kings of the earth and all peoples,

princes and all rulers of the world;

12      Young men and women, old and young together;

let them praise the name of the Lord.

13      For his name only is exalted,

his splendour above earth and heaven.

14      He has raised up the horn of his people and praise for all his faithful servants,

the children of Israel, a people who are near him. Alleluia.

Glory 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.

1st Reading


Amos 9


I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said:

Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake,

   and shatter them on the heads of all the people;

and those who are left I will kill with the sword;

   not one of them shall flee away,

   not one of them shall escape.


Though they dig into Sheol,

   from there shall my hand take them;

though they climb up to heaven,

   from there I will bring them down.

Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,

   from there I will search out and take them;

and though they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea,

   there I will command the sea-serpent, and it shall bite them.

And though they go into captivity in front of their enemies,

   there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them;

and I will fix my eyes on them

   for harm and not for good.


The Lord, God of hosts,

he who touches the earth and it melts,

   and all who live in it mourn,

and all of it rises like the Nile,

   and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;

who builds his upper chambers in the heavens,

   and founds his vault upon the earth;

who calls for the waters of the sea,

   and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—

the Lord is his name.


Are you not like the Ethiopians to me,

   O people of Israel? says the Lord.

Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt,

   and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?

The eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom,

   and I will destroy it from the face of the earth

   —except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,

says the Lord.


For lo, I will command,

   and shake the house of Israel among all the nations

as one shakes with a sieve,

   but no pebble shall fall to the ground.

All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,

   who say, ‘Evil shall not overtake or meet us.’


On that day I will raise up

   the booth of David that is fallen,

and repair its breaches,

   and raise up its ruins,

   and rebuild it as in the days of old;

in order that they may possess the remnant of Edom

   and all the nations who are called by my name,

   says the Lord who does this.


The time is surely coming, says the Lord,

   when the one who ploughs shall overtake the one who reaps,

   and the treader of grapes the one who sows the seed;

the mountains shall drip sweet wine,

   and all the hills shall flow with it.

I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,

   and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;

they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,

   and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.

I will plant them upon their land,

   and they shall never again be plucked up

   out of the land that I have given them,

says the Lord your God.




          Above you the Holy One arises, and above you God’s glory appears.


1        Arise, shine out, for your light has come,

          the glory of the Lord is rising upon you.

2        Though night still covers the earth,

          and darkness the peoples;

3        Above you the Holy One arises,

          and above you God’s glory appears.

4        The nations will come to your light,

          and kings to your dawning brightness.

5        Your gates will lie open continually,

          shut neither by day nor by night.

6        The sound of violence shall be heard no longer in your land,

          or ruin and devastation within your borders.

7        You will call your walls, Salvation,

          and your gates, Praise.

8        No more will the sun give you daylight,

          nor moonlight shine upon you;

9        But the Lord will be your everlasting light,

          your God will be your splendour.

10      For you shall be called the city of God,

          the dwelling of the Holy One of Israel.

All      Glory 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.


          Above you the Holy One arises, and above you God’s glory appears.


2nd Reading


1 Corinthians 7.25-end

Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that. I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.


I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord.


If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly towards his fiancée, if his passions are strong, and so it has to be, let him marry as he wishes; it is no sin. Let them marry. But if someone stands firm in his resolve, being under no necessity but having his own desire under control, and has determined in his own mind to keep her as his fiancée, he will do well. So then, he who marries his fiancée does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.


A wife is bound as long as her husband lives. But if the husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, only in the Lord. But in my judgement she is more blessed if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.


Gospel Canticle


          This is the Christ, the Chosen of God, the one who will bring healing to the nations.

1        Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,

          who has come to his people and set them free.

2        He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,

          born of the house of his servant David.                                                   

3        Through his holy prophets God promised of old

          to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us,

4        To show mercy to our ancestors,

          and to remember his holy covenant.

5        This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:

          to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

6        Free to worship him without fear,

          holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

7        And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,

          for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

8        To give his people knowledge of salvation

          by the forgiveness of all their sins,

9        In the tender compassion of our God

          the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

10      To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow

          of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

          Glory 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 is the Christ, the Chosen of God, the one who will bring healing to the nations.




Prayers for the needs of others – spend some time praying for those in need. Just share with the Lord what’s on your mind today…


The Collect


          Eternal God, shepherd of your sheep,

whose child Agnes was strengthened to bear witness

in her living and her dying

to the true love of her redeemer:

grant us the power to understand, with all your saints,

what is the breadth and length and height and depth

and to know the love that surpasses knowledge,

even 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.   



          Our 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.



The Conclusion


May Christ, who sends us to the nations, give us the power of his Spirit. Amen.

Gatley VP
St James
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