Year II: Week 1 of Lent

Friday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Lent: First Friday:  This week marked the beginning of the season of Lent, the traditional 40 days of prayer, fasting, reflection and repentance that precedes the great Easter celebrations.   Just as Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness learning to overcome the Enemy, so we set this time aside for spiritual warfare and renewal.  It is common during this time to imitate the simplicity of Jesus in the wilderness by abstaining from rich foods and strong drink during this season, and to devote extra time to the practice of the spiritual disciplines.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All: 
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 67 (Doxology)

All: 

An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us, 
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth.   Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 102

The Lord’s Eternal Love
A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before the Lord.

Hear my prayer, O Lord,
And let my cry come to You.
Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble;
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day that I call, answer me speedily.

For my days are consumed like smoke,
And my bones are burned like a hearth.
My heart is stricken and withered like grass,
So that I forget to eat my bread.
Because of the sound of my groaning
My bones cling to my skin.
I am like a pelican of the wilderness;
I am like an owl of the desert.
I lie awake,
And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.

My enemies reproach me all day long;
Those who deride me swear an oath against me.
For I have eaten ashes like bread,
And mingled my drink with weeping,
Because of Your indignation and Your wrath;
For You have lifted me up and cast me away.
My days are like a shadow that lengthens,
And I wither away like grass.

But You, O Lord, shall endure forever,
And the remembrance of Your name to all generations.
You will arise and have mercy on Zion;
For the time to favor her,
Yes, the set time, has come.
For Your servants take pleasure in her stones,
And show favor to her dust.
So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord,
And all the kings of the earth Your glory.
For the Lord shall build up Zion;
He shall appear in His glory.
He shall regard the prayer of the destitute,
And shall not despise their prayer.

This will be written for the generation to come,
That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.
For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary;
From heaven the Lord viewed the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoner,
To release those appointed to death,
To declare the name of the Lord in Zion,
And His praise in Jerusalem,
When the peoples are gathered together,
And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.

He weakened my strength in the way;
He shortened my days.
I said, “O my God,
Do not take me away in the midst of my days;
Your years are throughout all generations.
Of old You laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
They will perish, but You will endure;
Yes, they will all grow old like a garment;
Like a cloak You will change them,
And they will be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will have no end.
The children of Your servants will continue,
And their descendants will be established before You.”

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Almighty God, as we begin this Lenten season, prepare our hearts for new things by pruning away the old, dead wood in our lives.  May we know courage to confess our sins and faith to receive a fresh start.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For laziness in the spiritual disciplines and lethargy in our spiritual practice.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For all evil thoughts and deeds.  From pride, vanity, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
              –  Lord, have mercy…

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, deliver us from the environment we have created that endorses our selfish desires, ungodly relationships and our culture of consumerism.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For allowing gossip and slander to rest upon our tongue and for enjoying an unkind joke at the expense of another.
             –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For wearying under the strain of those who do not easily respond and for seeking to slip from under the burden.
             –  Lord, have mercy…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, the cause of your church is the great captivation of your heart.  May zeal for your House always consume us and may we be forgiven for seeing the church as a mere lifestyle choice.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For allowing your work to go underfunded while we devour the tithe upon our own pleasure.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For neglecting the assembly of the saints and complacently thinking that we can bring you the remains of our week rather than the first-fruits of our lives.
              –  Lord, have mercy…

The World

  • Father of the fatherless, we ask for renewed vigour in our spirits as we set ourselves to bringing your gospel to the world.  Forgive our silence, strengthen the weak knees and lift up the tired hands.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For failing to intercede for the nations, pray for our rulers and cry out for the lost.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For indifference towards the work of mission, disinterest towards the efforts of evangelism and apathy towards ministries of mercy.
              –  Lord, have mercy…


THE LORD’S
 PRAYER

Reader: 
And so we pray…

All:   
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your 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 yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.  Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Mark 8:31-38

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


READING FROM THE CHURCH
 FATHERS (Optional)

Lesson from the Church Fathers – ‘Awakening Faith’ Day 36


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:  
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.  Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Almighty God,
Whose greatest desire is to forgive;
Cleanse us from all unrighteousness,
And confirm us in all holiness,
That our lives may more perfectly reflect,
And our actions may more confidently show,
The faith we profess.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever.  Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the God of Grace comfort every spirit in distress,
Cover every soul in the battle,
And strengthen every heart to believe.  Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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