Year II: Week 1 of Lent

First Sunday in Lent: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Lent: First Sunday:  Today is the first Sunday 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 100  (Jubilate Deo)

All: 

A Song of Praise for the Lord’s Faithfulness to His People
A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

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 86

Prayer for Mercy, with Meditation on the Excellencies of the Lord
A Prayer of David.

Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me;
For I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am holy;
You are my God;
Save Your servant who trusts in You!
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
For I cry to You all day long.
Rejoice the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the day of my trouble I will call upon You,
For You will answer me.

Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
All nations whom You have made
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.
For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.

Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.
For great is Your mercy toward me,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

O God, the proud have risen against me,
And a mob of violent men have sought my life,
And have not set You before them.
But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me!
Give Your strength to Your servant,
And save the son of Your maidservant.
Show me a sign for good,
That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
Because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

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, we commit this Lenten season into your hands.  Purge us and we shall be clean.  Wash us and we shall be whiter than snow.  May this season of pruning remove from us all that offends your Holiness and renew in us all that pleases your Spirit.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • Remove from us our heart of stone, O God, and create in us a heart of flesh.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • Remove from our lives all trace of wrongdoing.  Let sin no longer divide what grace has united.
              –  Lord, have mercy…

Family & Friends

  • Heavenly Father we stand as representatives of our families.  Open the windows of heaven above them and let your Spirit lead them to the ark of your salvation.  Forgive our poor witness and fearful words and make us, once again, the light of the world.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For allowing discord to remain where peace can be found.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For taking the easy option when the hard road calls, and choosing the praise of men over the purposes of God for our family.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us every failure of fellowship, every lapse of love and every of parting of friendship.
              –  Lord, have mercy…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, you spent 40 days in the wilderness to prepare for your ministry to us.  Accept this season of Lent as we prepare for ministry to the world.  Renew our hearts, strengthen our resolve, equip our minds and challenge our spirits.
              –  Lord, have mercy
  • For our careless attitude towards the mission and ministry of your Bride.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For praying without thinking, sitting without engaging, singing without worshipping, and attending without being truly present.
              -Lord, have mercy…

The World

  • Mighty God, as we cleanse our hearts, so renew our minds to our mission in the world.  May our lives henceforth be to your glory and our hours be spent upon your purposes.  Forgive the poverty of our love towards the broken, our compassion towards the lost and our giving towards the poor.
              -Lord, have mercy…
  • For immersing ourselves in this world rather than immersing ourselves in your Word, and in so doing making our witness of none effect.
              -Lord, have mercy…
  • For failing to follow your command and “Go, into all the world” and for expecting the world to come to us.
               -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

John 2:1-12

The Wedding at Cana

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.

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 127


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.)

Lord, who for our sake fasted forty days and forty nights:
Give us grace to follow your example,
That our sinful nature, being subdued by the Spirit,
And mortified by the discipline of self-denial,
May be transformed into the nature of Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you,
In the unity of 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 your tears of penitence become songs of joy,
Your sorrow for sin become anthems of happiness
And your night of trouble become a new morning of hope.  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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