Year II: Week 2 of Lent

Monday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We are currently in the season of Lent, which is 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.  The daily intercessions throughout the entire Lenten season reflect this focus, and drill deeply into our selfish attitudes and sinful actions.


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 18:1-24

God the Sovereign Savior
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lordthe words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said:

I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

The pangs of death surrounded me,
And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.

Then the earth shook and trembled;
The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With darkness under His feet.
And He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
He flew upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness His secret place;
His canopy around Him was dark waters
And thick clouds of the skies.
From the brightness before Him,
His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.

The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice,
Hailstones and coals of fire.
He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe,
Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Lord,
At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

He sent from above, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me,
For they were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all His judgments were before me,
And I did not put away His statutes from me.
I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.

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

  • Father of Compassion, strip from us all vestige of sin and selfishness.  Like Adam, we ask that you take from us our covering of fig leaves and clothe us instead in your robe of righteousness.  Open our eyes to that which in us must change and give us grace to accept that which must remain.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For contrite hearts and humble spirits, knowing that it was your Son who said “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.”
              –  Lord, have mercy
  • For the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life that so contaminate our best endeavours.
              –  Lord, have mercy…

 Family & Friends

  • God of Glory, we bring our families and the children of our community to you.  We have been poor examples, slack in attention and careless in prayer.  May we know your forgiveness, our children know your favour and our families know your peace.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • Where we have watched as those we know have died in their sins, struggled in their darkness and wrestled alone with their despair.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • Where we have not been our brother’s keeper and have not watched over his soul with care and deep love.
              –  Lord, have mercy…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, you are intoxicated with love for your Bride.  Forgive us for our harsh words, critical judgements and divisive opinions.  Bring peace to our hearts that we may minister peace to your people.  Let us see your Church with the eyes of Christ.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For standing aloof at the suffering of your persecuted church and failing to seek for her good in prayer, words and action.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For letting Church be about me and my needs rather than about others and their needs.
              –  Lord, have mercy…

The World

  • Lord of all, we have been so slow to see the need around us and so sluggish to respond to the lack of those in our city.  O God who defends the poor, the weak, the defenceless and the widow, open our eyes to your agenda.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For the aborted children, the absent parents, the abandoned elderly and the absconded
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For communities unloved, multitudes un-housed, suffering un-comforted and dead un-mourned.
              –  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 5:1-18

The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda,which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralysed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’ They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterwards Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

Jesus Is Equal with God

This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

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 266


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, who sees that we are powerless help ourselves:
Keep our bodies, and preserve our souls;
That we, being defended from all adversities,
And all evil thoughts that assault the soul;
May serve you with a full and faithful heart.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Who delivered us from the dominion of darkness,
And give us a place with the saints in light,
In the Kingdom of his beloved Son.  Amen


BLESSING

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

And may God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Establish your hearts and answer your prayers,
In the everlasting Kingdom of Grace.  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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