Year II: Week 3 of Lent

Sunday: 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 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 30

The Blessedness of Answered Prayer
A Psalm. A Song at the dedication of the house of David.

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

Now in my prosperity I said,
“I shall never be moved.”
Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;
You hid Your face, and I was troubled.

I cried out to You, O Lord;
And to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my blood,
When I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You?
Will it declare Your truth?
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper!”

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

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 6:41-59

So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the breadthe fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live for ever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.

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 218


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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