Year II: Holy Week

Wednesday of Holy Week: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Wednesday of Holy Week:  This week is what is commonly referred to as Holy Week; the final week of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday.  During this time we focus on the last few days of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the events leading up to and including his death. This morning, we focus on the Anointing at Bethany while our afternoon readings continue to tell the story of the liberation of the Children of Israel in their Exodus from Egypt.


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  (Deus misereatur)

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 2

The Messiah’s Triumph and Kingdom

Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”

“I will declare the decree:
The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”

Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in 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


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

  • Lord Jesus, you took the way of the cross to open the Kingdom of heaven to us. As Mary anointed your feet with oil so we pour out our love to you today and wash your feet with tears of devotion.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Anoint us also with your Spirit, and set us apart for your service.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Strip from us all sense of shame and remove from us all fear of man.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…

Family & Friends

  • God of Glory, teach us to love with reckless abandonment and selfless service. May our friends and family be won not only by the words of our mouths, but by the deeds of our hands. May we pour out our life in acts of love for your creation.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • May we save our best for you, not holding back but lavishing our lives on the Saviour who gave his all for us.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • May the fragrance of Christ be found in our families, removing all strife and overpowering all selfish desires.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we ask for your church, your people, your bride, your family. May the power of your Passion unite us and the reality of your Cross inspire us. Bring us all to the unity of the faith and the fullness of the Godhead.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Fill your church with your presence and your people with your love. Empty us that we may be full.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Break out amongst us in revival power. Remove from us all coldness of heart and lethargy of spirit.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…

The World

  • Lord of all, in a world that is fast forgetting Calvary, lift high the Cross and send forth your people. Forgive our nation her many sins, pardon her leaders for their many offenses and be merciful to us for our many iniquities.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Lift high the Cross and shatter the works of Satan.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Lift high the Cross and break the power of evil.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Lift high the Cross and prepare the world for your coming.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…


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 12:1-11

Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the money bag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

The Plot to Kill Lazarus

When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

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 104


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.)

O Lord,
The house of my soul is narrow;
Enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, Oh please repair it!
It displeases Your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it,
To whom shall I cry but to you?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord,
And spare Your servant from unknowing sins,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,   Amen.

(From a prayer of St. Augustine – AD354-430)


BLESSING

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

And may you be delivered from the tempter’s power,
The snares of this world and the enemy’s wiles.
Now and forever,  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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