Year II: Week 1 of Easter

Saturday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We are currently in the season of Eastertide.  Easter is the annual celebration of the resurrection of the Lord, and has been observed from the earliest days of the church.  In the Jewish calendar, Jesus died during the Passover Feast, and the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, 50 days later.  The church follows this sequence of events, with the season of Eastertide occupying the 50 days between the two great festivals.


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 149

Praise to God for His Salvation and Judgment

Praise the Lord!

Sing to the Lord a new song,
And His praise in the assembly of saints.

Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise His name with the dance;
Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation.

Let the saints be joyful in glory;
Let them sing aloud on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand,
To execute vengeance on the nations,
And punishments on the peoples;
To bind their kings with chains,
And their nobles with fetters of iron;
To execute on them the written judgment—
This honor have all His saints.

Praise the Lord!

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

  • Mighty God, who created the world and all that is in it and set us here to love you and enjoy you forever; grant that our weekend would be one of peace, joy, rest and worship. Take from our souls the strain and stress that so easily clings to us and may the eternal Sabbath of God be found springing in our hearts.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • May we experience victory over sin, triumph over fear, freedom from all doubt and the full conquest of our souls by the Spirit of God.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • May we rest in your finished work, trust in your mighty blood and abide in your relentless love.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, as we enter the weekend, bind us together with family and friends with unbreakable cords and unshakeable compassion. Add to our community the lost, the lonely, the broken and the confused. I offer myself as a friend to the friendless.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • Rebuild broken relationships and recreate broken hearts. I offer myself as a restorer of the breach.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • Bring hope to those who have seen devastation in their families and famine in their finances.   I offer myself as a source for the needy
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, I present myself to you today as a servant of your church and a minister of your grace. Take from me all desire for prominence, all ambition for fame and all craving for celebrity. I offer myself as a servant of all.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • May we be known not so much by our knowledge or seen by our status, but may we be recognised by our joy, identified by our humility and understood through our works of love.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • May your fire burn strongly in our midst and may we be true living sacrifices upon your altar.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…

The World

  • We pray for the Middle East, the nations of the Arab world, and the people of Abraham. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the reconciliation of brothers, the wise counsel of leaders and a solution to the horrors of extremism.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • For the sons of Abraham; who you called to yourself, liberated from Egypt and established in the Promised Land. May they come to Christ and receive your only Son as their Messiah.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • For the sons of Ishmael; who in times past you blessed with increase and fruitfulness. May they come into their birthright and discover your only begotten as their only Saviour.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • For those living under tyranny and religious persecution. May their knees be strong, their minds be steady and their witness be firm.
              –  Make me your fuel, O flame of God…


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

Acts 1:12-26

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)“For it is written in the Book of Psalms,

“‘May his camp become desolate,
    and let there be no one to dwell in it’;

and

“‘Let another take his office.’

So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

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 236


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 Jesus, you declared yourself to be the resurrection and the life:
Raise us, who trust in you,
From the death of sin to the life of righteousness,
That we may seek those things which are above,
Where you reign with the Father,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead be at work in you,
To reveal his Son in your life and his glory in your heart. 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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