Year II: Week 3 of Easter

Thursday: 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 63

Joy in the Fellowship of God
A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.

But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.

But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

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

  • King of all, as I wake this morning I consecrate my life to you.  May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight today, and may the actions of the hands and the attitude of my spirit reflect your presence within me.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • Grant me wisdom for today’s work, strength for today’s tasks and courage for today’s challenges.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • Keep my ears attentive to your Spirit, my mind renewed by your Word and my feet swift to perform your bidding.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, as for me and my House, we shall serve the Lord.  Give me courage to lead, humility to follow, grace to listen and meekness to serve.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • Give peace to my house and joy to my family.  Grant them safety on their travels and happiness in their work.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • May the rhythm of prayer establish us, the values of love surround us and the call of mission rouse us.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your local church.  Fill her with life and break every chain!  May her leaders find much encouragement, her people experience much favour and her witness bear much fruit.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • Plant us deep and stretch us wide!  May our love for you deepen with every new morning and our numbers grow with every new day.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • Be our provider according to your Word.  Meet every budget, supply every need and fill every lack for the glory of God.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer. 

The World

  • Sovereign Lord, who made the heavens and earth and sea, look upon the tribulations of your church  and the threats to your people in so many places on earth.  Grant your servants to speak your word with boldness and stretch out your hands to heal, that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus!
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • For the continent of Asia and the masses of Russia and China.  Thank you for the resurgence of the church and the mighty acts of God even in great trial.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • For the church under intense persecution in North Korea, Bhutan, Vietnam, Burma and India.  May they be kept from the wicked one and faithful unto death
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • For those trapped in poverty and struggling through natural disaster.  Provide for your people and protect your flock.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.


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

Mark2:18-28

A Question About Fasting

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

One Sabbath he was going through the cornfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck ears of corn. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?”And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

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 269


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 Father, who thrilled the disciples,
With the sight of the risen Lord:
Give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
That we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life,
And serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
Through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and for ever.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may God the Father,
By whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,
Strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life.  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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