Year II: Week 4 of Easter

Sunday: 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 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 87

The Glories of the City of God
A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song.

His foundation is in the holy mountains.
The Lord loves the gates of Zion
More than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you,
O city of God!  Selah

“I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to those who know Me;
Behold, O Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia:
‘This one was born there.’”

And of Zion it will be said,
“This one and that one were born in her;
And the Most High Himself shall establish her.”
The Lord will record,
When He registers the peoples:
“This one was born there.”  Selah

Both the singers and the players on instruments say,
“All my springs are in you.”

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 give you praise for this day of celebration in your House. Open our lips to praise the Risen Saviour and open our hearts to receive your love. Make me a witness to the world, an ambassador to the broken and a servant to your people.
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • For strength to overcome sin, self and Satan and for power to walk the world in white.
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • That the high praises of God may be in our mouths, the compassion of Christ be in our eyes and the sword of the Spirit be in our hands.
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…

Family & Friends

  • Heavenly Father we thank you for your favour that you have lavished upon us, and that the blessing of Abraham has been extended to us. We declare that all our needs are met according to your riches in glory.
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • We declare that all our sicknesses are healed by the one who rose with healing in his wings.
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • We declare that all our children are blessed of God, and shall surely inherit the land.
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • We declare that all our guilt and shame has been dealt with, and our sins that were red as crimson have been made as white as snow.
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again… 

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we thank you for your people, the resurrection community, the new creation. Let your Spirit flow freely today from hearts on fire with divine love, and let the rivers of life overflow the banks as we gather this morning.
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • For churches across the nation. Revive, renew and restore your people. Come quickly to your temple and make yourself known!
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • For Christians across the world. Unite what sin has divided and break down the walls of separation.
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again… 

The World

  • God of grace, let waters flow in the desert and streams in the wilderness! May the barren places blossom and the desolate places sing for joy. May East and West, North and South experience the greatest outpouring of your Holy Spirit in history.
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • For the empowering of missionary organisations, church planters, ministers of mercy and all those being called into service in a foreign field…
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • For the unreached millions, the untouched multitudes and the unloved masses.
              –  Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…


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

Mark 3:22-35

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

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 141


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.)

God of Life, who for our redemption,
Gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross,
And by his glorious resurrection,
Has delivered us from the power of our enemy:
Grant us so to die daily to sin,
That we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may God the Holy Spirit,
Whom the risen Lord breathed into his disciples,
Empower you and fill you with Christ’s peace. 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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