Year II: Week 4 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 98

A Song of Praise to the Lord for His Salvation and Judgment

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
The Lord has made known His salvation;
His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the hills be joyful together before the Lord,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.

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

Mark 5:1-20

Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon

They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the pigs, and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and were drowned in the sea.

The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marvelled.

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 145


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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