Year III: Week 3 of Lent

Thursday: Afternoon Prayer


We are currently in the season of Lent, which is the traditional 40 days of prayer, fasting, reflection and repentance that precedes the great Easter celebrations. Just as Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness learning to overcome the Enemy, so we set this time aside for spiritual warfare and renewal. It is common during this time to imitate the simplicity of Jesus in the wilderness by abstaining from rich foods and strong drink during this season, and to devote extra time to the practice of the spiritual disciplines. The daily intercessions throughout the entire Lenten season reflect this focus, and drill deeply into our selfish attitudes and sinful actions.


God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

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


Psalm 42

Yearning for God in the Midst of Distresses
To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”

When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.

O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

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 (Optional)

(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


Isaiah 28:14-29

A Cornerstone in Zion

Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers,
    who rule this people in Jerusalem!
Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
    and with Sheol we have an agreement,
when the overwhelming whip passes through
    it will not come to us,
for we have made lies our refuge,
    and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;
therefore thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion,
    a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
    ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
And I will make justice the line,
    and righteousness the plumb line;
and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
    and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”
Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
    and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through,
    you will be beaten down by it.
As often as it passes through it will take you;
    for morning by morning it will pass through,
    by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on,
    and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim;
    as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused;
to do his deed—strange is his deed!
    and to work his work—alien is his work!
Now therefore do not scoff,
    lest your bonds be made strong;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
    from the Lord God of hosts against the whole land.
Give ear, and hear my voice;
    give attention, and hear my speech.
Does he who ploughs for sowing plough continually?
    Does he continually open and harrow his ground?
When he has levelled its surface,
    does he not scatter dill, sow cumin,
and put in wheat in rows
    and barley in its proper place,
    and emmer as the border?
For he is rightly instructed;
    his God teaches him.
Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
    nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin,
but dill is beaten out with a stick,
    and cumin with a rod.
Does one crush grain for bread?
    No, he does not thresh it for ever;
when he drives his cart wheel over it
    with his horses, he does not crush it.
This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
    he is wonderful in counsel
    and excellent in wisdom.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Pause for Reflection……


(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Holy Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully. Amen

(If these prayers are taking place before food, you may like to say the Grace here also.)

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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