Year III: Week 4 of Lent

Thursday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

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.


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 (Doxology)

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 119:17-24

ג Gimel

Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.
Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.
I am a stranger in the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.
My soul breaks with longing
For Your judgments at all times.
You rebuke the proud—the cursed,
Who stray from Your commandments.
Remove from me reproach and contempt,
For I have kept Your testimonies.
Princes also sit and speak against me,
But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
Your testimonies also are my delight
And my counselors.

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

  • Lord Jesus, we confess that just as your first disciples, we have failed you in thought, in word and in deed. Restore us and renew our faith, even as you brought hope to Peter after he had denied you and Thomas after he had doubted you.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when we take our ease with the world rather than watch and pray with you.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when we bestow a kiss of peace yet nurse enmity in our hearts.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when we strike at those who hurt us rather than stretch our hands to bless.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when we deny we know you for fear of the world and its scorn.
    – Lord, have mercy…

Family and Friends

  • Father of Jesus, we confess that we have often sought friendships for selfish purposes, sought companionship for personal gratification and sought you for a temporary fix to our problems. We choose to die to self so we may live for others.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when we have loved things and used people rather than used things and loved people.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when we have failed to open our hearts to our loved ones or stood aloof from their pain.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when, for fear of loss, we have kept a thing that can help another to ourselves and refused to recognise that all I have is yours and all you have is theirs.
    – Lord, have mercy…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we confess to our hypocrisy and play-acting in your House. For the times we have made ourselves appear better than we are, or allowed others to be thought of as less than they really were.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when we have made much about our ministry and made little of the ministry of others.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when we trampled others in our haste to do your work and neglected others in our rush to achieve something great.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when we have smiled at someone’s face but spoken behind their back.
    – Lord, have mercy…

The World

  • Lord of Hosts, who commands the angel armies of heaven, we confess to you our complaining, moaning, groaning and whining attitudes. Forgive our craving for the familiar slavery of sin rather than the spiritual fruits of righteousness.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when we have looked back instead of looking forward, looked down instead of looking up and looked askance instead of looking to you.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us when we have profaned your name amongst the nations through ungodly talk, unloving actions and uncharitable deeds.
    – Lord, have mercy…


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

John 8:48-59

Before Abraham Was, I Am

The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Peace: The Principle of Harmony Amongst the Saints.

Admitting that at best I only see dimly and understand incompletely, I determine to live in unity with my brothers and sisters, maintaining at all times the unity of the spirit. As a follower of the Way of Peace, I will quickly forgive perceived wrongs committed against me, and not allow anger, resentment or unkind words to abide in my heart or on my lips.

All:
This is The Way of Peace: The Principle of Harmony Amongst the Saints.


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.)

Everlasting God,
Because of your tender mercy toward all people,
You sent your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ,
To take upon himself our flesh,
And to suffer death upon the cross,
That all should follow the example of his great humility.
Grant that we may follow the example of his patience,
And be made partakers of his resurrection;
Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may all fear be banished and all guilt be gone,
As you receive His forgiveness this morning,
And his power this day. 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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