Year V: Beginning of Lent

First Friday in Lent: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Lent: First Friday: This week marked the beginning of the season of Lent, 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 (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 102

A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the Lord.

Lord, hear my prayer!
    Listen to my plea!
Don’t turn away from me
    in my time of distress.
Bend down to listen,
    and answer me quickly when I call to you.
For my days disappear like smoke,
    and my bones burn like red-hot coals.
My heart is sick, withered like grass,
    and I have lost my appetite.
Because of my groaning,
    I am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like an owl in the desert,
    like a little owl in a far-off wilderness.
I lie awake,
    lonely as a solitary bird on the roof.
My enemies taunt me day after day.
    They mock and curse me.
I eat ashes for food.
    My tears run down into my drink
because of your anger and wrath.
    For you have picked me up and thrown me out.
My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows.
    I am withering away like grass.

But you, O Lord, will sit on your throne forever.
    Your fame will endure to every generation.
You will arise and have mercy on Jerusalem—
    and now is the time to pity her,
    now is the time you promised to help.
For your people love every stone in her walls
    and cherish even the dust in her streets.
Then the nations will tremble before the Lord.
    The kings of the earth will tremble before his glory.
For the Lord will rebuild Jerusalem.
    He will appear in his glory.
He will listen to the prayers of the destitute.
    He will not reject their pleas.

Let this be recorded for future generations,
    so that a people not yet born will praise the Lord.
Tell them the Lord looked down
    from his heavenly sanctuary.
He looked down to earth from heaven
    to hear the groans of the prisoners,
    to release those condemned to die.
And so the Lord’s fame will be celebrated in Zion,
    his praises in Jerusalem,
when multitudes gather together
    and kingdoms come to worship the Lord.

He broke my strength in midlife,
    cutting short my days.
But I cried to him, “O my God, who lives forever,
    don’t take my life while I am so young!
Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth
    and made the heavens with your hands.
They will perish, but you remain forever;
    they will wear out like old clothing.
You will change them like a garment
    and discard them.
But you are always the same;
    you will live forever.
The children of your people
    will live in security.
Their children’s children
    will thrive in your presence.”

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, as we begin this Lenten season, prepare our hearts for new things by pruning away the old, dead wood in our lives. May we know courage to confess our sins and faith to receive a fresh start.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For laziness in the spiritual disciplines and lethargy in our spiritual practice.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For all evil thoughts and deeds. From pride, vanity, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
             – Lord, have mercy…

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, deliver us from the environment we have created that endorses our selfish desires, ungodly relationships and our culture of consumerism.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For allowing gossip and slander to rest upon our tongue and for enjoying an unkind joke at the expense of another.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For wearying under the strain of those who do not easily respond and for seeking to slip from under the burden.
             – Lord, have mercy…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, the cause of your church is the great captivation of your heart. May zeal for your House always consume us and may we be forgiven for seeing the church as a mere lifestyle choice.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For allowing your work to go underfunded while we devour the tithe upon our own pleasure.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For neglecting the assembly of the saints and complacently thinking that we can bring you the remains of our week rather than the first-fruits of our lives.
             – Lord, have mercy…

The World

  • Father of the fatherless, we ask for renewed vigour in our spirits as we set ourselves to bringing your gospel to the world. Forgive our silence, strengthen the weak knees and lift up the tired hands.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For failing to intercede for the nations, pray for our rulers and cry out for the lost.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For indifference towards the work of mission, disinterest towards the efforts of evangelism and apathy towards ministries of mercy.
             – 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

Mark 8:31-38

Then Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and that he would be rejected by the Jewish elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law. He told them that the Son of Man must be killed and then rise from the dead after three days. Jesus told them plainly what would happen. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to tell him not to talk like that. But Jesus turned and looked at his followers. Then he told Peter not to talk that way. He said, “Go away from me, Satan! You don’t care about the things of God, but only about things people think are important.”

Then Jesus called the crowd to him, along with his followers. He said, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me and for the Good News will have true life. It is worthless to have the whole world if they lose their souls. They could never pay enough to buy back their souls. The people who live now are living in a sinful and evil time. If people are ashamed of me and my teaching, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes with his Father’s glory and with the holy angels.”

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.)

Almighty God,
Whose greatest desire is to forgive;
Cleanse us from all unrighteousness,
And confirm us in all holiness,
That our lives may more perfectly reflect,
And our actions may more confidently show,
The faith we profess.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the God of Grace comfort every spirit in distress,
Cover every soul in the battle,
And strengthen every heart to believe. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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