Year V: Week 1 of Lent

Thursday in Lent: 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 (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 41

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
    The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
The Lord protects them
    and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land
    and rescues them from their enemies.
The Lord nurses them when they are sick
    and restores them to health.

“O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me.
    Heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
But my enemies say nothing but evil about me.
    “How soon will he die and be forgotten?” they ask.
They visit me as if they were my friends,
    but all the while they gather gossip,
    and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.
All who hate me whisper about me,
    imagining the worst.
“He has some fatal disease,” they say.
    “He will never get out of that bed!”
Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
    the one who shared my food, has turned against me.

Lord, have mercy on me.
    Make me well again, so I can pay them back!
I know you are pleased with me,
    for you have not let my enemies triumph over me.
You have preserved my life because I am innocent;
    you have brought me into your presence forever.

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who lives from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and amen!

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 & 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 3:22-36

Jesus and John the Baptist

After this, Jesus and his followers went into the area of Judea, where he stayed with his followers and baptized people. John was also baptizing in Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. People were going there to be baptized. (This was before John was put into prison.)

Some of John’s followers had an argument with a Jew about religious washing. So they came to John and said, “Teacher, remember the man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you spoke about so much? He is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

John answered, “A man can get only what God gives him. You yourselves heard me say, ‘I am not the Christ, but I am the one sent to prepare the way for him.’ The bride belongs only to the bridegroom. But the friend who helps the bridegroom stands by and listens to him. He is thrilled that he gets to hear the bridegroom’s voice. In the same way, I am really happy. He must become greater, and I must become less important.

The One Who Comes from Heaven

“The One who comes from above is greater than all. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and talks about things on the earth. But the One who comes from heaven is greater than all. He tells what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts what he says. Whoever accepts what he says has proven that God is true. The One whom God sent speaks the words of God, because God gives him the Spirit fully. The Father loves the Son and has given him power over everything. Those who believe in the Son have eternal life, but those who do not obey the Son will never have life. God’s anger stays on them.”

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 Prayer: The Principle of Walking Together.

Recognising the interbeing of the Body of Christ, I commit myself to the practice of prayer and worship with those who journey with me. As a follower of the Way of Prayer I choose not to practice my faith independently of those around me.

All:
This is The Way of Prayer: The Principle of Walking Together.


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 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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