Year V: Week 4 of Lent

Sunday 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 100 (Jubilate Deo)

All:

A Song of Praise for the Lord’s Faithfulness to His People
A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

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 119:65-72

Teth

You have done many good things for me, Lord,
    just as you promised.
I believe in your commands;
    now teach me good judgment and knowledge.
I used to wander off until you disciplined me;
    but now I closely follow your word.
You are good and do only good;
    teach me your decrees.
Arrogant people smear me with lies,
    but in truth I obey your commandments with all my heart.
Their hearts are dull and stupid,
    but I delight in your instructions.
My suffering was good for me,
    for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.
Your instructions are more valuable to me
    than millions in gold and silver.

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, we commit this Lenten season into your hands. Purge us and we shall be clean. Wash us and we shall be whiter than snow. May this season of pruning remove from us all that offends your Holiness and renew in us all that pleases your Spirit.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • Remove from us our heart of stone, O God, and create in us a heart of flesh.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • Remove from our lives all trace of wrongdoing. Let sin no longer divide what grace has united.
             – Lord, have mercy…

Family & Friends

  • Heavenly Father we stand as representatives of our families. Open the windows of heaven above them and let your Spirit lead them to the ark of your salvation. Forgive our poor witness and fearful words and make us, once again, the light of the world.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For allowing discord to remain where peace can be found.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For taking the easy option when the hard road calls, and choosing the praise of men over the purposes of God for our family.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • Forgive us every failure of fellowship, every lapse of love and every parting of friendship.
             – Lord, have mercy…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, you spent 40 days in the wilderness to prepare for your ministry to us. Accept this season of Lent as we prepare for ministry to the world. Renew our hearts, strengthen our resolve, equip our minds and challenge our spirits.
             – Lord, have mercy
  • For our careless attitude towards the mission and ministry of your Bride.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For praying without thinking, sitting without engaging, singing without worshipping, and attending without being truly present.
             – Lord, have mercy…

The World

  • Mighty God, as we cleanse our hearts, so renew our minds to our mission in the world. May our lives henceforth be to your glory and our hours be spent upon your purposes. Forgive the poverty of our love towards the broken, our compassion towards the lost and our giving towards the poor.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For immersing ourselves in this world rather than immersing ourselves in your Word, and in so doing making our witness of none effect.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For failing to follow your command and “Go, into all the world” and for expecting the world to come to us.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and your mercies never come to an end! We ask you Jesus, in your mercy, to heal those who are sick with the Coronavirus today!
             – 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 8:1-11

The Woman Caught in Adultery

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the morning he went back to the Temple, and all the people came to him, and he sat and taught them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They forced her to stand before the people. They said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught having sexual relations with a man who is not her husband. The law of Moses commands that we stone to death every woman who does this. What do you say we should do?” They were asking this to trick Jesus so that they could have some charge against him.

But Jesus bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger. When they continued to ask Jesus their question, he raised up and said, “Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her.” Then Jesus bent over again and wrote on the ground.

Those who heard Jesus began to leave one by one, first the older men and then the others. Jesus was left there alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus raised up again and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one judged you guilty?”

She answered, “No one, sir.”

Then Jesus said, “I also don’t judge you guilty. You may go now, but don’t sin anymore.”

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 Community: The Principle of Celebration.

Recognising the power of corporate witness and worship, I prioritise the Sunday gatherings of my church, committing to being a contributor and not just a consumer. As a follower of the Way of Community, I will find a place to serve within the church and arrive on time, with an expectant heart and a cheerful spirit.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Celebration.


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.)

Lord, who for our sake fasted forty days and forty nights:
Give us grace to follow your example,
That our sinful nature, being subdued by the Spirit,
And mortified by the discipline of self-denial,
May be transformed into the nature of Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you,
In the unity of 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 your tears of penitence become songs of joy,
Your sorrow for sin become anthems of happiness,
And your night of trouble become a new morning of hope. 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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