Year V: Week 4 of Lent

Saturday 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 119:49-56

Samekh

I hate those with divided loyalties,
    but I love your instructions.
You are my refuge and my shield;
    your word is my source of hope.
Get out of my life, you evil-minded people,
    for I intend to obey the commands of my God.
Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live!
    Do not let my hope be crushed.
Sustain me, and I will be rescued;
    then I will meditate continually on your decrees.
But you have rejected all who stray from your decrees.
    They are only fooling themselves.
You skim off the wicked of the earth like scum;
    no wonder I love to obey your laws!
I tremble in fear of you;
    I stand in awe of your regulations.

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

  • Forgiving God, we confess how we have rebelled against you. We have allowed doubt and fears to hold us back from the freedom to which you have called us. We have been quick to blame others for our weakness and slow to accept responsibility for ourselves.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • When I have betrayed you by following my own way.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • When I have denied you by fearing to follow closely.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • When I have mocked you by not taking your death seriously.
             – Lord, have mercy…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, we reject the cry of the world towards individualism and embrace your call to community. Build us into your family and remove from us all that seeks to place self above others, ‘I’ above ‘we’ and ‘mine’ above ‘ours.’
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • Renew our witness to those we love and give us a fresh start with those we have lost influence.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • Help us to see the inter-being of all mankind, to perceive the inter-connectedness of all your people and to consider the interests of all mankind.
             – Lord, have mercy…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, at this time of Lent, we are appalled at the way we have presented you to the world. Broken, divided, naked and ashamed; we come to you and ask you to restore us, renew us, clothe us and forgive us.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For violence done in the name of the Prince of Peace, for arrogant words spoken in the name of the gentle Saviour and for unkind actions performed in the name of the King of Love.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For squandering the legacy of our forefathers and despising the birth-right of our Christian heritage.
             – Lord, have mercy…

The World

  • Ever Living God, regenerate our hearts by your Spirit, renew our minds by your Word and transform our world by your presence. Forgive our lack of prayer and strengthen our weak knees that we may be found to be true intercessors for the nation.
    – Lord, have mercy…
  • Restore, O Lord, the honour of your name, that this nation may resound again to your praise end rest again in your favour.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • Renew our sense of mission, our burden for prayer and our passion for souls.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • Awaken your people! Send revival Lord, and start the work in me!
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • God, you promised to your people in the wilderness that you would be their healer (Exo 15:26) if they would listen to you and follow your commandments! Forgive us as we have gone our own way, help us follow your voice as you bring healing in our lives.
             – 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 9:18-41

These leaders did not believe that he had been blind and could now see again. So they sent for the man’s parents and asked them, “Is this your son who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?”

His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But we don’t know how he can now see. We don’t know who opened his eyes. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the elders, who had already decided that anyone who said Jesus was the Christ would be avoided. That is why his parents said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”

So for the second time, they called the man who had been blind. They said, “You should give God the glory by telling the truth. We know that this man is a sinner.”

He answered, “I don’t know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I see.”

They asked, “What did he do to you? How did he make you see again?”

He answered, “I already told you, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his followers, too?”

Then they insulted him and said, “You are his follower, but we are followers of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”

The man answered, “This is a very strange thing. You don’t know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We all know that God does not listen to sinners, but he listens to anyone who worships and obeys him. Nobody has ever heard of anyone giving sight to a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

They answered, “You were born full of sin! Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out.

Spiritual Blindness

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, Jesus found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

He asked, “Who is the Son of Man, sir, so that I can believe in him?”

Jesus said to him, “You have seen him. The Son of Man is the one talking with you.”

He said, “Lord, I believe!” Then the man worshiped Jesus.

Jesus said, “I came into this world so that the world could be judged. I came so that the blind would see and so that those who see will become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were nearby heard Jesus say this and asked, “Are you saying we are blind, too?”

Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But since you keep saying you see, your guilt remains.”

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 Cultivation of a Tranquil Heart.

Recognising that only a heart that is at peace can minister peace to a broken world, I determine to keep myself in the love of God. As a follower of the Way of Peace, I establish my heart in the presence of God by the daily practice of the spiritual disciplines.

All:
This is The Way of Peace: The Principle of Cultivation of a Tranquil Heart.


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,
You alone can bring into order,
To our unruly will and peace to our troubled souls.
Grant your people grace,
To love what you command and desire what you promise;
That, among the uncertain paths of this world,
Our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and for ever. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may God, who calls us to forsake sin and embrace holiness,
Keep and preserve you blameless in this world,
And without stain at His coming. 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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