Year V: Week 4 of Easter

Monday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We are currently in the season of Eastertide. Easter is the annual celebration of the resurrection of the Lord, and has been observed from the earliest days of the church. In the Jewish calendar, Jesus died during the Passover Feast, and the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, 50 days later. The church follows this sequence of events, with the season of Eastertide occupying the 50 days between the two great festivals.


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 92

A psalm. A song to be sung on the Sabbath Day.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    to sing praises to the Most High.
It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
    your faithfulness in the evening,
accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp,
    and the melody of a lyre.

You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!
    I sing for joy because of what you have done.
O Lord, what great works you do!
    And how deep are your thoughts.
Only a simpleton would not know,
    and only a fool would not understand this:
Though the wicked sprout like weeds
    and evildoers flourish,
    they will be destroyed forever.

But you, O Lord, will be exalted forever.
Your enemies, Lord, will surely perish;
    all evildoers will be scattered.
But you have made me as strong as a wild ox.
    You have anointed me with the finest oil.
My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
    my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents.
But the godly will flourish like palm trees
    and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
    They flourish in the courts of our God.
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
    they will remain vital and green.
They will declare, “The Lord is just!
    He is my rock!
    There is no evil in 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


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

  • Father of Lights, we thank you for the blessings of the weekend and an opportunity to serve you in the workplace. Give me eyes to see God-given opportunities amidst man-made agenda’s and ears to hear your Spirit in the bustle of business.
             – For I go in your Name and your Power…
  • Help me to see your ministry in the mundane and your reality in the routine. May I be a witness to your resurrection today!
             – For I go in your Name and your Power…
  • For divine wisdom in my decisions, divine clarity in my choices and divine purpose in my plans.
             – For I go in your Name and your Power…

Family & Friends

  • God of Glory, guard and keep our children. Hedge around them your protection and be within them a wall of defence. May they be blessed in the schools, blessed in the places of further education, blessed coming in and blessed going out.
             – As they go in your Name and your Power…
  • For the elderly among us, who stand as mothers in Israel and fathers in the community. Give them strength, joy, peace and deep wisdom.
             – For they go in your Name and your Power…
  • For those who travel and those who are far away from home at this time. Grant them your protection and a safe return.
             – For they go in your Name and your Power…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, let the church in our area shine like the dawn! May your ministers be flames of fire and your people ambassadors of your Kingdom. Scatter her enemies, strengthen her ramparts, defend her borders and extend her territory!
             – As we go in your Name and your Power…
  • We thank you for those who have laid down their lives for the sake of the gospel. May we follow their example and give our all for the cause of Christ.
             – As we go in your Name and your Power…
  • Add to your church daily! May the mustard seed become a mighty tree and the little cloud become a mighty shower! Send us out with truth and love.
             – As we go in your Name and your Power…

The World

  • Lord of all, we pray for the people of the world. Shine your light into the darkest of places and show your mercy in the most desperate of situations. We pray for rulers and those in authority that your Kingdom would come and your will would be done.
             – As we go in your Name and your Power…
  • For the continent of Africa today we pray. May peace be proclaimed and your word spread in power. Shatter the spear of the wicked and reign with the strength of the lion!
             – As we go in your Name and your Power…
  • Give ear to the cry of that great continent and prosper the plans of your people. Raise up leaders of integrity and wisdom, endued with the Spirit of God.
             – As we go in your Name and your Power…
  • God bless Africa! Spread your gospel far and wide! Come, Holy Spirit, hear our prayer and bless all her children.
             – As we go in your Name and your Power…
  • God we ask for your protection on our world, our nation, our friends and our family in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak at this time.
             – As we go in your Name and your Power…

 

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 4:1-20

A Story About Planting Seed

Again Jesus began teaching by the lake. A great crowd gathered around him, so he sat down in a boat near the shore. All the people stayed on the shore close to the water. Jesus taught them many things, using stories. He said, “Listen! A farmer went out to plant his seed. While he was planting, some seed fell by the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground where there wasn’t much dirt. That seed grew very fast, because the ground was not deep. But when the sun rose, the plants dried up because they did not have deep roots. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds, which grew and choked the good plants. So those plants did not produce a crop. Some other seed fell on good ground and began to grow. It got taller and produced a crop. Some plants made thirty times more, some made sixty times more, and some made a hundred times more.”

Then Jesus said, “Let those with ears use them and listen!”

Jesus Tells Why He Used Stories

Later, when Jesus was alone, the twelve apostles and others around him asked him about the stories.

Jesus said, “You can know the secret about the kingdom of God. But to other people I tell everything by using stories so that:

‘They will look and look, but they will not learn.
    They will listen and listen, but they will not understand.
If they did learn and understand,
    they would come back to me and be forgiven.’”

Jesus Explains the Seed Story

Then Jesus said to his followers, “Don’t you understand this story? If you don’t, how will you understand any story? The farmer is like a person who plants God’s message in people. Sometimes the teaching falls on the road. This is like the people who hear the teaching of God, but Satan quickly comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them. Others are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching and quickly accept it with joy. But since they don’t allow the teaching to go deep into their lives, they keep it only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they quickly give up. Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching, but the worries of this life, the temptation of wealth, and many other evil desires keep the teaching from growing and producing fruit in their lives. Others are like the seed planted in the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and produce fruit—sometimes thirty times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes a hundred times more.”

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.)

Almighty Father,
You have given your only Son to die for our sins,
And to rise again for our justification:
Enable us to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness
That we may always serve you in purity and truth;
Through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of 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 himself, the God of peace,
Make you perfect and holy, and keep you safe and blameless,
In spirit, soul and body,
For the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 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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