Year V: Week 4 of Lent

Thursday in Lent: Afternoon 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.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

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

 

AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 80

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be sung to the tune “Lilies of the Covenant.”

Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock.
O God, enthroned above the cherubim,
display your radiant glory
to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.
Show us your mighty power.
Come to rescue us!

Turn us again to yourself, O God.
Make your face shine down upon us.
Only then will we be saved.
O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies,
how long will you be angry with our prayers?
You have fed us with sorrow
and made us drink tears by the bucketful.
You have made us the scorn of neighboring nations.
Our enemies treat us as a joke.

Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies.
Make your face shine down upon us.
Only then will we be saved.
You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine;
you drove away the pagan nations and transplanted us into your land.
You cleared the ground for us,
and we took root and filled the land.
Our shade covered the mountains;
our branches covered the mighty cedars.
We spread our branches west to the Mediterranean Sea;
our shoots spread east to the Euphrates River.
But now, why have you broken down our walls
so that all who pass by may steal our fruit?
The wild boar from the forest devours it,
and the wild animals feed on it.

Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies.
Look down from heaven and see our plight.
Take care of this grapevine
that you yourself have planted,
this son you have raised for yourself.
For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies.
May they perish at the sight of your frown.
Strengthen the man you love,
the son of your choice.
Then we will never abandon you again.
Revive us so we can call on your name once more.

Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.
Make your face shine down upon us.
Only then will we be saved.

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
(Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Lamentations 1:12-22

Jerusalem says, “You who pass by on the road don’t seem to care.
    Come, look at me and see:
Is there any pain like mine?
    Is there any pain like that he has caused me?
The Lord has punished me
    on the day of his great anger.

“He sent fire from above
    that went down into my bones.
He stretched out a net for my feet
    and turned me back.
He made me so sad and lonely
    that I am weak all day.

“He has noticed my sins;
    they are tied together by his hands;
they hang around my neck.
    He has turned my strength into weakness.
The Lord has handed me over
    to those who are stronger than I.

“The Lord has rejected
    all my mighty men inside my walls.
He brought an army against me
    to destroy my young men.
As if in a winepress, the Lord has crushed
    the capital city of Judah.

“I cry about these things;
    my eyes overflow with tears.
There is no one near to comfort me,
    no one who can give me strength again.
My children are left sad and lonely,
    because the enemy has won.”

Jerusalem reaches out her hands,
    but there is no one to comfort her.
The Lord commanded the people of Jacob
    to be surrounded by their enemies.
Jerusalem is now unclean
    like those around her.

Jerusalem says, “The Lord is right,
    but I refused to obey him.
Listen, all you people,
    and look at my pain.
My young women and men
    have gone into captivity.

“I called out to my friends,
    but they turned against me.
My priests and my elders
    have died in the city
while looking for food
    to stay alive.

“Look at me, Lord. I am upset
    and greatly troubled.
My heart is troubled,
    because I have been so stubborn.
Out in the streets, the sword kills;
    inside the houses, death destroys.

“People have heard my groaning,
    and there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my trouble,
    and they are happy you have done this to me.
Now bring that day you have announced
    so that my enemies will be like me.

“Look at all their evil.
    Do to them what you have done to me
    because of all my sins.
I groan over and over again,
    and I am afraid.”

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Holy Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully. Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. 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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Year V: Week 4 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 119:97-104

Mem

Oh, how I love your instructions!
    I think about them all day long.
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
    for they are my constant guide.
Yes, I have more insight than my teachers,
    for I am always thinking of your laws.
I am even wiser than my elders,
    for I have kept your commandments.
I have refused to walk on any evil path,
    so that I may remain obedient to your word.
I haven’t turned away from your regulations,
    for you have taught me well.
How sweet your words taste to me;
    they are sweeter than honey.
Your commandments give me understanding;
    no wonder I hate every false way of life.

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…
  • Jesus, it is easy to become nervous and panicked in life, yet you God are our refuge and our very present help in this time of trouble. We trust you Jesus!
             – 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 8:48-59

Jesus Is Greater than Abraham

They answered, “We say you are a Samaritan and have a demon in you. Are we not right?”

Jesus answered, “I have no demon in me. I give honor to my Father, but you dishonor me. I am not trying to get honor for myself. There is One who wants this honor for me, and he is the judge. I tell you the truth, whoever obeys my teaching will never die.”

They said to Jesus, “Now we know that you have a demon in you! Even Abraham and the prophets died. But you say, ‘Whoever obeys my teaching will never die.’ Do you think you are greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died, too. Who do you think you are?”

Jesus answered, “If I give honor to myself, that honor is worth nothing. The One who gives me honor is my Father, and you say he is your God. You don’t really know him, but I know him. If I said I did not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I obey what he says. Your father Abraham was very happy that he would see my day. He saw that day and was glad.”

They said to him, “You have never seen Abraham! You are not even fifty years old.”

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” When Jesus said this, the people picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus hid himself, and then he left the Temple.

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 Stability.

Conscious that a tree often uprooted and replanted will become stunted and weak, I commit myself to the Principle of Stability. As a follower of the Way of Community, I will avoid moving from church to church, group to group and ministry to ministry, but will learn to blossom where I am planted.

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


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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Year V: Week 4 of Lent

Wednesday in Lent: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

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


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 130

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From the depths of despair, O Lord,
I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
Pay attention to my prayer.

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.

I am counting on the Lord;
yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord
more than sentries long for the dawn,
yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel
from every kind of sin.

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.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

2 John 1:1-13

From the Elder.

To the chosen lady and her children:

I love all of you in the truth, and all those who know the truth love you. We love you because of the truth that lives in us and will be with us forever.

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, will be with us in truth and love.

I was very happy to learn that some of your children are following the way of truth, as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, this is not a new command but is the same command we have had from the beginning. I ask you that we all love each other. And love means living the way God commanded us to live. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: Live a life of love.

Many false teachers are in the world now who do not confess that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human. Anyone who does not confess this is a false teacher and an enemy of Christ. Be careful yourselves that you do not lose everything you have worked for, but that you receive your full reward.

Anyone who goes beyond Christ’s teaching and does not continue to follow only his teaching does not have God. But whoever continues to follow the teaching of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If someone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not welcome or accept that person into your house. If you welcome such a person, you share in the evil work.

I have many things to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come to you and talk face to face so we can be full of joy. The children of your chosen sister greet you.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

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

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

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

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end. 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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Year V: Week 4 of Lent

Wednesday in Lent: Afternoon 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.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

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

 

AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 79

A psalm of Asaph.

O God, pagan nations have conquered your land,
your special possession.
They have defiled your holy Temple
and made Jerusalem a heap of ruins.
They have left the bodies of your servants
as food for the birds of heaven.
The flesh of your godly ones
has become food for the wild animals.
Blood has flowed like water all around Jerusalem;
no one is left to bury the dead.
We are mocked by our neighbors,
an object of scorn and derision to those around us.

O Lord, how long will you be angry with us? Forever?
How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you—
on kingdoms that do not call upon your name.
For they have devoured your people Israel,
making the land a desolate wilderness.
Do not hold us guilty for the sins of our ancestors!
Let your compassion quickly meet our needs,
for we are on the brink of despair.

Help us, O God of our salvation!
Help us for the glory of your name.
Save us and forgive our sins
for the honor of your name.
Why should pagan nations be allowed to scoff,
asking, “Where is their God?”
Show us your vengeance against the nations,
for they have spilled the blood of your servants.
Listen to the moaning of the prisoners.
Demonstrate your great power by saving those condemned to die.

O Lord, pay back our neighbors seven times
for the scorn they have hurled at you.
Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will thank you forever and ever,
praising your greatness from generation to generation.

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
(Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Lamentations 1:1-11

Jerusalem Cries over Her Loss

Jerusalem once was full of people,
    but now the city is empty.
Jerusalem once was a great city among the nations,
    but now she is like a widow.
She was like a queen of all the other cities,
    but now she is a slave.

She cries loudly at night,
    and tears are on her cheeks.
There is no one to comfort her;
    all who loved her are gone.
All her friends have turned against her
    and are now her enemies.

Judah has gone into captivity
    where she suffers and works hard.
She lives among other nations,
    but she has found no rest.
Those who chased her caught her
    when she was in trouble.

The roads to Jerusalem are sad,
    because no one comes for the feasts.
No one passes through her gates.
    Her priests groan,
her young women are suffering,
    and Jerusalem suffers terribly.

Her foes are now her masters.
    Her enemies enjoy the wealth they have taken.
The Lord is punishing her
    for her many sins.
Her children have gone away
    as captives of the enemy.

The beauty of Jerusalem
    has gone away.
Her rulers are like deer
    that cannot find food.
They are weak
    and run from the hunters.

Jerusalem is suffering and homeless.
    She remembers all the good things
    from the past.
But her people were defeated by the enemy,
    and there was no one to help her.
When her enemies saw her,
    they laughed to see her ruined.

Jerusalem sinned terribly,
    so she has become unclean.
Those who honored her now hate her,
    because they have seen her nakedness.
She groans
    and turns away.

She made herself dirty by her sins
    and did not think about what would happen to her.
Her defeat was surprising,
    and no one could comfort her.
She says, “Lord, see how I suffer,
    because the enemy has won.”

The enemy reached out and took
    all her precious things.
She even saw foreigners
    enter her Temple.
The Lord had commanded foreigners
    never to enter the meeting place of his people.

All of Jerusalem’s people groan,
    looking for bread.
They are trading their precious things for food
    so they can stay alive.
The city says, “Look, Lord, and see.
    I am hated.”

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Holy Spirit, guide us through the rest of our day.
May we know your wisdom in our hearts,
Your strength in our bodies,
And your peace in our lives. Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. 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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Year V: Week 4 of Lent

Wednesday 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 119:89-96

Lamedh

Your eternal word, O Lord,
    stands firm in heaven.
Your faithfulness extends to every generation,
    as enduring as the earth you created.
Your regulations remain true to this day,
    for everything serves your plans.
If your instructions hadn’t sustained me with joy,
    I would have died in my misery.
I will never forget your commandments,
    for by them you give me life.
I am yours; rescue me!
    For I have worked hard at obeying your commandments.
Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me,
    I will quietly keep my mind on your laws.
Even perfection has its limits,
    but your commands have no limit.

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, you embraced our sin and wretchedness in order that we might be accepted by your Father. May we ever be mindful of the love that sought us, the blood that bought us and the grace that brought us to your Kingdom.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • When other things have claimed my affection and held me back from obedience.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • When there has been a secret ‘but’ in my prayers and reservations in my worship.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • When the praise of man has elated me and the blame of man has depressed me, and when my love of self has polluted my service.
             – Lord, have mercy…

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, bless my family today. Help me to seek their forgiveness for wrongs committed against them, knowing that both he who offends and he who takes offense both sin in equal proportions.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For times when I have highlighted their failure rather than celebrated their success.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For failing to give them the time they deserve, the attention they crave and the love they need.
             – Lord, have mercy…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church all across this world and throughout all ages. Forgive us when we have not strived to see your face in their face and your life in their life; taking our brothers and sisters for granted rather than seeing them as a precious gift.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For times I have not worshipped as I ought, given as I should or cared as I could.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For turning away when the hardest was asked of me, knowing that someone else would be asked instead.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • For broken commitments, unspoken prayers and lying words that promise much but deliver little.
             – Lord, have mercy…

The World

  • Father and creator of mankind, I place myself again on your altar for the sake of the world. Set me alight again and spare not the sacrifice. I present my life, reputation, ambitions, plans and loved ones into your hands. May I be ever and only for your glory.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • Let earth no more my heart divide. May I know you in your life, your death and your resurrection power.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • May I be your light, your witness and your ambassador. Having rejected the world and its accolades, I now live to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” when you return.
             – Lord, have mercy…
  • Holy Spirit you empower Gods people to do ‘even greater works’ to display Gods power. As we pray today for those who are sick with this virus outbreak may your power be seen in their healing!
             – 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 8:39-47

They answered, “Our father is Abraham.”

Jesus said, “If you were really Abraham’s children, you would do the things Abraham did. I am a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God, but you are trying to kill me. Abraham did nothing like that. So you are doing the things your own father did.”

But they said, “We are not like children who never knew who their father was. God is our Father; he is the only Father we have.”

Jesus said to them, “If God were really your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and now I am here. I did not come by my own authority; God sent me. You don’t understand what I say, because you cannot accept my teaching. You belong to your father the devil, and you want to do what he wants. He was a murderer from the beginning and was against the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he shows what he is really like, because he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you don’t believe me. Can any of you prove that I am guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? The person who belongs to God accepts what God says. But you don’t accept what God says, because you don’t belong to God.”

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 Transparency.

Remembering that scripture encourages us to “confess your sins to one another that you might be healed”, I embrace the Principle of Transparency. As a follower of the Way of Community, I will be open with my church community about my personal struggles and failures, avoiding wearing a mask that would make me appear better than I really am.

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


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.)

O God, your glory is always to have mercy.
Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways,
And bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith,
To embrace and hold fast to the truth incarnate,
Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord,
Who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may God be merciful to you,
Gracious to your petitions,
And fully present in your life. 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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Year V: Week 4 of Lent

Tuesday in Lent: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

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


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 130

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From the depths of despair, O Lord,
I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
Pay attention to my prayer.

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.

I am counting on the Lord;
yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord
more than sentries long for the dawn,
yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel
from every kind of sin.

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.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

1 John 5:13-21

We Have Eternal Life Now

I write this letter to you who believe in the Son of God so you will know you have eternal life. And this is the boldness we have in God’s presence: that if we ask God for anything that agrees with what he wants, he hears us. If we know he hears us every time we ask him, we know we have what we ask from him.

If anyone sees a brother or sister sinning (sin that does not lead to eternal death), that person should pray, and God will give the sinner life. I am talking about people whose sin does not lead to eternal death. There is sin that leads to death. I do not mean that a person should pray about that sin. Doing wrong is always sin, but there is sin that does not lead to eternal death.

We know that those who are God’s children do not continue to sin. The Son of God keeps them safe, and the Evil One cannot touch them. We know that we belong to God, but the Evil One controls the whole world. We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we can know the True One. And our lives are in the True One and in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and the eternal life.

So, dear children, keep yourselves away from false gods.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

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

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

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

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end. 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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Year V: Week 4 of Lent

Tuesday in Lent: Afternoon 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.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

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

 

AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 74

A psalm of Asaph.

O God, why have you rejected us so long?
Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture?
Remember that we are the people you chose long ago,
the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession!
And remember Jerusalem, your home here on earth.
Walk through the awful ruins of the city;
see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary.

There your enemies shouted their victorious battle cries;
there they set up their battle standards.
They swung their axes
like woodcutters in a forest.
With axes and picks,
they smashed the carved paneling.
They burned your sanctuary to the ground.
They defiled the place that bears your name.
Then they thought, “Let’s destroy everything!”
So they burned down all the places where God was worshiped.

We no longer see your miraculous signs.
All the prophets are gone,
and no one can tell us when it will end.
How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you?
Will you let them dishonor your name forever?
Why do you hold back your strong right hand?
Unleash your powerful fist and destroy them.

You, O God, are my king from ages past,
bringing salvation to the earth.
You split the sea by your strength
and smashed the heads of the sea monsters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan
and let the desert animals eat him.
You caused the springs and streams to gush forth,
and you dried up rivers that never run dry.
Both day and night belong to you;
you made the starlight and the sun.
You set the boundaries of the earth,
and you made both summer and winter.

See how these enemies insult you, Lord.
A foolish nation has dishonored your name.
Don’t let these wild beasts destroy your turtledoves.
Don’t forget your suffering people forever.

Remember your covenant promises,
for the land is full of darkness and violence!
Don’t let the downtrodden be humiliated again.
Instead, let the poor and needy praise your name.

Arise, O God, and defend your cause.
Remember how these fools insult you all day long.
Don’t overlook what your enemies have said
or their growing uproar.

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
(Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

2 Chronicles 36:17-23

So God brought the king of Babylon to attack them. The king killed the young men even when they were in the Temple. He had no mercy on the young men or women, the old men or those who were sick. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar carried away to Babylon all the things from the Temple of God, both large and small, and all the treasures from the Temple of the Lord and from the king and his officers. Nebuchadnezzar and his army set fire to God’s Temple and broke down Jerusalem’s wall and burned all the palaces. They took or destroyed every valuable thing in Jerusalem.

Nebuchadnezzar took captive to Babylon the people who were left alive, and he forced them to be slaves for him and his descendants. They remained there as slaves until the Persian kingdom defeated Babylon. And so what the Lord had told Israel through the prophet Jeremiah happened: The country was an empty wasteland for seventy years to make up for the years of Sabbath rest that the people had not kept.

In the first year Cyrus was king of Persia, the Lord had Cyrus send an announcement to his whole kingdom. This happened so the Lord’s message spoken by Jeremiah would come true. He wrote:

This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has appointed me to build a Temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Now may the Lord your God be with all of you who are his people. You are free to go to Jerusalem.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Lord Jesus, you worked with your hands as a carpenter.
May we who labour upon the earth never cease to give you praise,
And know your loving presence with us.
We ask this for your glory. Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. 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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