Year III: Week 4 of Easter

Wednesday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Feast: St Mark, Evangelist: St. Mark was the writer of the gospel that bears his name and one of Christ’s 70 disciples that he sent out in Luke 10. Mark was born in Cyrene, Libya and traveled with St.Barnabas and St.Paul on many of their missionary journeys, during which he founded the Church of Alexandria. He died on April 25, 68 A.D. in Alexandria, Egypt.


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 96

A Song of Praise to God Coming in Judgment

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
Give to the Lord glory and strength.
Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns;
The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved;
He shall judge the peoples righteously.”

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.
For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth.

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, when you rose in resurrection power you made possible for us to be filled and running over with the Holy Spirit. Fill us today with your Holy Spirit and make us able ministers of the New Covenant in your blood.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…
  • May the fruit of the Holy Spirit be apparent in our lives. May love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control flourish.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…
  • Your Word instructs us to eagerly desire the spiritual gifts. May supernatural wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment and the gift of tongues be my daily experience.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed; watch over my family today. Save the lost, protect the young, give strength to the old, empower the weak and heal the broken.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…
  • May the power of the Blood be manifest in my life, and the faith of God flow towards all I love. Deliver me from sin and make me alive to goodness.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…
  • May the power of the Cross be manifest in my life, and the hope of God flow towards all I love. Deliver me from self and make me alive to service.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…
  • May the power of the Resurrection be manifest in my life, and the love of God flow towards all I love. Deliver me from Satan and make me alive to God.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, your Spirit empowers us in ministry for service. Raise up amongst us Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. Bless your church with givers, exhorters, servants, leaders, administrators and distributors of mercy that your people may come to the fullness of Christ.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…
  • May your church be a place of refuge, an oasis of hope and a haven of love. Drive from us all conflict and strife.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…
  • May your people be a pattern of holiness, an example of humility and a model of compassion. Drive from us all guile and pride.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…
  • May your house be a home to the homeless, a guide to the lost and a light to the nations. Drive from us all selfish desires.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…

The World

  • Saviour of all, we pray for the people of the world. One day you will return in glory to judge. Come in our day in mercy to save! Bow down and hear our cry O God, for the walls of gold have entombed us and the swords of the warmonger have devoured us! Take not your Spirit from us, but take away our pride!
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…
  • For the continent of America, North and South. Pour out your Spirit afresh; a great awakening from Alaska to Argentina.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…
  • For the United States. May she use her immense power for the good of all mankind and be known as a sender of good news and a force for peace.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…
  • For the nations of the South. Thank you for revival in many regions! Bring peace to places of lawlessness and insurgency and provide for those in deep poverty.
    – For it is the Spirit that gives us life…


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 4:30-41

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

Jesus Calms a Storm

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

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 Joy: The Principle of Cultivating the Garden of the Heart.

Conscious that my own unhealed pain creates suffering for others, I take refuge in God to heal my sorrow in order that His joy would be my strength and His smile be always upon my lips. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I take responsibility for the garden of my heart, prayerfully transforming seeds of sadness, suffering and affliction, and diligently nurturing the seeds of wonder, joyfulness and hope.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Cultivating the Garden of the 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.)

Lord God our Father,
Through your Son Jesus,
You have assured your children of eternal life,
And have baptized us into that life, making us one with Christ.
Deliver us from the death of sin
And raise us to new life in your love,
In the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
By the power of the resurrection. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may God,
Who has given us the victory through Christ,
Bring joy to your hearts and peace to your soul. Amen.


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Standard
Year III: Week 4 of Easter

Tuesday: 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 93

The Eternal Reign of the Lord

The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
The Lord is clothed,
He has girded Himself with strength.
Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.
Your throne is established from of old;
You are from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
The floods have lifted up their voice;
The floods lift up their waves.
The Lord on high is mightier
Than the noise of many waters,
Than the mighty waves of the sea.

Your testimonies are very sure;
Holiness adorns Your house,
O Lord, forever.

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, bring peace to our hearts today. We lay our worries and fears at your feet and take up instead the yoke that is easy and the burden that is light. Forgive us for struggling instead of praying and complaining instead of rejoicing.
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • Take from our souls the strain and stress and make us content with all you have given and thankful for all you have done.
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • Take from us the need to be right, the desire to possess and the craving to control.
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…

Family & Friends

  • We are your hands, your feet, your eyes and your ears. Surrendering ourselves to you today we ask you to live your life through us. Heal through our hands, walk with our feet, see through our eyes and hear through our ears.
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • We are your people, your beloved, your body, your church. Surrendering ourselves to you today, we give ourselves as the servants of all.
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • We are your watchmen, ambassadors, lovers and friends. Surrendering ourselves to you today, we pour ourselves out as food for the world.
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, your church is the centre of all your attention. May she be pure from every spot of sin, free from every wrinkle of discord, void of every ungodly desire and empty of all but love for you.
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For happy children, zealous youth, strong parents, stable statesmen and wise seniors. Make it so in our day!
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For churches in one accord, leaders of Christ-like stature and communities of godly saints. Make it so in our day!
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…

The World

  • Saviour of all, we pray for the nations. Have mercy upon the world in which we live and restore the honour of your name amongst us. You died as a lamb, now roar as a lion, for the banners of the world belong to our God!
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For the continent of Europe today we pray, where once your gospel sounded strong and clear. Reclaim her streets, revive your church, renew her cities and rebuke her folly.
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For those fleeing war and poverty, who wander the continent in fear and bewilderment. Find a home for the homeless and shelter for the dispossessed.
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…
  • For those entrusted with the political future of the Union and the spiritual future of the continent. May they know your will with clarity and uphold your word with courage.
    – For you are the Lord, and your judgements are true…


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 4:21-29

A Lamp Under a Basket

And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

The Parable of the Seed Growing

And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

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 Compassion: The Principle of Impartation.

Recognising the intense loss-ness of humanity, I seek to impart the good news of Christ to all within my world. As a follower of the Way of Compassion, I will do this with patience, genuine love and authentic kindness.

All:
This is The Way of Compassion: The Principle of Impartation.


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.)

Risen Christ,
For whom no door is locked, no entrance barred:
Open the doors of our hearts,
That we may seek the good of others,
And walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,
To the praise of God the Father. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the God of peace,
Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
That great shepherd of the sheep,
Through the blood of the eternal covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will. Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Standard
Year III: Week 4 of Easter

Monday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Feast: St George’s Day: St. George was born circa 280 in Cappadocia, an area that is now part of Turkey. Emperor Diocletian executed St. George on April 23, 303, in Lydda, Palestine, for protesting Diocletian’s persecution of Christians. George was written about by the ancient church historian Eusebius and had become a popular saint in England by the 700’s. He became patron saint of England in 1098, after reportedly appearing to soldiers at the Battle of Antioch.


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

Praise to the Lord for His Love and Faithfulness
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath day.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night,
On an instrument of ten strings,
On the lute,
And on the harp,
With harmonious sound.
For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands.

O Lord, how great are Your works!
Your thoughts are very deep.
A senseless man does not know,
Nor does a fool understand this.
When the wicked spring up like grass,
And when all the workers of iniquity flourish,
It is that they may be destroyed forever.

But You, Lord, are on high forevermore.
For behold, Your enemies, O Lord,
For behold, Your enemies shall perish;
All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox;
I have been anointed with fresh oil.
My eye also has seen my desire on my enemies;
My ears hear my desire on the wicked
Who rise up against me.

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness 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…

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

The Parable of the Sower

Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

The Purpose of the Parables

And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that

“they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.”

And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

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 Compassion: The Principle of Going to the Margins.

Aware that my Lord prioritised those on the margins of society, I determine to become a servant to those the world despises and forgets, and a friend of the broken. As a follower of the Way of Compassion, I seek to serve rather than to be served.

All:
This is The Way of Compassion: The Principle of Going to the Margins.


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 taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Standard
Year III: Week 4 of Easter

Sunday: 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 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 87

The Glories of the City of God
A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song.

His foundation is in the holy mountains.
The Lord loves the gates of Zion
More than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you,
O city of God! Selah

“I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to those who know Me;
Behold, O Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia:
‘This one was born there.’”

And of Zion it will be said,
“This one and that one were born in her;
And the Most High Himself shall establish her.”
The Lord will record,
When He registers the peoples:
“This one was born there.” Selah

Both the singers and the players on instruments say,
“All my springs are in you.”

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 give you praise for this day of celebration in your House. Open our lips to praise the Risen Saviour and open our hearts to receive your love. Make me a witness to the world, an ambassador to the broken and a servant to your people.
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • For strength to overcome sin, self and Satan and for power to walk the world in white.
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • That the high praises of God may be in our mouths, the compassion of Christ be in our eyes and the sword of the Spirit be in our hands.
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…

Family & Friends

  • Heavenly Father we thank you for your favour that you have lavished upon us, and that the blessing of Abraham has been extended to us. We declare that all our needs are met according to your riches in glory.
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • We declare that all our sicknesses are healed by the one who rose with healing in his wings.
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • We declare that all our children are blessed of God, and shall surely inherit the land.
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • We declare that all our guilt and shame has been dealt with, and our sins that were red as crimson have been made as white as snow.
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we thank you for your people, the resurrection community, the new creation. Let your Spirit flow freely today from hearts on fire with divine love, and let the rivers of life overflow the banks as we gather this morning.
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • For churches across the nation. Revive, renew and restore your people. Come quickly to your temple and make yourself known!
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • For Christians across the world. Unite what sin has divided and break down the walls of separation.
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…

The World

  • God of grace, let waters flow in the desert and streams in the wilderness! May the barren places blossom and the desolate places sing for joy. May East and West, North and South experience the greatest outpouring of your Holy Spirit in history.
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • For the empowering of missionary organisations, church planters, ministers of mercy and all those being called into service in a foreign field…
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…
  • For the unreached millions, the untouched multitudes and the unloved masses.
    – Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again…


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 3:22-35

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

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 Compassion: The Principle of Compassionate Listening.

Mindful of the brokenness of those around me, I determine to cultivate the art of deep, non-judgemental listening. As a follower of the Way of Compassion, I will seek rather to understand than to be understood.

All:
This is The Way of Compassion: The Principle of Compassionate Listening.


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.)

God of Life, who for our redemption,
Gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross,
And by his glorious resurrection,
Has delivered us from the power of our enemy:
Grant us so to die daily to sin,
That we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may God the Holy Spirit,
Whom the risen Lord breathed into his disciples,
Empower you and fill you with Christ’s peace. Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Standard
Year III: Week 3 of Easter

Saturday: 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 85

Prayer that the Lord Will Restore Favor to the Land
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

Lord, You have been favorable to Your land;
You have brought back the captivity of Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people;
You have covered all their sin. Selah
You have taken away all Your wrath;
You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger.

Restore us, O God of our salvation,
And cause Your anger toward us to cease.
Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?
Will You not revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?
Show us Your mercy, Lord,
And grant us Your salvation.

I will hear what God the Lord will speak,
For He will speak peace
To His people and to His saints;
But let them not turn back to folly.
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.

Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Yes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.

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

  • Mighty God, who created the world and all that is in it and set us here to love you and enjoy you forever; grant that our weekend would be one of peace, joy, rest and worship. Take from our souls the strain and stress that so easily clings to us and may the eternal Sabbath of God be found springing in our hearts.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • May we experience victory over sin, triumph over fear, freedom from all doubt and the full conquest of our souls by the Spirit of God.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • May we rest in your finished work, trust in your mighty blood and abide in your relentless love.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, as we enter the weekend, bind us together with family and friends with unbreakable cords and unshakeable compassion. Add to our community the lost, the lonely, the broken and the confused. I offer myself as a friend to the friendless.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • Rebuild broken relationships and recreate broken hearts. I offer myself as a restorer of the breach.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • Bring hope to those who have seen devastation in their families and famine in their finances. I offer myself as a source for the needy
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, I present myself to you today as a servant of your church and a minister of your grace. Take from me all desire for prominence, all ambition for fame and all craving for celebrity. I offer myself as a servant of all.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • May we be known not so much by our knowledge or seen by our status, but may we be recognised by our joy, identified by our humility and understood through our works of love.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • May your fire burn strongly in our midst and may we be true living sacrifices upon your altar.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…

The World

  • We pray for the Middle East, the nations of the Arab world, and the people of Abraham. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the reconciliation of brothers, the wise counsel of leaders and a solution to the horrors of extremism.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • For the sons of Abraham; who you called to yourself, liberated from Egypt and established in the Promised Land. May they come to Christ and receive your only Son as their Messiah.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • For the sons of Ishmael; who in times past you blessed with increase and fruitfulness. May they come into their birthright and discover your only begotten as their only Saviour.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…
  • For those living under tyranny and religious persecution. May their knees be strong, their minds be steady and their witness be firm.
    – Make me your fuel, O flame of God…


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 3:13-21

The Twelve Apostles

And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

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 Compassion: The Principle of Non-Discrimination.

Conscious of my deep connection with all of creation, and that everything I have is a gift of grace; I seek a heart free from discrimination, judgemental attitudes and personal opinions. As a follower of the Way of Compassion, I sow my heart with seeds of acceptance, forgiveness, grace and mercy.

All:
This is The Way of Compassion: The Principle of Non-Discrimination.


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 Jesus, you declared yourself to be the resurrection and the life:
Raise us, who trust in you,
From the death of sin to the life of righteousness,
That we may seek those things which are above,
Where you reign with the Father,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead be at work in you,
To reveal his Son in your life and his glory in your heart. Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Standard
Year III: Week 3 of Easter

Friday: 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 84

The Blessedness of Dwelling in the House of God
To the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You. Selah

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
O God, behold our shield,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

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

  • Mighty Lord, we come to the weekend with thanks for your keeping and sustaining power. In Christ we are more than overcomers and in you we have received all that we need for life and godliness. May we know your presence within and your boldness without.
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…
  • Thank you that in Him the promises of God are Yes, and in him are Amen, to the glory of God through us.
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…
  • Thank you that we are the righteousness of God in Him, who became sin for us.
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…
  • Thank you that in Him we are a new creation; old things have passed away and all things have become new!
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you have called our families to be partakers of the Covenant and that in Him was life and that life was the light of men. As I dwell in Him, may I be a light to my family today, that they may see Christ in me and worship Christ in Heaven.
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…
  • Thank you for choosing us in Him before the foundation of the world. May our homes be a place fit for the King to dwell.
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…
  • Thank you that in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him you have reconciled all things. Make me a minister of reconciliation today!
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…

The Church

  • Thank you that your church is complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power. May there be no lack, no division, no fear and no trace of sin in your body today.
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…
  • Thank you that even as we have received Christ, so you call us to walk in Him. Cause your church to walk in faith today and so produce the greater works that you spoke of.
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…
  • Thank you that in Him, we are built together as a habitation of God through the Holy Spirit. Restore your holy habitation O God and make your dwelling place glorious!
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, all creation is groaning in birth-pains, waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God. Revive your work, O God, your mighty arm, make bare! Speak with the voice that wakes the dead, and make your people hear!
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…
  • For the continent of Australasia and the Pacific Islands. Thank you for the mighty work of the 19th century missionaries here and for the legacy of their sacrifice. Raise up man and women to take the work forward!
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…
  • Bring the scriptures to the hundreds of languages in the Pacific that currently have no translation.
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…
  • For the stemming of the tide of secularism on the mainland, and understanding between people’s separated by ethnicity and economics.
    – For in Him we live and move and have our being…


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 3:1-12

A Man with a Withered Hand

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked round at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

A Great Crowd Follows Jesus

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

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.)

Risen Christ, who filled your disciples with boldness and hope:
Strengthen us to proclaim your risen life,
And fill us with your peace,
To the glory of God the Father. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may Christ,
Who out of seeming defeat brings new hope,
Fill you with faith and hope this day. Amen.


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year III: Week 3 of Easter

Thursday: 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 63

Joy in the Fellowship of God
A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.

But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.

But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

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

  • King of all, as I wake this morning I consecrate my life to you.  May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight today, and may the actions of the hands and the attitude of my spirit reflect your presence within me.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • Grant me wisdom for today’s work, strength for today’s tasks and courage for today’s challenges.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • Keep my ears attentive to your Spirit, my mind renewed by your Word and my feet swift to perform your bidding.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, as for me and my House, we shall serve the Lord.  Give me courage to lead, humility to follow, grace to listen and meekness to serve.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • Give peace to my house and joy to my family.  Grant them safety on their travels and happiness in their work.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • May the rhythm of prayer establish us, the values of love surround us and the call of mission rouse us.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your local church.  Fill her with life and break every chain!  May her leaders find much encouragement, her people experience much favour and her witness bear much fruit.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • Plant us deep and stretch us wide!  May our love for you deepen with every new morning and our numbers grow with every new day.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • Be our provider according to your Word.  Meet every budget, supply every need and fill every lack for the glory of God.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer. 

The World

  • Sovereign Lord, who made the heavens and earth and sea, look upon the tribulations of your church  and the threats to your people in so many places on earth.  Grant your servants to speak your word with boldness and stretch out your hands to heal, that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus!
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • For the continent of Asia and the masses of Russia and China.  Thank you for the resurgence of the church and the mighty acts of God even in great trial.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • For the church under intense persecution in North Korea, Bhutan, Vietnam, Burma and India.  May they be kept from the wicked one and faithful unto death
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.
  • For those trapped in poverty and struggling through natural disaster.  Provide for your people and protect your flock.
              –  May your house be a house of prayer.


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

Mark2:18-28

A Question About Fasting

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

One Sabbath he was going through the cornfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck ears of corn. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?”And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

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 Intercession.

Conscious of the darkness and pain around me, I resolve to pray daily for the well-being of those whom God brings to my heart. As a follower of the Way of Prayer, I will stand in the gap and intercede for all in need.

All:
This is The Way of Prayer: The Principle of Intercession.


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, who thrilled the disciples,
With the sight of the risen Lord:
Give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
That we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life,
And serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
Through Jesus Christ your Son 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 the Father,
By whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,
Strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life.  Amen.


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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