Morning Prayer: Thu, 03 Nov – Psalm 26:1-2; Jeremiah 31:21; Mark 1:16-18 ~ test my motives

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

I call all heaven to witness today that I have put on Christ.
I choose no other Lord than the Maker of heaven and earth.
This day I walk with Him and He will walk with me.

Reading: Psalm 26:1-2 (NLT)

what-is-my-motive-heart-check-up

Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart.

Reading: Jeremiah 31:21 (NLT)

Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Mark well the path by which you came. Come back again, my virgin Israel; return to your towns here.

Reading: Mark 1:16-18 (NLT)

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him.
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Prayer:

Confession: There is one God and one mediator between heaven and earth, the man Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as a ransom for all people.

+ Create a clean heart within me, O God, so that I may become Your chosen shelter and the resting place of the Holy Spirit.

+ Holy God, Holy and Strong, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on me.

+ I make the cross of Christ upon my breast, and I ask the living God of the universe that the Light of lights banish my darkness so that I may live in the resurrection power of Your love.

+ Holy God, Holy and Strong, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on me.

Pardon: The journey from death to life is ours through Jesus Christ, by the strength, power, and mercy of God’s love. Wherever our path has taken us in the past, today is a new day in the eyes of the Lord. Let us live as children of light.
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“Restore My Soul “ – Vertical Church Band

Restore my soul, revive my heart | Renew my life in every part | Reveal to me what sin remains | Then lead me to the cross again

At at the cross I’ll find the way | To live the life Your hand has made | So find me there, Lord, and help me stay | In true surrender with You, my Savior

Relight the fire that burned so strong | Reminding me what You have done | My one request is to be changed | So lead me to the cross again

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Wed, 02 Nov – Psalm 25:14; Jeremiah 31:20; Revelation 1:12-18 ~ walk with me

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

I call all heaven to witness today that I have put on Christ.
I choose no other Lord than the Maker of heaven and earth.
This day I walk with Him and He will walk with me.

Reading: Psalm 25:14 (NLT)

The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.

Reading: Jeremiah 31:20 (NLT)

“Is not Israel still my son, my darling child?” says the Lord. “I often have to punish him, but I still love him. That’s why I long for him and surely will have mercy on him.”

Reading: Revelation 1:12-18 (NLT)

I am the First and the Last
I am the First and the Last

When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look — I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.”
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Prayer: Patrick (389-461) – a call to stand

I call on all heaven to witness today that I have put on Christ.
Watch over me and protect me:

+ In life’s choices and circumstances
+ In my coming and going, in light and darkness
+ In hesitancy and fear, uncertainty and rebellion
+ In testing and pain, in danger and doubt
+ In bearing good news, in breaking new ground
+ Alone and with others, be they friend or enemy
+ In carrying your light, in combating darkness
+ In healing and freedom and life-giving blessing
+ In comfort or challenge, to rescue and save
+ In all my beginnings, and at each ending

I call on all heaven to witness today that I have put on Christ.
Watch over me and protect me.
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“Walk with Me” – Jesus Culture

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: 31 Mar – Is 49:1-6; Jn 13:21-33, 36-38 ~ the time has come

Tuesday of Holy Week

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence and prayer:

Christ our Savior, redeemed us by His death and resurrection.

+ You went up to Jerusalem to endure the passion and enter into glory – lead Your people into the paschal feast of eternal life.
+ Your heart was pierced with a lance – heal the wounds of our human weakness.
+ You made Your cross the tree of life – share Your victory with all believers.
+ You gave salvation to the repentant thief – pardon all our sins.

All-powerful, ever-living God, may our reflection on Christ’s passion remind us of the price of forgiveness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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A Reading from the Old Testament: Isaiah 49:1-6 (NLT)

Listen to me, all you in distant lands! Pay attention, you who are far away! The Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name. He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword. He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand. I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.

Trust God

He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.”

I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.”

And now the Lord speaks — the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him. The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength. He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
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Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father; you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 13:21-33, 36-38 (NLT)

Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!”

The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?”

Stained glass window depicting Judas Iscariot turning away from the Last Supper, Moulins Cathedral, France.
Stained glass window depicting Judas Iscariot turning away from the Last Supper, Moulins Cathedral, France.

Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. So Judas left at once, going out into the night.

As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going.
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Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”

And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”

“But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”

Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter — before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.
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Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing:

May the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Prayer: 4 Mar – Jer 18:18-20; Mt 20:17-28 ~ are you able

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence and prayer:

The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
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Protect Your family, Lord, and strengthen us with Your consoling presence. May the message of Christ, in all its richness, live in our hearts and lead us to the joys of heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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A Reading from the Old Testament: Jeremiah 18:18-20 (NLT)

Jeremiah, as depicted by Michelangelo from the Sistine Chapel
Jeremiah, as depicted by Michelangelo from the Sistine Chapel

Then the people said, “Come on, let’s plot a way to stop Jeremiah. We have plenty of priests and wise men and prophets. We don’t need him to teach the word and give us advice and prophecies. Let’s spread rumors about him and ignore what he says.”

Lord, hear me and help me! Listen to what my enemies are saying. Should they repay evil for good? They have dug a pit to kill me, though I pleaded for them and tried to protect them from your anger.
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I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life. (John 8:12)
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A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 20:17-28 (NLT)

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him. “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”

Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor. “What is your request?” he asked.

She replied, “In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.”

Can You Drink This Cup? – Nouwen [click on picture for story]
Can You Drink This Cup? – Nouwen [click on picture for story]

But Jesus answered by saying to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?”

“Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!”

Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup. But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.”

When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
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“Are ye able,” said the Master, “to be crucified with me?”
“Yea,” the sturdy dreamers answered, “to the death we follow thee.”

Lord, we are able. Our spirits are thine. Remold them, make us, like thee, divine. Thy guiding radiance above us shall be a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty.

Are ye able to remember, when a thief lifts up his eyes,
that his pardoned soul is worthy of a place in paradise?

Are ye able when the shadows close around you with the sod,
to believe that spirit triumphs, to commend your soul to God?

Are ye able? Still the Master whispers down eternity,
and heroic spirits answer, now as then in Galilee.
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Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing:

May the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Second Sunday of Lent: Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18; Ps 116:10, 15-19; Rom 8:31b-34; Mk 9:2-10 ~ beloved sacrifice

Second Sunday of Lent

The gospel of the transfiguration reminds us to hold firm to a vision of glory, on dark days.

+ In the name the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening prayer:

Ever-faithful God, You were well pleased with Abraham’s obedience and You accepted the sacrifice of Your Son, who gave himself up for the sake of us all. Train us by Christ’s teaching and school us in His obedience, that, as we walk His way of sacrifice, we may come to share in Your glory. We ask this through Christ, our deliverance and hope, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, holy and mighty God for ever and ever.
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A Reading from the Old testament:Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18 (NLT)

Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called.

“Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.”

“Take your son, your only son — yes, Isaac, whom you love so much — and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”
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Abraham and Isaac Rembrandt, 1634 Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
Abraham and Isaac
Rembrandt, 1634
Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg

When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.

And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”

“Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”

Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.
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Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven. “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed — all because you have obeyed me.”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 116:10, 15-19 (NLT)

I believed in you, so I said, “I am deeply troubled, Lord.”
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The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die. O Lord, I am your servant; yes, I am your servant, born into your household; you have freed me from my chains. I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people — in the house of the Lord in the heart of Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
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A Reading from the Letters: Rom 8:31b-34 (NLT)

If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one — for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one — for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Mark 9:2-10 (NLT)

Transfiguration Raphael, 1518-1520 Pinacoteca Vaticana, Vatican City
Transfiguration
Raphael, 1518-1520
Pinacoteca Vaticana, Vatican City

Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly bleach could ever make them. Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus.

Peter exclaimed, “Rabbi, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials — one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He said this because he didn’t really know what else to say, for they were all terrified.

Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, when they looked around, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus with them.

As they went back down the mountain, he told them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept it to themselves, but they often asked each other what he meant by “rising from the dead.”
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Intercessions:

Merciful God: we call on Your Name with thanksgiving and trust…. Lord, hear us.

+ For Christians throughout the world, as we continue on our lenten journey — we pray…. Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians facing persecution in Iraq, Syria and Libya — we pray…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the Jewish people of every country, the sons and daughters of Abraham — we pray…. Lord, hear us.
+ For peace in the world, especially in Ukraine — we pray…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who are starving in a world of plenty — we pray…. Lord, hear us.
+ For our communities and particularly for people who are lonely or fearful — we pray…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who have gone before us in faith, especially those who have been martyred for their faith — we pray…. Lord, hear us.

Loving God, we are Your servants who trust in You, even in the midst of affliction: hear our prayers and help us to walk in Your presence all our days, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Benediction:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen