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Morning Prayer for Monday, 30 March 2020

Merciful God, with all my heart we turn to you...

This week in the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, we are praying with thepeople

and churches of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia,

North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia

Opening Prayer

Merciful God, with all my heart we turn to you.

We have nothing to bring except our empty hands. Please fill them with your love. Be the refuge, guide and strength of our lives. You are our hope and our comfort.  Please help us to share this hope with others.

Let our church and congregations be welcoming places, where others can find help and home.

Bless and comfort all people who enter our lives and churches.

God of mercy, thank you for hearing our prayer.

Amen.

(Pilgrim Prayer, 67-68, adapted)

Centering Prayer - Moment of Silence

Responsive Psalm 143 (use a single voice for the response)

Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.

The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness
like those long dead.
So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.

I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;
I thirst for you like a parched land.

Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.

Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God; may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

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.

Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 17: 17 – 24

17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”

22 The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”

24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

The Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God.

♪     Mendelssohn: Elijah, Op.70, MWV A25 / Part 1 - "What have I to do with thee

Reflection: What has this time of solitude as you observe ‘physical distancing’, as a result of COVID-19, revealed or affirmed for you regarding your knowledge of God. 

Intercessory Prayers

Gracious and loving God, in this time of uncertainty,

comfort your people, renew our hope and remind us that you are our provider.

Hear your people’s cry, Lord God.

Ever-present God, as we struggle with doubts and fear,

surround us with your love and light and hold us in your embrace.

Hear your people’s cry, Lord God.

Sustaining God, in our efforts to serve humanity,

lead the people and churches of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia and all countries of the world to live in peace and integrity even as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hear your people’s cry, Lord God.

All-knowing God, as we remember all who lead and serve,

give wisdom, selflessness and compassion to those who serve in whatever capacity seeking the good of all humanity. Teach us to live in harmony with all peoples.

Hear your people’s cry, Lord God.

Incarnate God, as we seek to be the Body of Christ in today’s world,

bless and guide our churches that they may be places of welcome, comfort and caring. Help us all to be the people you long for us to be. In Christ’s Holy Name we pray.

Hear your people’s cry, Lord God.

(Pilgrim Prayer, 68 - adapted)

The Lord’s Prayer (each in the language of our heart)

Benediction

The Lord bless us and keep us; the Lord make his face shine on us and be gracious to us; the Lord turn his face toward us and give us peace.