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Welcome and Preparation
We begin with a few moments to calm our bodies and minds.
|Guide||The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
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Remember Your Time of Need
|Guide||Let us draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Bring to mind a transforming moment in your life. Imagine yourself in that situation. Picture where you are in that moment and who may be near you. (To learn more about the transforming moment click here.)
Or, call to mind your time of need—whatever trouble feels most pressing to you right now. What is that area of suffering or sin where you need the Redeemer’s help?
|Guide||Let us humbly confess our sins to Almighty God.|
Almighty and most merciful Father,
we have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep. we have followed too much the deceits and desires of our
we have offended against your holy laws.
we have left undone those things which we ought to have done,
and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and apart from your grace, there is no health in us.
O Lord, have mercy upon us.
Spare those who confess their faults.
Restore those who are penitent, according to your promises declared
to all people in Christ Jesus our Lord;
And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,
that we may now live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of your holy Name. Amen.
|Guide||Grant your faithful people, merciful Lord, pardon and peace; that we may be cleansed from all our sins, and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord.|
|Guide||Lord, open our lips;|
|All||And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.|
|Guide||O God, make speed to save us;|
|All||O Lord, make haste to help us.|
Glory 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.
Setting the Scene
The Israelites suffered terrible slavery in Egypt, but they also served its gods…
The lamb’s blood signified the death the Israelites deserved. Yet God in his mercy provided the unstained blood of a perfect lamb to stand in the place of their firstborn. Imagine, if you will, that fateful midnight when the Lord’s messenger of death passed through Egypt from house to house. Imagine him arriving at the first home, looking through its windows and seeing the idols of Egypt strewn about. Clearly an Egyptian home filled with idols and idolaters, he enters and claims the life of that family’s firstborn. He moves on to a second home: more idols, and another firstborn soul is claimed. Then he moves on to a third, and looking through its windows he finds the same Egyptian idols. But then he looks up and finds the blood of a lamb on the door. And he passes over.
From Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry, Mike Wilkerson (Crossway: 2011), page 72. Used by permission.
Scripture Reading and Reflection
We’ll work with the following text in four stages.
- Read: For the first reading, simply let God’s Word sink into your heart, mind and imagination and take note of any words or phrases that especially stand out to you.
- Reflect: During the second reading, reflect on why that word or phrase might resonate with you now. What’s happening in your heart? What do you need from God?
- Respond: For the third reading, consider how you’ll respond to God after hearing him speak to you. What will you say to him in prayer? Is he inviting you to know him in a refreshing way? Or is there some action he’s calling you to take, in faith?
- Rest in what God has provided for you.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Prayer for Steadfast Love
|Guide||Who is God?|
|All||He is the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sins, but who will by no means clear the guilty.|
|Guide||But does God really want to help me?|
|All||He is a God merciful and wants to help.|
|Guide||But what is there in me to move him to care?|
|All||He is a God gracious, motivated by His own love.|
|Guide||But I’ve been sinful and backward for too long.|
|All||He is a God slow to anger.|
|Guide||But I’ve sinned extremely, blatantly, aboundingly.|
|All||He is a God abounding in steadfast love.|
|Guide||But I’m weak and unfaithful to Him.|
|All||He is a God abounding in faithfulness.|
|Guide||But God works only with big, important people.|
|All||He keeps steadfast love for thousands.|
|Guide||But I’ve sinned in so many different ways.|
|All||He forgives iniquity and transgression and sin—all kinds.|
|Guide||But if I let myself believe this, it makes God seem unserious.|
|All||He will by no means clear the guilty. But if any sinner desires God, he may have God as his mighty friend through Christ.
This we believe, and live again.
|Guide||Lord, have mercy|
|All||Christ, have mercy|
|Guide||Lord, have mercy|
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, thy 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 thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
A collect is a common prayer that gathers our various individual prayers together according to a theme.
|Guide||Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.|
|Guide||Let us bless the Lord.|
|All||Thanks be to God.|
|Guide|| The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:14
- Texts for Common Prayer, ACNA (Anglican Church in North America).
- Arranged by Mike Wilkerson.
- Prayer for Steadfast Love by Ray Ortlund. Used by Permission.
- Scripture Readings are ESV.