Scripture Readings

Isaiah 56:1–7

The Covenant Extended to All Who Obey

Thus says the Lord:
 Maintain justice, and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come,
 and my deliverance be revealed.

Happy is the mortal who does this,
 the one who holds it fast,
who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it,
 and refrains from doing any evil.

Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say,
 ‘The Lord will surely separate me from his people’;
and do not let the eunuch say,
 ‘I am just a dry tree.’
For thus says the Lord:
To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths,
 who choose the things that please me
 and hold fast my covenant,
I will give, in my house and within my walls,
 a monument and a name
 better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
 that shall not be cut off.

And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
 to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
 and to be his servants,
all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it,
 and hold fast my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
 and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices
 will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
 for all peoples.

Psalm 19

God’s Glory in Creation and the Law

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

The heavens are telling the glory of God;
 and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
 and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
 their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
 and their words to the end of the world.

In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
 and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
 and its circuit to the end of them;
 and nothing is hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
 reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
 making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
 rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
 enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure,
 enduring for ever;
the ordinances of the Lord are true
 and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
 even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
 and drippings of the honeycomb.

Moreover by them is your servant warned;
 in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can detect their errors?
 Clear me from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
 do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
 and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
 be acceptable to you,
 O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Romans 7:14–25

The Inner Conflict

For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.

St. Matthew 15:21–28

The Canaanite Woman’s Faith

Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, ‘Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.’ But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ He answered, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ She said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.

Prayers

Opening Prayer

Our gracious and mericful Lord, we pray, please grant that we may observe this season of Lent with holy fasting, so that we may by Your power, battle against spiritual evils and grow in purity within and without. Enable us to live close to you and ceaselessly praise You, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and always forever will be, world without end. Amen.


Great Thanksgiving Prayer

It is indeed good and right to give you thanks and praise, Almighty God and Everlasting Father, through Jesus Christ Your Son. For in this season of Lent, You lead us into the desert of repentance, that through the pilgrimage of prayer and discipline we may grow in grace and become more like our Lord. Through fasting, prayer and acts of service, You bring us to Your generous heart. May our self denial bring glory to You, and help us to be humble and get rid of our sinful pride. Help us to care for the poor and the destitute. Help us, Lord, to imitate You in our deeds. We thank you for Your mercy and join with saints and angels to proclaim:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,
heaven and earth are full of His glory,
hosanna in the highest;
blessed is He who has come,
and is to come
in the name of the Lord,
hosanna in the highest.


Post Communion Prayer

Gracious and compassionate Father in heaven, we thank you for strengthening our faith and hope. We praise You for deepening our love through this worship. Pour out the power of the Holy Spirit on us that we may live by the Word of Christ, the Bread of Life. We offer our life at your feet that in this season of Lent, the life and nature of Christ may grow deeper in us. We ascribe praise and thanksgiving to You, to Your Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and always forever will be, world without end. Amen.


Prayer Focus

For the month of March we at GFA World are focusing our prayers for Water. Please join us in praying for those needing clean water.

Water is essential for life. Yet 663 million people across the globe don’t have access to safe drinking water.1 In many of these areas, water can be scarce, and locals are forced to travel miles, often by foot, to obtain it and then haul it back to their homes for everyday use. But the water is often contaminated, and the people forced to drink it suffer from waterborne diseases.

GFA is helping meet the need of water-starved people by providing Jesus Wells and BioSand water filters, thanks to which 37.5 million people in Asia now have access to clean water. These resources offer life and health to entire communities and testify of the Living Water.

But many remain in need.

Please join us in praying for clean water, and the people who need it, this month.

Please pray with us


1Mains, Karen Burton. Don’t Drink the Water! (Unless You Know What’s in It). GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/global-clean-water-crisis/#solutions-safe-water. July 7, 2020.


Source for Scripture Passages: Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Source for Revised Common Lectionary Prayers: Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available through Augsburg Fortress.

Source for Art: Bazzi Rahib, Ilyas Basim Khuri. The Canaanite Woman asks for healing for her daughter, from Art in the Christian Tradition a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55922 [retrieved 2 February 2022]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ilyas_Basim_Khuri_Bazzi_Rahib_-_Jesus_and_the_Canaanite_Woman_-_Walters_W59243A_-_Full_Page.jpg..

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