Disciples of Jesus – Praising God – Caring for Its Community

Prayer Booklet 51

Dear Readers,

This is the 2nd Easter Prayer Booklet (50 and 51) which has returned to the same format which I used for the two weeks around Christmas time.  I will encourage you to reflect and pray by reading through (or singing to yourself) some well known Easter Hymns.  They do illustrate beautifully the great truths that we hold dear.  As usual, if you can, look up You Tube, you should be able to find them there – or you might even have them on CDs – or even some of the more modern formats.  I hope you enjoy reflecting on them, and are blessed as you do.


The following prayer is for Easter Sunday – from the Very Revd Dr Derek Browning, Morningside Parish Church, Edinburgh, for his thoughts on Easter Sunday. Printed with thanks.

Prayer of thanksgiving and intercession

Lord Jesus Christ,
Come, stand among us,
that we might see You by our side,
that we might hear You call our names,
that we might now, on this heady day of joy,
be still, right now, and know that You are God.
We give You heartfelt thanks from our full hearts.
We bring to You our prayers this day
For a world needing Easter.
We pray for those locked in by hurt, and loneliness and grief.
We pray for those locked in by addiction, and hunger, and poverty.
We pray that we, inspired by Your Good News this Easter Day,
may bring our practical care and help to those who call out,
and to those who are silent,
and in our lived-out faith and love, show no partiality
as we bring what hope we can to those in need.
Today we pray for our nation, for our Queen,
and for those who shape the future of our country and our world.
In times of uncertainty make us confident with kindness.
In times of frustration, make us gentle with vision.
Help us to be the Easter people bringing light into our world.
Lord Jesus Christ,
for the Church we pray, that in our work and witness
we may be generous in our believing,
and joyful in our serving.
Help us to blend tradition and newness,
to keep our faith and work a power for good,
and a dynamic for reconciliation and renewal.
This Easter Day, this new beginning, this time of lifting up,
lift up our heads and hearts, lift up our eyes and voices,
for our Lord Jesus Christ is risen!
And there is hope!
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sunday, 4th April, 2021 (Easter Sunday Morning)

Today we rejoice because our Lord is Risen!
Matthew 28:1-10   Jesus Has Risen
28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Hymn 419 (CH4)

Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes, where thy body lay.
Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.
Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
for her Lord now liveth;  death hath lost its sting.
No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of Life;
life is naught without thee:  aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.
Edmond Budry (1854 – 1932) 

Let us remember to ask God to speak to us through the words in these hymns, and thank hymn for the gift of those who can express their thoughts in this way and for the gift of music… 

Monday, 5th April, 2021

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…
‘The city (of God – the New Jerusalem) does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb of God is its lamp….there will be no night there…nothing impure will ever enter it…but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.’
Revelation 21: 23-27

426 (CH4)
All heaven declares
the glory of the risen Lord;
who can compare
with the beauty of the Lord?
For ever He will be
the Lamb upon the throne;
I gladly bow the knee,
and worship Him alone.
I will proclaim
the glory of the risen Lord,
who once was slain
to reconcile the world to God.
For ever You will be
the Lamb upon the throne;
I gladly bow the knee,
and worship You alone.
Noel Richards (b. 1955)

Tuesday, 6th April, 2021

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…
Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”  But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

432 (CH4)
How often we, like Thomas,
need proof before we trust.
Lord Jesus, friend of doubters,
come, speak Your truth to us.
We long to feel Your presence,
and gain new faith from You,
to find, without our seeing,
the blessing Thomas knew.
You always stand among us,
no doors can lock You out.
Your presence reassures us
though we still live with doubt.
As present-day disciples,
whose lives by sin are flawed,
we want to come believing,
and cry: ‘My Lord, my God!’  
Edith Sinclair Downing (1922 – 2016)

Wednesday, 7th April, 2021

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…
“…the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1: 7-9

CMP 476
My Lord, what love is this
That pays so dearly,
That I, the guilty one,
May go free!
Amazing love, O what sacrifice,
The Son of God, given for me,
My debt He pays, and my death He dies,
That I might live, that I might live.
And so they watched Him die,
Despised, rejected:
But Oh, the blood He shed
Flowed for me!
And now this love of Christ
Shall flow like rivers;
Come wash your guilt away,
Live again!
Graham Kendrick (b. 1950)

Thursday 8th April, 2021

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…
Christ triumphant, ever reigning,
Saviour, Master, King!
Lord of heaven, our lives sustaining,
hear us as we sing:
  Yours the glory and the crown,
  the high renown, the eternal name!
Word incarnate, truth revealing,
Son of Man on earth!
Power and majesty concealing
by Your humble birth:
Suffering servant, scorned, ill-treated,
victim crucified!
Death is through the cross defeated,
sinners justified:
Priestly king, enthroned for ever
high in heaven above!
Sin and death and hell shall never
stifle hymns of love:
So, our hearts and voices raising
through the ages long,
ceaselessly upon You gazing,
this shall be our song:
Michael Saward (1932 – 2015)

Friday, 9th April, 2021

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…
‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies (yourself) as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. ‘
Romans 12:1

374 (CH4)
From heaven You came, helpless babe,
Entered our world, Your glory veiled;
Not to be served but to serve,
And give Your life that we might live.
This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow Him,
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King.
There in the garden of tears,
My heavy load He chose to bear;
His heart with sorrow was torn,
‘Yet not My will but Yours,’ He said.
Come see His hands and His feet,
The scars that speak of sacrifice;
Hands that flung stars into space
To cruel nails surrendered.
So let us learn how to serve,
And in our lives enthrone Him;
Each other’s needs to prefer,
For it is Christ we’re serving.
Graham Kendrick (b.1950)

Saturday, 10th April, 2021

Remember: Pray before reflecting, and pray after…
 ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
Mark 16:6

CMP 295
I serve a risen Saviour, He’s in the world today;
I know that He is living, whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me And talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.
In all the world around me I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary I never will despair;
I know that He is leading, through all the stormy blast,
The day of His appearing will come at last.
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the king!
The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.
Alfred Henry Ackley (1872- 1958) 

One final favourite hymn for many to conclude the week:

CMP 536
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross
and exchange it some day for a crown.
O, the old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
has a wondrous attraction for me;
for the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
to bear it to dark Calvary.
In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
a wondrous beauty I see;
for ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died
to pardon and sanctify me.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
its shame and reproach gladly bear;
then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
when His glory for ever I’ll share.
George Bennard (1873-1958