Dear God, In this season of Lent, as we reflect on the difficulties and struggles you encountered in this world, we’re reminded of our own difficulties and struggles. Sometimes the way seems so dark and the light is hidden from us. We see grief and pain all around us. In the midst of our weakness, Lord, we ask that you would be our strength. Rise up within us, and let your Spirit shine out through our brokenness. May others see your power within us, even in our own weakness, so they will recognize that it is You who is at work in and through us.
O Lord, take the ashes of our lives and transform them into the beauty of your Presence. Take our grief and pain away and turn it into joy and gladness from your sweet Spirit. We firmly believe that this season of darkness will fade away, and that a new day will dawn. Thank you that you are always with us and that you are greater than whatever we face. Thank you for the victory that is ours through Christ Jesus. We praise you, for you make all things new. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
(JANICE MCCALLEN with inspiration from Debbie McDaniel)
As you now prepare to fully give yourself for our sakes, may we so learn to give ourselves for others. May we see your person in the outcast one and hear your voice in the cry of those displaced by senseless war.
May our senses be sharpened so that we refuse to take for granted the good things of this life. May our consciences be attuned to the pain of those who –outwardly–seem so composed and unflappable and yet inwardly are in distress.
May our souls be quick to admit error and seek forgiveness.
May we realize our time here on earth is indeed brief. May we say what must be said and do those things which cannot be neglected. May we realize the limits and the potential of our humanity.
Teach us, O Gentle Savior, to so fully live in this life that we might be granted life eternal.
In Christ’s Name,
(REV. DAN CAMP)
“No Newness Yet.”
You are the God who makes all things new,
We gladly raise our voices and move our lips
to acknowledge, celebrate, and proclaim
your staggering newness.
As we do so, we hold in our hearts
deep awareness of all the places where your newness
is not visible, and
has not come.
Our hearts link to many places of wretchedness
short of your newness.
We picture our folks at home,
sick, in pain, disabled, paralyzed
and no newness yet.
We know up close the deep wretchedness
of poverty, of homelessness, of hunger
and no newness yet.
Move our hearts closer to the passion of our lips.
Move our lips closer to your own newness.
Work your newness in hidden, cunning ways among us.
Move us closer to your bodied newness in Jesus,
newness of strength come in weakness,
newness of wisdom come in foolishness.
Draw from the wretchedness we know
to his scarred, bloody wretchedness
that is your odd entry of newness into our life.
We pray in the name of his suffering newness. Amen
(WALTER BRUEGGERMAN | “No Newness Yet,” Awed to Heaven Rooted in Earth)
Broad-Shouldered God, we thank you for your son, Jesus Christ, who was willing to carry the burden of our sins. We struggle mightily to live fully into your vision for our lives. Though we answer your call–frequently with good intentions–how quickly we are distracted by fear, doubt, and uncertainty. As we journey with Jesus from the lakeside, to the sides of lepers, to the bedsides of the possessed, sick, and dying; to thoughtlessly switching back and forth between servant discipleship and selfishness–Lord, help us see only your transfigured image and hear your voice commanding us to listen. May we live each day of this Holy Lent with a faithful focus on the cross and an eager anticipation of the Glory that lies beyond its shadow. Amen.
(REV. DR. DAVID O. WEATHERLY)
Prayer for resilience and repentance
Jesus of Nazareth, when you met the woman of Syrophenicia, you called her a little dog but he didn’t stop her. Little dogs need little crumbs, she said, and you listened., repented, and praise her for her words.
We praise her words too, and ask that we can speak like her, and listen like you. Because this is the gift of resilience and repentance. This just might save us. Amen.
(PADRAIG O. TUAMA – Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community: Canterbury Press, 2017)
Gracious and Loving God,
We pause and bow in our spirits before Your great and awesome Presence.
We thank You for the gift of this day where we experience the wonders of Your glory.
We praise You for a love that won’t let us go, won’t turn us loose and won’t give up on us.
We thank you for Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
We thank you for the One who is Healer, Refuge, Deliverer, Strength and Comfort.
We thirst for Your Presence! Our souls are parched and dry without the anointing that flows from Your throne room of grace!
We will bless You as long as there is breath in our bodies, blood coursing through our veins, marrow in our bones and we are clothed in our right minds.
Help us to cling to the hem of Your garment for refreshing, restoration and resurrection that can only come from You.
We remember….and we repent…help us to be reconciled to our brothers and sisters and love them unconditionally.
Fix us and forgive us. Heal us and help us.
We rest our souls in the very palm of your hands…
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen
(REV. DR. CYNTHIA DAVIS)
Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord have mercy;
Christ have mercy.
~ The Jesus Prayer
Merciful God, enable our hearts to honor your Word over our many words. Help us to see where we have attached Your Word to our opinion rather than building our opinion on the foundation of Your Word. Forgive us for being quick to speak and slow to listen. Break through our carefully constructed walls of arrogance and pride so that we might put our full trust in You. For it is our desire to be perfect as You are perfect. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
(REV. CHIP HUNTER)
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that, if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Loving God, we are now in the holy season of Lent where we
hear your invitation, “Come back to me,”
and we are filled with such a longing to return.
Listen to our prayers, listen to the pain in our cries. Help us this day
to have a theme song that is rooted in God’s love and justice.
Help us to refuse corrupting people and degrading things.
Lead us this day in good works in Your name
and send your Spirit to guide us and strengthen our faith.
God, listen! Listen to our prayer. Amen.
(REV. NANCY VARDEN)
I Cannot Do This Alone
O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me….
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before men.
Lord whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.
(A LENTEN PRAYER by DIETRICH Bonhoeffer)
Who never leaves.
You are here today with us.
You have been with us every day
and will be with us each and every day to come.
We give thanks to you O Lord for your deep and constant presence in our lives
that does not let go of us. Any of us.
We need you Lord this hour, this day.
It is only through your love and with your embrace that we can take each step.
We confess that we often refuse your embrace of transforming love
But Lord we know in our hearts and souls that our hope comes from opening our arms to receive you.
Lord, remove our confidence in our own righteousness.
Lord, remove our arrogance in thinking we are all-knowing.
Give us instead a heart of humility that embodies your grace.
We trust you Lord to create this work in us.
In each of us and all of us.
In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.
(REV. MELINDA YOUNG BRITT)
Jesus, you shared peace around a table of anxiety, peace with the bread,
Peace with the wine, peace in the face of the uncertain, peace in the place of pain.
May we share tables of peace in places of pain, sharing food and friendship and words and life.
Because you came to a fearful world and found your place around those tables. Amen.
(PADRAIG O. TUAMA, Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community: Canterbury Press, 2017)
Lord, please be Lord in and over me. Whatever tries to claim lordship in place of You, uproot it. Cast it from me. Free me, instead, for joyful obedience.
Savior, don’t let me put hope in anything that wind, fire, recession, or war can take away. If I have sought security in anything or anyone other than You, forgive me. Free me to trust You alone.
Abba, Creator of us all, let me hear again Jesus’ cry from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Teach me to do the same and free me to love and forgive as You have first loved and forgiven me.
Master, let me have the mind of Christ, Who ‘humbled himself to the point of death – even death on a cross’ (Phl 2:8a). Free me from any human ambition that prevents me from praying, “Not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42b).
Receive my thanks and praise for Who You are and how You continue to draw sinners to You. I ask this in the name of the One Who stretched out His arms and died for us all. Amen and amen.
(REV. DONNA PARRAMORE)
You have never failed to be merciful to us. In those times when we are at a loss to explain our own actions, you never abandon us. When we are distracted by many things, you invite us to a place of integrity and calm simplicity. When we have fallen into despair, you remind us that–in your eyes–our value is beyond calculation. When we are exhausted and spent, you call us to come and rest.
As a loving parent, you call us to accountability–encouraging us to lift our eyes and meet (fully) your gaze. In your face, we see the radiance of our Redeemer’s love and we lose ourselves in that radiance. Our harmful shame is transformed into an ever-growing desire to conform our own wills to your divine purposes.
Forgive us, Lord. Free us for joyful obedience. Draw us closer–in love– to you as you prepare for a place called Golgotha.
In the name of Jesus the Christ, we pray. Amen.
(REV. DAN CAMP)