Amen! In the name of Jesus we pray! Lent has come in a season when things seem backwards. We are divided, not united; we are walking away from each other, not towards one another; we are trying to talk over our neighbor, not listening to them. So let us recognize our backward state and begin our prayer with an “Amen!” and immediately offer it the name of Christ. Perhaps it will help us realize that faith is the work of going against the grain of society. Faith is the work of turning things right-side-up in an upside-down world. Faith is offering acceptance before knowing if there is agreement. Faith is listening before speaking. Faith is loving before judging. Faith is worshiping you, oh God, and not fretting if we don’t sing our favorite hymn, hear an easy-going sermon, or quickly averting our gaze from you as soon as we leave the sanctuary. Lord, may our Lenten journey be a time of right-sizing our faith. May our self-evaluations come against the example of Christ, and not in how well we are winning the war to be right. Keep our attitudes humble, our hearts open, our hands and feet active, and our minds flexible in the midst of your Holy mystery, oh God of Grace and Glory.
(REV. DR. DAVID O. WEATHERLY)
Loving God, may we reach out with joy to grasp your hand.
If we are honest, we realize that we have been seeking other sources of life.
We recognize our weakness and turn to God for help.
Though our hearts are being opened up to their depths,
though we cry out to God for help, we are not discouraged.
The Lord is near to broken hearts.
When the just cry out, the Lord hears them,
and from all their distress God rescues them.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. Amen.
(REV. NANCY VARDEN)
Oh Lord, Please help me this day. Give me eyes to see how you are at work in every one of my circumstances. Lord, give me perseverance to increase my understanding of you. Give me a hunger to read your Word and to seek to know you more each day. Just as the dawn comes with its exact precision, help me to trust that You will also move in my life, in your perfect timing and in your beautiful way. In your name I pray, amen.
(TIFFANY THIBAULT at http://www.crosswalk.com)
God of the incarnation, you have sacrificed to identify yourself with us; so, inspire us to identify with those victims in our world who need a sense of solidarity.
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)
O God, your glory is always to have mercy.
Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways,
and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith
to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word,
Jesus Christ your Son,
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, U.S.A., 1979, p. 166., ALT.)
God of grim and glory roads, guide us along a holy path during Lent. There are many grim scenes to witness. There are words of judgment and hate being spoken and shouted; victims of neglect, oppression, and prejudice to be cared for and defended. There are the powerful who need to be humbled and the powerless who need lifting up. There are moments of joy and renewal in acts of healing and grace; moments of injustice in the recurring echoes of the ancient cry, “Crucify him!” Help us to be intentional in our Lenten walk so that we are not tempted to join the angry mob. Help us to have eyes to see and ears to hear the Good News. Guide us to the cross of Christ. Let us weep with Mary. Let us say “Amen” to the centurion’s Holy Witness that Jesus, our Messiah, was and is truly Your Son. By Christ, in Christ, and through Christ, we pray. Amen.
(REV. DR. DAVID O. WEATHERLY)
God of Sorrows,
We cry holy for a God who is moved to tears when met with the conditions of this world. We are grateful that You are not a God who drags us out of our pain before we are ready— one who is not threatened by our tears but beholds them as holy. This Lent, help us to make space for a faithful examination of injustice, death, and decay in this world. We confess that we so often reduce salvation to the personal; let ours be a salvation tethered to the liberation of the world. And so form us into people who truly see the world, in all of its beauty and depravity. And when we find ourselves tempted to look away, steady us, that we may see with clarity our most desperate need for a Christ.
As we prepare for the memory of God hung from the cross, let us bear witness to all that requires it. Oppression, famine, war, neglect, loss, exclusion, loneliness, grief— all suspended by sin itself— let us resolve to see and name it all. That we would daily apprehend the breach between what we were created for and the distortion we see in the systems and powers of this world today. Let us grieve the chasm. And as we allow ourselves to weep with you, let us hope with you in the coming restoration of all things.
Glory to the One who met the cross with tears on his face. We look to You. Amen.
(COLE AUTHUR RILEY)
Most holy and loving God,
when we are confused, you provide clarity
when we are lost, you are the compass
when we are in despair, you shine a light of hope and joy
when we are glad, you rejoice with us
when we are challenged, you provide us strength and guidance
when we struggle, you provide patience and grace
may we always look to you in times of joy, times of sorrow, and times of worry
for only you provide an unconditional love and unending sense of hope and peace;
if only we pause to look . . . .
(BETHANY K. HUFFMAN)
Almighty God, we confess our difficulty in accepting the grace you offer. We desperately want to prove ourselves worthy, but it is easy to see where our striving does much to separate us from you. Cleanse us from our tendency towards pride and self-righteousness and open our hearts to seek first your kingdom; so that in seeking your reign we might find the assurance of your love for us and the rest we so desperately need. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen
(REV. CHIP HUNTER)
Lord God, during this Lenten season, teach us to come before you in humility, lamenting the signs that your kingdom has not yet come in its fullness. Help us to acknowledge our finitude and failings, and guide us into a journey of remembering rightly, repenting honestly, and responding faithfully. We long for the coming of your mosaic kingdom in Jesus Christ, our Lord, and invite your Holy Spirit to lead us now.
(ERINA KIM-EUBANKS | Lenten Lamentations Devotional)
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)