From Prayers for Lent and Holy Week
Fourth Week in Lent
Dear God, we praise you and ask you to help us, at least for the time it takes us to pray, set our minds on your blessings, and give up feeling sorry for ourselves. You have blessed us with the gift of life – surrounded us with friends, trusted us with responsibility, provided for our needs, and set your love over us. In the quiet of this moment, Lord, we pause to remember those whose sacrifices have secured the goods that we enjoy – parents, teachers, soldiers, inventors, scholars, pioneers, and prophets. But mostly we remember Jesus Christ – his selfless life, his voluntary death, his victorious resurrection, and his continuing power to save. We pray for those who live with a sense of running out of what they need:
- those who are running out of time with their dreams still unfulfilled;
- those who are running out of patience, wondering how long they can endure;
- those who are running out of health, who feel their powers waning;
- those who are running out of money, fighting rising costs on a fixed income;
- those who are running out of excuses, nearing the time when they must assume blame for their failures;
- those who are running out of love, finding it easier to accuse and criticize and hate.
O Lord, you alone can keep us from fading. Fill us again, we ask, for we want to endure to the end. Lead us in paths of love and service. In the name of Jesus, we pray.
Fifth Sunday in Lent
O God, who gives to faithful children all they need or desire, we come to worship you this day with this expectation in our hearts. Baffled, we watch in awe of your intensity of loyalty to us. Yet we confess that despite your great faithfulness to us, sadly we are not committed – either to you or to the brothers and sisters you offer us for companionship and community. We stumble and fall. We break our word. We recoil from our obligations. We do things that are evil in your sight. We confess that we are fragile, often incapable of the courage to live as your people. We are resistant to your ways and break our covenants with you and with those we love. Help us mend our ways. Help us gaze upon you as an inspiration for fidelity. Help us worship you and be obedient to your commandments and ordinances, for it is in your son’s name that we pray.
O God, we are the people you have called and named at our baptism. In days gone by we have been strong and confident, but today our confidence wanes as life becomes more complicated. We feel that our friends often devalue us, and our enemies seem to know the rawest areas in our ego. We feel split into a hundred discrete segments, each competing for our best. We pray for wholeness for ourselves and for all who feel fragmented and broken. We pray for healing for all who have been hurt in any of the ways that hurt may happen. Guide us in ministries of healing and help, not only for others but also for ourselves. Help us seek out an atmosphere of love and teach us how to create what we cannot find. In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, we pray.