Lenten Prayers

PRAYER: Litany For Humility

February 13, 2017

From: Our Catholic Prayers (First published on The Value of Sparrows on April 16, 2012.) The litany of humility, for private devotions, is a moving prayer that can bring us closer to Christ. Do you worry constantly about what others think of you? Do you feel empty or frustrated if you’re not the center of attention? The litany of humility asks for our Lord’s assistance in humbly following in his footsteps and casting aside, or at least offering up to him, all those nagging doubts and fears that come with our self-centeredness. Our Lord asks us in Matthew’s gospel to learn from him, “for I am meek and humble of heart,” as he is described in the first line of this prayer below. We ask in this litany, composed by Rafael Cardinal [...]

PRAYER: Forgive Us Lord (Polynesian)

March 18, 2016

Lord, today you made us known to friends we did not know, And you have given us seats in homes which are not our own. You have brought the distant near, And made a brother of a stranger, Forgive us, Lord… We did not introduce you. [...]

PRAYER: Father Forgive Us (Congregational)

March 17, 2016

God of our salvation, our rescue, our health: all things are yours and when we bring our hearts and hands and voice to worship, we bring you what is yours. Yet we do not serve you as we should, and the world is racked by all the tensions and outright conflicts which come from the worship of that which is less than yourself. Our goodwill towards men has no firm foundation, and crumbles at the first tremor of real testing. In our personal affairs, and in our communal judgments, we try to heal deep wounds with superficial cures. Father, forgive us. Confront us with your way of righting wrong, your strange work of redemption through the sacrificial love of Jesus. And help us to love one another as he has loved us. [...]

PRAYER: He Hath Redeemed My Life, by Eric Milner-White

March 16, 2016

Withhold not from me, O my God, the best, the Spirit of thy dear Son; that in that day when the judgment is set I may be presented unto thee not blameless, but forgiven, not effectual but faithful, not holy but persevering, without desert but accepted, because he hath pleaded the causes of my soul, and redeemed my life. [...]

PRAYER: To Glorify His Name, by Gilbert Shaw

March 15, 2016

In these dark days when negation has so deeply entered into thought, and the futility of life oppresses many souls, when belief and unbelief appear indifferent and what is left is natural passion to express the pride of life, or the empty void of nothingness when the nerve to live and to create is weakened and suicides increase— O Lord, forgive the failures of your church to witness to the world that justice should run down as water and righteousness a mighty stream, O Lord, forgive the failure of the Christian life that lives so worldly that few can see the life of Spirit that must proclaim the kingdom of God’s love to glorify his name. [...]

PRAYER: Covering Our Sins, by Søren Kierkegaard

March 11, 2016

Your love covers the multitude of my sins. So when I am fully aware of my sin, when before the justice of Heaven only wrath is pronounced upon me, then you are the only person to whom I can escape. If I try to cover myself against the guilt of sin and the wrath of Heaven, I will be driven to madness and despair. But if I rely on you to cover my sins, I shall find peace and joy. You suffered and died on the cross to shelter us from our guilt, and take upon yourself the wrath that we deserve. Let me rest under you, and may you transform me into your likeness. [...]

PRAYER: Grey Clouds, by Gilbert of Hoyland

March 10, 2016

When we see dark grey clouds forming in the sky, we fear a mighty storm. In the same way, when we see the darkness of our sin, we fear the storm of your wrath. But just as in truth rain brings new life to the Earth, so you rain down mercy on our sinful souls, bringing forgiveness and peace. Be to us always like a mighty storm, raining down upon us the abundant waters of your mercy. [...]

PRAYER: A Monarch’s Thanksgiving And Confession, by Queen Elizabeth I

March 9, 2016

O most glorious King, Creator of the whole world, to whom all things be subject, both in Heaven and Earth, and all best princes most gladly obey, hear the most humble voice of thy handmaid, in this only happy, to be so accepted. How exceeding is thy goodness, and how great mine offences. Of nothing hast thou made me not a worm, but a creature according to thine own image, heaping all the blessings upon me that men on Earth hold most happy. Drawing my blood from kings and my bringing up in virtue; giving me that more is, even in my youth, knowledge of thy truth, and in times of most danger, most gracious deliverance; pulling me from the prison to the palace; and placing me a sovereign princess over thy people of England. And above all [...]

PRAYER: A Confession, by John Dunne

March 8, 2016

Forgive me, O Lord, O Lord, forgive me my sins, the sins of my youth, and my present sins, the sin that my parents cast upon me, original sin, and the sins that I cast upon my children, in an ill example; actual sins, sins which are manifest to all the world, and sins which I have so labored to hide from the world, as that now they are hid from mine own conscience, and mine own memory. Forgive me my crying sins, and my whispering sins, sins of unchaitable hate, and sins of unchaste love, sins against thee and against they power, O almighty Father, against thy wisdom, O glorious Son, against thy goodness, O blessed Spirit of God; and sins against him and him, against superiors and equals, and inferiors; and sins against me and me, against [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Confession, by Eric Milner-White

March 4, 2016

O God our Father, help us to nail to the cross of thy dear Son the whole body of our death, the wrong desires of the heart, the sinful devisings of the mind, the corrupt apprehensions of the eyes, the cruel words of the tongue, the ill employment of hands and feet; that the old man being crucified and done away, the new man may live and grow into the glorious likeness of the same thy son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. [...]

PRAYER: I Do Not Understand Your Ways, by Thomas Merton

March 3, 2016

My God, I frankly do not understand your ways with me. You fill me with desires that people have been canonized for having and for carrying out. Then you tell me not to carry them out, and you tell me in such a way that it would seem to be a sin if I carried them out. Then you make the desires grow more and more until they consume the very foundations of my life. Are you trying to kill me? Amen. [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Confession, by John Baillie

March 2, 2016

Almighty God, Spirit of purity and grace, in asking thy forgiveness I cannot claim a right to be forgiven but only cast myself upon thine unbounded love. I can plead no merit or desert: I can plead no extenuating circumstances: I cannot plead the frailty of my nature: I cannot plead the force of the temptations I encounter: I cannot plead the persuasions of others who led me astray: I can only say, for the sake of Jesus Christ thy son, my Lord. [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Confession (Latin, 1)

March 1, 2016

Lord God, omnipotent Father, creator of all things, you gave me a body and a soul, and created me in your image before time was. O Lord, my God, I confess my offences to you; I have sinned before you and before your angels, and my sins are as numerous as the sands on the seashore. Yet for your love have mercy on me, God, let me not perish. Do not turn your face from me since I do not seek your forgiveness because I think I deserve it, but because of your mercy. Look down on me, Lord, from the holy seat of your majesty, and illumine the shadows of my heart with the radiance of your splendor. Protect me, Lord, with the shield of your truth and faith, so that the glowing darts of the devil may not pierce me. Have mercy, Savior of the world, [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Penitence, by Origin

February 29, 2016

O Jesus, my feet are dirty. Come even as a slave to me, pour water into your bowl, come and wash my feet. In asking such a thing I know I am overbold but I dread what was threatened when you said to me, “If I do not wash your feet I have no fellowship with you.” Wash my feet then, because I long for your companionship. And yet, what am I asking? It was well for Peter to ask you to wash his feet, for him that was all that was needed for him to be clean in every part. With me it is different, though you wash me now I shall still stand in need of that other washing, the cleansing you promised when you said, “There is a baptism I must needs be baptized with.” [...]

PRAYER: Delivery Me From Myself, by Mother Teresa

February 26, 2016

Lord, when I think that my heart is overflowing with love and realize in a moment’s honesty that it is only myself that I love in the loved one, Deliver me from myself. Lord, when I think that I have given all that I have to give and realize in a moment’s honesty that it is I who am the recipient, Deliver me from myself. Lord, when I have convinced myself that I am poor and realize in a moment’s honesty that I am rich in pride and envy, Deliver me from myself. And, Lord, when the Kingdom of Heaven merges deceptively with the kingdoms of this world, Let nothing satisfy me but God. [...]

PRAYER: I Founder Helplessly, by Karl Rahner

February 25, 2016

Without you, I should founder helplessly in my own dull and groping narrowness.  I could never feel the pain of longing, not even deliberately resign myself to being content with this world, had not my mind again and again soared over its own limitations into the hushed reaches which are filled by you alone, the Silent Infinite.  Where should I flee before you, when all my yearning for the unbounded, even my bold trust in my littleness, is really a confession of you? What a poor creature you have made me, O God!  All I know about you and about myself is that you are the eternal mystery of my life.  Lord, what a frightful puzzle man is!  He belongs to you and you are the Incomprehensible – incomprehensible in your being and even [...]

PRAYER: I Am Frightened, by Anselm of Canterbury

February 24, 2016

I am frightened of living, Lord. My whole life seems sinful or sterile. Any fruits I bear are either false or rotten. Nothing I do seems pleasing to you. I am a barren tree that deserves To be chopped down, cut up, and burnt. I bear only the sharp and bitter thorns of sin. If only those thorns could prick me into repentance. Inside me my conscience burns. I dare not show myself, yet I have nowhere to hide. What will happen to me? Who will protect me from your wrath? Where can I find safety? Lord, you are my judge in whose hands I tremble. Yet you also are the one who can save me. Though I fear you, I trust you. Though I want to flee from you, I flee towards you. Jesus, Jesus, deal with me according to your love. Jesus, Jesus, forget the [...]

PRAYER: A Prayer Of Confession For Lent (2), by James S. Lowry

February 22, 2016

From Prayers for the Lord’s Day: Hope for the Exiles Lord God, forgive us. Unlike the psalmist, when we walk through the shadow of death, we sometimes fear evil. Unlike Paul, we are not always sure that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Unlike John of Patmos, in the midst of injustice we do not always see a new Heaven and a new Earth. Forgive again, we pray, our feeble use of the faith you give, and restore to us the hope of trust and the trust of hope. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. [...]

PRAYER: A Prayer Inspired By Psalm 51

February 19, 2016

From The Word Among Us What a gift it is to be forgiven! O Lord, I come before you just as David did so many years ago. I come freely admitting my sins. I come humbly, acknowledging that my offenses have been an affront to your holiness, your justice, and your love. Have mercy on me, Lord! O God, you have shown me how my thoughts, words, and actions have turned me away from your grace and your protection. I can see how the consequences of my sins have affected not only my relationship with you but my relationship with my brothers and sisters as well. O Lord, in your loving compassion, blot out my transgressions! Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sins! Father, through faith in you and by trusting in your Son’s death and [...]

PRAYER: A Prayer Of Confession For Lent (1), by James S. Lowry

February 18, 2016

From Prayers for the Lord’s Day: Hope for the Exiles Lord God, few of us misunderstand you all of the time, but all of us misunderstand you some of the time: Your thoughts on happiness; Your ideas on giving; Your way of making whole. These are not always our ready choices. Give us faith, we pray, to risk a dangerous hope, to be ready to think as you teach, and to act as you lead. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Confession (Mennonite 1)

February 17, 2016

From Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies Merciful God, Have mercy on our souls, according to your unwavering love; according to your abundant mercy wipe away our sins and the guilt we have carried for so long. Instead write on our hearts your love Your boundaries for our lives Your salvation that sets us free from our sins. To live the abundant life you have for each of us. Lord we would see Jesus, We would love Jesus, We would follow Jesus We would serve Jesus. Lord, Create in us clean hearts, Renew your spirit within us. Do not turn us away from your presence, do not take your holy spirit from us. Restore to us the joy of your salvation, and sustain in us a willing spirit. Write on our hearts, your love O God. [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Confession (BCW 1)

February 16, 2016

From Book of Common Worship Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being, whose face is hidden from us by our sins, and whose mercy we forget in the blindness of our hearts: Cleanse us from all our offenses, and deliver us from proud thoughts and vain desires, that with reverent and humble hearts we may draw near to you, confessing our faults, confiding in your grace, and finding in you our refuge and strength; through Jesus Christ your Son. [...]

PRAYER: Prayer For A Lenten Journey, by Francis of Assisi

February 12, 2016

Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, give us miserable ones the grace to do for you alone what we know you want us to do and always to desire what pleases you. Inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footprints of your beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and, by your grace alone, may we make our way to you, most high, who live and rule in perfect trinity and simple unity, and are glorified God almighty, forever and ever. [...]

PRAYER: Prayer For The Beginning Of Lent, by Pope John XXIII

February 11, 2016

O Lord Jesus, you who at the beginning of your public life withdrew into the desert, we beg you to teach all men that recollection of mind is the beginning of conversion and salvation. Leaving your home at Nazareth and your sweet mother, you wished to experience solitude, weariness, and hunger.  To the tempter who proposed to you the trial of miracles, you replied with the strength of eternal wisdom, in itself a miracle of Heavenly grace. It is Lent. O Lord, do not let us turn to “broken cisterns,” which can hold no water, nor imitate the unfaithful servant or the foolish virgins; do not let us be so blinded by the enjoyment of the good things of Earth that our hearts become insensible to the cry of the poor, of the sick, of [...]

PRAYER: Ash Wednesday, by Christine Odell

February 10, 2016

From Companion to the Revised Common Lectionary Gracious God, we would grieve with you over the sins of your world: the sin of warfare that leaves a young, strong man with no sight and no hope;Silence the sin of injustice that leaves a dissident woman in prison tortured, degraded and betrayed;Silence the sin of greed that leaves a swollen-bellied child weakly wailing with hunger.Silence Gracious God, we would grieve with you over the sins of our world. We pray for a true repentance, a turning of hearts and minds and lives. God, create a pure heart for us: give us a new and steadfast spirit. Gracious God, we would grieve with you over the sins of humankind: the sin of selfishness that leaves us seeing only our own needs, blinding us to [...]

PRAYER: Introduction To The Lenten Season — Prayer, by Harold A. Buetow

February 8, 2016

From Embrace Your Renewal Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children.  Eighteen!  In order merely to keep food on the table, the father, a goldsmith, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and at any other paying job he could find.  Despite their seemingly hopeless situation, two of the children of Albrecht Durer, the elder, had a dream.  They both wanted to pursue their talent for art; but they well knew that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the academy. After many discussions, the two boys finally worked out a pact.  They would toss a coin.  The loser would go down into the nearby mines and with his [...]

PRAYER: Eight Ways To Pray During Lent

February 4, 2016

From Loyola Press What do we do when we’re facing an upcoming big event, celebration, or special occasion in our lives? We prepare for it. Holy Week and Easter are “big events” in the liturgical year of the church and in the spiritual life of a Christian. So, as Christians, we prepare spiritually for these through the forty days of Lent. This means that, during Lent, we rededicate ourselves to prayer. There are as many ways to pray as there are pray-ers in this world, but a few prayer methods can help us in particular to spiritually prepare ourselves during Lent: 1. Make your abstinence a prayer-in-action. As Catholics we are called to give up something for Lent. Chocolate, coffee, that extra helping of dinner, one less hour of [...]

PRAYER: It Was In This Word’s Passion That, by Catherine of Siena

April 3, 2015

the fire hidden under our ashes began to show itself completely and generously by splitting open his most holy body on the wood of the cross. And it was to draw the soul’s affection to high things, and to bring the mind’s eye to gaze into the fire, that your eternal Word wanted to be lifted up high. From there you have shown us love in your blood, and in your blood you have shown us your mercy and generosity. In this blood you have shown how our sin weighs you down. In this blood you have washed the face of your spouse, the soul, with whom you are joined by the union of the divine nature with our human nature. In this blood you clothed her when she was naked, and by your death you restored her to life. O agreeable, peaceful [...]

PRAYER: Prayers Of Confession For Lent (Third through Fifth Weeks of Lent), by David N. Mosser

March 24, 2014

From Prayers for Lent and Holy Week Third Week in Lent Prayer of Confession As we move through Lent, O God who is gracious beyond our ability to conceive, help us, as we journey, to recognize those other people who are on their journey too. Save us from insensitivity to the tangible and indefinable hurts of those people who walk past us each day as they too search for truth and meaning.  Forgive our sins – even the sin that clings so close and subtle that we scarcely know it is there.  Remove our guilt and lead us in lives of daily commitment to the highest and the best we can know.  Remind us that the greatest journey we will ever make is the trip from our minds to our hearts.  Send your spirit of healing upon us so that we can [...]