Lenten Prayers

PRAYER: A Prayer For Holy Week by Christine Sine

March 26, 2018

God, as we walk through Holy Week Toward the Cross, May we remember the wonder of who you are. Beyond sin, Your love is inexhaustible. Beyond brokenness, Your forgiveness is incomprehensible. Beyond betrayal, Your grace is poured out eternally. Beyond death, Your life is unimaginable. Beyond human understanding, Your ways are always higher than ours. [...]

PRAYER: Lenten Contrition from The Exeter Book

March 19, 2018

Give me, O Lord, patience and sense of purpose in each of the things which you send to beset me.  You know the many wicked deeds which burden my heart.  But out of compassion you set aside all blame, and receive me as your own.  Please protect me through the dangers and confusion of my transient life on Earth, ensuring that in all things I strive for eternal life in Heaven.  I know that I am very slow to make amends for my sins, despite the many favors you grant me.  Fix my trust, my timid hopes, upon yourself, so that I may stand on a secure foundation.  Lift up my thoughts with your wisdom.  Take me out of this world as soon as I am fit to be received into the next. Stand by me, Lord, and hold me upright when the gales of sin blow [...]

PRAYER: A Prayer Against Violence by Cecil Kerr

March 12, 2018

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that through your death on the Cross you disarmed the powers of evil. Help us, we pray you, to enter into your victory and to stand in your authority against all evil. Send forth your light and your truth, O Lord. Bring to light the deeds of darkness and let plans of violence and murder be revealed. By the power of your Holy Spirit convict those who have allowed their minds to be dominated by evil. Lead them, O Lord, to true repentance that they may receive your new life and rejoice in your forgiving love. [...]

PRAYER: Lent by Bernard of Clairvaux

March 5, 2018

Let me hold fast to you, beautiful Lord, whom the angels themselves yearn to look upon. Wherever you go, I will follow you. If you pass through fire, I will not flinch, I fear no evil when you are with me. You carry my griefs, because you grieve for my sake. You passed through the narrow doorway from death to life, to make it wide enough for all to follow. Nothing can ever now separate me from your love. [...]

PRAYER: Six Short Prayers For The Lenten Period

February 19, 2018

From The Methodist Church Lord, as we enter Lent help us to draw near to you in praise, stripping away all that distracts us from worship. Amen. As Jesus resisted temptation by the devil in the wilderness, help us reflect on his faithfulness to God, his rejection of worldly values and hold these thoughts in our hearts throughout Lent and beyond. Amen. Jesus, you prayed and fasted. As your disciple teach me about spiritual discipline in my relationship with you. Amen. Lord may Lent be a time of inward searching that makes me more able to look with compassion at the needs of the world. Amen. Thank you Lord for desert experiences, when being confronted with myself makes me realize my need of you. Amen. Lord, you’ve guided us through [...]

PRAYER: The Prayer Of Saint Ephrem The Syrian

February 12, 2018

(To be used daily through Lent.) O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust of power, and idle talk; But grant rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother; For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. [...]

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: Prayers Of Confession (Presbyterian)

March 14, 2016

Gracious God, we are a people formed by your Word in Christ; but we have wandered away from your truth, we have broken your commandments, we have distorted your teachings to serve our own ends, we have failed to trust your promises, we have refused your mercy. Ground us again, O Holy One, in the written wisdom of Scripture and in the living Word which is Christ Jesus. Nourish us on the bread of his teachings until we can taste your goodness. Renew us at the fountain of his wisdom, so we may find joy in obedience and freedom in giving ourselves to you. Amen. Manna God, who fed Israel in the wilderness, we confess that we have not fed your world. People go to bed hungry who could be nourished just on what we throw away, and we are divided [...]

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 Donne

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 thy 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. [...]