Lent Prayers

As part of my Lenten discipline, I’m writing prayers every day and posting them to the church’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. But I thought I’d add them here, too. After this post, you can find them under the Liturgy tab, under Lent. But here’s the first week’s worth. Enjoy – ? -!

Prayer for the Twelfth Day of Lent

God of manna in the wilderness, God of loaves and fishes, God of bread and wine: help me to feed your children today. Let me feed them with kindness and love and mercy. Let me feed them generously and selflessly. Let me feed them with justice and righteousness. Let me feed them wisely and faithfully. Let me feed them with meaningful work and meaningful rest. Let me feed them compassionately and with integrity. More than that, O God, let me sit at whatever tables I may with them, so that we may feed each other with all these good things, even as we await the great banquet of the heavenly feast that awaits us all. Amen.

Prayer for the Second Sunday in Lent

The light of this day fill my soul, O God, and I have a sense of resting in You today. Fill me with your love. Fill me with your grace. Fill me with your hope. Fill me with your serenity. Fill me with your truth. Fill me with your justice. Fill me with your mercy. On this Sabbath day, let me rest in the fullness of You, so that I will be refreshed and renewed, ready to be in the world, ready to be Yours one again. Amen.

Prayer for the 10th day of Lent

Holy One, I know that Lent is a time of confession and penance, of sacrifice, of introspection. But the sun is shining today, and the best prayer I can muster is “thank you!” Thank you for this sunshine. Thank you for the late winter/early spring flowers. Thank you for coffee. Thank you for time to rest. Thank you for the generosity of neighbors. Thank you for holy scripture. Thank you for the gift of prayer. Let my gratitude never stay just with me; when I am grateful for some thing, help me to share that thing. Let me be mindful of those who are not grateful, that I may simply be with them with whatever they bring. But still, thank you for today. Amen.

Prayer for the Ninth Day of Lent
There are dark clouds to the west this morning, O God, and I’m not sure what that means. Because it’s one of those days when everything feels fraught with meaning and symbolism and interpretation. Do the clouds for bode some sort of tragedy or bad luck? Is nature telling us to be prepared, to guard our proverbial loins, to despair? Or is it just weather, a reminder that some days are sunny and some are rainy and there’s no meaning other than that? Help us to read the signs for what they are. Help us to be grateful for rain that quenches a thirsty earth, and to be grateful for sun that warms us into spring, and to be grateful for the beauty of the earth in all its guises. And maybe help us not to worry so much, too. Amen.

Prayer for the Eighth Day of Lent
Well, God, it’s another day. It’s another day of living with COVID-19. It’s another day of living with the unknown. It’s another day of the same-old same-old. It’s another day of boredom and grief and anxiety and anger and fear and listnessness. And it feels pretty complain-y to say those things. But it’s an honest prayer, and a little heartfelt, or as heartfelt as anything can be these days. So help us to remember that this is also a new day; a day for wonder, a day for gratitude, a day for justice and truth, a day for work and rest, a day to reach out, a day to hope, and a day to love. Amen.

Prayer for the Seventh Day of Lent
Well, Lord, could we talk about disappointment today? Because to be very honest, it’s been a disappointing year. And You haven’t fixed things for us. Can we say we’re disappointed in You? Can we say that You have let us down? Is that allowed? Or would You respond and tell us that You are disappointed in us, too? It feels like there’s no room for grace in disappointment. So help us today to acknowledge our unmet expectations, our hurt feelings, our sadnesses, and our disappointment. And then shower us with grace, because we really need it. Thank You. Amen.

Prayer for the Sixth Day of Lent
“Pray for your enemies,” Jesus taught. “Love your enemies,” he said. Okay, so first I must admit I have enemies. And that means admitting that there are people I hate or fear. And than means admitting there is hate and fear in my heart. And that means admitting I’m falling a bit short of the mark. Before I pray for my enemies, I must ask forgiveness for letting hate and fear settle in my heart, for letting hate and fear clothe a person or a people. I must confess to reducing one of your children to a symbol or a cartoon. I confess my sin. And now, Holy One, on to my enemies. I call them many things – evil, selfish, murderous, wrong, stupid. And I close the door to any inkling of hope for reconciliation. Help me to see their humanity. Help me to understand their hearts. Help me to work on forgiving them, just as I have been forgiven. Amen.

Prayer for the First Sunday in Lent
Creator God, thank you for the daphne pontica, the sweestest of flowers that remind us spring is not too far away. Perhaps this is the scent of costly nard, the expensive oil used to anoint Jesus before his death. Perhaps this is the scent of devotion and love. Help us to remember that acts of devotion are priceless: the act of showing love, the act of serving another, the act of taking risks, the act of being present. And so help us to be devoted to You and one another. Amen.

Prayer for the Fourth Day of Lent
Most Blessed, Most Glorious, Ancient of Days, God: I just spend half an hour scrolling through my phone, when there are more holy and faithful things I might have done. I might have been on my knees as I confessed my sin. I might have been lifting my hands in praise. I might have studied scripture, or prayed a psalm. But no. I sat in my chair and looked down at a tiny screen for thirty minutes of this day. Still, I must admit that sometimes I see You there, on my tiny screen – in the headlines, in a friend’s comment, in a Facebook post, in the beauty of a photograph, in pain I read between the lines, in hope I read between the lines. So I think today I ask for Your blessing as I scroll through my phone, that I will recognize what is holy even there. Amen.

Prayer for the Third Day of Lent
God of justice and mercy, we know that to fast is to be able to fast, that we get to choose to give up food, or screens, or the daily latte. We also know that right now, so many of our neighbors and so many of Your children in the world fast without choice. Your children, our neighbors, are without food. Your children, our neighbors, are without access to clean water. Your children, our neighbors, are without power. Your children, our neighbors, are without hope. We want to ask You to fix it, all the while knowing that Your response would ask us how we plan to partner with You in that. We know that You call us to bring compassion, justice, kindness, compassion, justice, wisdom, imagination, and love to that. So we pray for them and we pray to You and we pray for ourselves in all of this. Amen.

Prayer for the Second Day of Lent
Well, God of the journey, there’s no going back to ordinary time; the trek has begun. There’s no going back to “normal”, whatever normal was: we have been forever changed by all that has happened in the past twelve months – a racial reckoning that we ignore to the peril of both black bodies and white bodies; a pandemic that has brought the world to its knees in fear and desperation; the mass consumption of lies that are way more convenient to believe than truth. There’s no going back to ordinary liturgical time either. We have the trek to the cross and empty tomb, a season where death precedes life, a season where grief must come before any inkling of joy. As You were with Moses in the desert, as You were with Jesus in the wilderness, be with us on the journey. When we cannot take one more step, give us rest. When our neighbor has fallen, let us give them a hand. When it all gets to be too much – be with us. Amen.

Prayer for Ash Wednesday
Creator of all that is, for us mortals it is a wonderment that death ended up being part of Your design. True, it might have been of our own making, but then again, maybe You knew something we didn’t or couldn’t. But here we are, on that day when we say to each other, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you will return.” We dare to say to each other, “Remember, you will die some day.” To tell our beloveds that, to tell our children that: it is awful. On this day, help us to remember that in life and in death, all of us belong to You. Help us remember that death is not an end, but a beginning. Help us to live well and in faith, knowing that we will die some day. Amen.