In the early 2010s, Rev. Dr. LP Jones prepared and shared the prayer below with the MWPC community as part of his weekly newsletter column. He granted us permission for use of this with the Christian Playbook community.* It is also available to listen to HERE
This week, our focus is on the first paragraph…
- is the Lenten road feeling long?
- are you feeling God’s reminder that confession is freeing?
- remember to embrace those new beginnings from God’s forgiveness
Lenten Prayer* – Rev. Dr. L.P. Jones
Guiding God, we are traveling the Lenten road. We are ready for it to end. We prefer celebration to reflection and self-examination. On the table, pulpit, and lectern, we prefer pure white, festive red, hopeful blue, or gentle green to Lent’s pensive purple. We know our sins are many, but why must we confess them so often? Remind us, gracious God, that you call us to confession not to burden us, but to free us. Help us to offer you every fear, failure, and sin, so that your forgiveness can calm and cleanse us and your steadfast love can draw us to new beginnings.
We thank you, God of wonders, for countless blessings. We thank you for those special people whose embrace, friendship, and accepting eyes ease our burdens and heighten our joys. We thank you for the songbirds who greet the dawn with exuberant melody. We thank you for the ability to laugh: to laugh at ourselves when we are mistaken; to laugh with our friends when we take ourselves too seriously; to laugh for the pure pleasure it brings. We thank you for eyes that see familiar friends and a new face in the crowd, savor a peaceful sunrise or sunset, and note a hand in need of our touch and open arms waiting to receive us.
Because we are so blessed, help us to respond faithfully to life and its goodness. Because people and relationships are so important, help us to look beyond ourselves and share our plenty with those in need. Help us to build a community known for the risks it takes to help others experience your loving presence. Because life can be so abundant, help us to be a community as joyous in our celebrations as we are committed to service in Jesus’ name. Because not everyone sees your blessings so readily, help us to comfort the bereaved, accompany the lonely, offer hope to the despairing, and reach for a better world for all.
We pray for all whose needs and concerns touch our hearts. We pray for those in need whom we cannot or do not see. We pray for new members and those preparing to receive baptism. We pray for all making difficult decisions. We pray for those enduring illness of body, mind, or spirit, and those who struggle to hope. We pray that we will complete our Lenten journey by seeing our brokenness borne by and entombed with Jesus, which will prepare us to hear anew the almost unimaginable proclamation that the tomb is empty, Jesus is risen, and life and love prevail. These and all our prayers we offer with confidence, for we bring them in Jesus’ name. Amen.
SUGGESTED ACTION: Consider making this prayer part of your regular, Lenten practices…
Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!
* ever-so-slight alterations made so the original Holy Week prayer applies throughout Lent
Lectionary Texts for Sunday, March 24, 2019:
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