An Ash Wednesday Reflection

I like participating in Ash Wednesday. I like walking around with a cross of ashes right smack dab in the middle of my forehead. I like the surreptitious glances of people who see the mark and then quickly look away, as if they caught me doing something inappropriate. I like wearing a symbolic declaration of my identity.

© Copyright Helgi Halldórsson and  licensed for reuse at Wikimedia.

© Copyright Helgi Halldórsson and licensed for reuse at Wikimedia.

Ash Wednesday marks me as a Christian, someone who would follow Jesus on his journey through the wilderness toward Easter. The mark of the cross identifies me with the historic Christian faith, but it leaves me without an agenda. It is not a bumper-sticker Christianity that proclaims what I do or do not support. It is not my effort to convert others to my way of thinking. It does not set me aside as an individual; rather, the two smeared lines of ashes join me together with the people of God who, throughout the ages, have declared that they sin, that they are mortal, and that they look to Jesus for any hope of change.

I have this same feeling when sit, sandwiched between other penitents on the bench in the back of the church, waiting for my turn to go in to confession. There is something serious about setting aside time for self-evaluation, repentance, and affirmation of a desire to change. There is something important about desiring to strengthen my will to choose good and turn from evil. But there is something humbling to realize that I am one in a long line of sinners who, regardless of what we have done or neglected to do, wait desperately for the mercy and absolution of a loving God. The reality of my humanity, of my ordinariness, strips me of self-importance, even in the midst of repentance.

And so I begin this season of Lent soberly, having a desire for spiritual growth and discipline. Yet I also go gently into a season of penitence, knowing that I will break my fast and, if nothing else, fail to love God whole-heartedly and to love others as I love myself. But there is nothing remarkable in that. Nothing unexpected. What is remarkable is that at the end of Lent comes the promise and the hope of Easter. Being one of many sinners who seek and receive God’s gift of grace frames all of Lent, in fact any act of contrition or repentance, with the mystery and hope of the Gospel–Christ in us, the hope of glory. I like having that stamped on my forehead, the reminder that I belong to Christ and that he is working his will in me as he does with countless others.

© Copyright Michael Saludo  and licensed for reuse at Wikimedia.

© Copyright Michael Saludo and licensed for reuse at Wikimedia.

By the end of the day today, the cross of ashes will most likely be rubbed into an unrecognizable smudge. By the end of the season of Lent, I will have repented and failed and repented and failed some more, and hopefully grown in awareness and strength of character. But the mark of the cross will remain on my life, seen on my forehead or not, as the constant reminder that I am marked as Christ’s own. Forever.

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Prayers for the 5th Sunday in Lent – Year B (BCP)

Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51; Hebrews 5:1-10; John 12:20-33

Download Prayers for Lent 5 Year B BCP

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

O God of our salvation, your steadfast love and abundant mercy
Have given us the joy of your salvation.
Our iniquity and transgressions have been ever before us,
And we know full well the death that riddles our lives.
All praise and glory be to you, Lord Christ,
For you have washed us and delivered us from all our sin.
We will sing aloud of your righteousness.
You have opened our lips,
And our mouths shall declare your praises.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the world, remembering especially the people of Kenya, the Congo, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are our God, and we are your people.
How we long to follow you and serve you with our lives!
You have written your law on our hearts,
That the whole world might know of your great love.
Quicken our hearts to respond to you,
And make your church fruitful as we share in the power of your death and resurrection,
That your name would be glorified to the ends of the earth.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that you would sustain us this week,
And we trust that you are present with us every day.
Give us a hunger for your word,
And help us to make space to listen to you.
We confess our need for you:
For your wisdom and guidance,
For your protection and provision,
For your help and comfort.
In every area of our lives we need you, Lord,
And we ask that you would be our daily portion.

I invite your prayers for the upcoming week..

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, you know us through and through.
Look in the deep places of our beings, and create in us clean hearts.
Give us a right abhorrence for our own sins.
Help us to be alert and self-controlled,
That we may flee the snares of our enemy.
Reveal areas of unconfessed sin,
And give us godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Show us where we have withheld forgiveness,
And, because of your great mercy, grant us grace to forgive others.
Deliver us from evil, Merciful Father,
And sustain us with your gracious and bountiful Spirit.

I invite your prayers for repentance and perseverance.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
How beautiful is the bride of Christ, stretching back throughout the ages and across the world, crossing boundaries of time and place!
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
Create in us clean hearts, O God,
And renew right spirits within us.
We long for the goodness of your presence
And depend on the work of your Holy Spirit.
Grant us the joy of your salvation,
And strengthen our willing spirits
That we might declare the glory of your ways with our words and lives
 Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayers for the 4th Sunday in Lent – Year B (BCP)

Readings: 2 Chronicles 36:14-23; Psalm 122; Ephesians 2:4-10; John 6:4-15

Download Prayers for Lent 4 Year B BCP

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord God, you are compassionate and merciful,
And your great love toward us abounds forever.
In the midst of our rebellion and sin,
You sent your saving Word to revive us.
We praise the richness of your mercy,
And we rejoice in your lavish saving grace.
We will boast in you alone, Merciful Lord,
For your kindness toward us throughout the ages.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the world, remembering especially the people of Kenya, the Congo, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the bread of life,
The one whose very presence nourishes your church.
We gratefully receive your daily provision,
And we look to you to multiply the little we have,
So that our humble offerings and selves would be sufficient for the tasks you have set before us.
We desire to walk in the good works you have prepared for us,
That our lives might display the beauty of your gracious workmanship.
Strengthen your church to exalt you alone,
That all nations might be drawn to your life-giving presence.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that you would sustain us this week,
And we trust that you are present with us every day.
Give us a hunger for your word,
And help us to make space to listen to you.
We confess our need for you:
For your wisdom and guidance,
For your protection and provision,
For your help and comfort.
In every area of our lives we need you, Lord,
And we ask that you would be our daily portion.

I invite your prayers for the upcoming week..

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, you know us through and through.
Look in the deep places of our beings, and create in us clean hearts.
Give us a right abhorrence for our own sins.
Help us to be alert and self-controlled,
That we may flee the snares of our enemy.
Reveal areas of unconfessed sin,
And give us godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Show us where we have withheld forgiveness,
And, because of your great mercy, grant us grace to forgive others.
Deliver us from evil, Merciful Father,
And sustain us with your gracious and bountiful Spirit.

I invite your prayers for repentance and perseverance.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
How beautiful is the bride of Christ, stretching back throughout the ages and across the world, crossing boundaries of time and place!
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
You have established your city,
And you have given your people security.
We rest in the peace of your presence
And give thanks to your holy Name
 Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayers for the 3rd Sunday in Lent, Year B – BCP

Readings: Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19:7-14; Romans 7:13-25; John 2:13-22

Download Prayers for Lent 3 Year B BCP

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Almighty God, your ways give life,
And your word is sweet in our mouths.
Revive our souls with the goodness of your law,
And give us the joy of your rewarding wisdom.
Your word reveals your character to us,
And we rejoice in the testimony of your righteousness.
May your commandments clarify our sight,
That we might live before you in reverent fear.
Come, Holy Spirit, and grant us a holy Lent.
Show us the error of our ways.
Keep far from us presumptuous sins,
That we might be ruled by you alone.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

The heavens declare you to be the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the world, remembering especially the people of Kenya, the Congo, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for your church throughout the world.
During this season of Lent, shine the light of your law on our inner desires,
That we may rejoice in the hope of Christ crucified.
Glory to you, Lord Christ, our Power and our Wisdom,
For you have delivered us from this deathly struggle
And raised us up to new and unending life in you!

I invite you to pray for the church throughout the world.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that you would sustain us this week,
And we trust that you are present with us every day.
Give us a hunger for your word,
And help us to make space to listen to you.
We confess our need for you:
For your wisdom and guidance,
For your protection and provision,
For your help and comfort.
In every area of our lives we need you, Lord,
And we ask that you would be our daily portion.

I invite your prayers for the upcoming week..

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, you know us through and through.
Look in the deep places of our beings, and create in us clean hearts.
Give us a right abhorrence for our own sins.
Help us to be alert and self-controlled,
That we may flee the snares of our enemy.
Reveal areas of unconfessed sin,
And give us godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Show us where we have withheld forgiveness,
And, because of your great mercy, grant us grace to forgive others.
Deliver us from evil, Merciful Father,
And sustain us with your gracious and bountiful Spirit.

I invite your prayers for repentance and perseverance.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
How beautiful is the bride of Christ, stretching back throughout the ages and across the world, crossing boundaries of time and place!
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
Let the words of our mouths
And the meditations of our hearts
Be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer,
 Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayers for the 2nd Sunday in Lent – Year B (BCP)

Readings: Genesis 22:1-14; Psalm 16; Romans 8:31-39; Mark 8:31-39

Download Prayers for Lent 2 Year B BCP

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are God Almighty,
The one who provides his people with a beautiful inheritance.
Keep us from turning aside to other hopes,
For apart from you we have no good thing.
Help us to know the security of your joy-filled presence,
That our lives might be marked by hopeful gratitude.
We give glory to you, O-Lord-Who-Provides,
And we praise you for graciously giving us all things,
Fully convinced that nothing will separate us from your love.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the world, remembering especially the people of Kenya, the Congo, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We delight in your worldwide church,
And we rejoice that you have included us in your promise to Abraham.
When we see the weakness and frailty in your church,
Give us his hope.
Fix our minds on the things of God,
And equip us to follow hard after you,
That the Good News will yet reach all nations.

I invite you to pray for the church throughout the world.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that you would sustain us this week,
And we trust that you are present with us every day.
Give us a hunger for your word,
And help us to make space to listen to you.
We confess our need for you:
For your wisdom and guidance,
For your protection and provision,
For your help and comfort.
In every area of our lives we need you, Lord,
And we ask that you would be our daily portion.

I invite your prayers for the upcoming week..

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, you know us through and through.
Look in the deep places of our beings, and create in us clean hearts.
Give us a right abhorrence for our own sins.
Help us to be alert and self-controlled,
That we may flee the snares of our enemy.
Reveal areas of unconfessed sin,
And give us godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Show us where we have withheld forgiveness,
And, because of your great mercy, grant us grace to forgive others.
Deliver us from evil, Merciful Father,
And sustain us with your gracious and bountiful Spirit.

I invite your prayers for repentance and perseverance.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
How beautiful is the bride of Christ, stretching back throughout the ages and across the world, crossing boundaries of time and place!
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
Lord Jesus Christ, you gave up your life for us.
You are the chosen portion of our hearts,
And you hold our lot.
Teach us what it means to deny ourselves and take up our cross,
And grant us grace to lose our lives for your sake.
No matter our circumstances, give us the courage to trust in your nearness,
And strengthen our wills to follow after you, in whom we will never be ashamed, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayers for the First Sunday in Lent, Year B (BCP)

Readings: Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25:3-9; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-13

Download Prayers for Lent 1 Year B BCP

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
For they have been of old.
You have set your promise in our hearts,
That we might never forget your covenant with your people.
Make us to know your ways, O Lord;
Teach us your paths.
Lead us in your truth and teach us,
For you are the God of our salvation;
For you we wait all the day long.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the world, remembering especially the people of Kenya, the Congo, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for your church throughout the world.
During this season of Lent, help us to see anew the gravity of our sin
And the awfulness of the reign of sin and death.
Make us truly repentant, Lord,
For it is against you only that we have sinned.
Help us to hear joy and gladness in the miraculous hope of our Lord Jesus Christ,
The bringer of a reign of grace, righteousness and eternal life.
May your kingdom come,
And root the truth of your deliverance and salvation deep in our hearts.

I invite you to pray for the church throughout the world.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that you would sustain us this week,
And we trust that you are present with us every day.
Give us a hunger for your word,
And help us to make space to listen to you.
We confess our need for you:
For your wisdom and guidance,
For your protection and provision,
For your help and comfort.
In every area of our lives we need you, Lord,
And we ask that you would be our daily portion.

I invite your prayers for the upcoming week..

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, you know us through and through.
Look in the deep places of our beings, and create in us clean hearts.
Give us a right abhorrence for our own sins.
Help us to be alert and self-controlled,
That we may flee the snares of our enemy.
Reveal areas of unconfessed sin,
And give us godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Show us where we have withheld forgiveness,
And, because of your great mercy, grant us grace to forgive others.
Deliver us from evil, Merciful Father,
And sustain us with your gracious and bountiful Spirit.

I invite your prayers for repentance and perseverance.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
How beautiful is the bride of Christ, stretching back throughout the ages and across the world, crossing boundaries of time and place!
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
You are good and upright, Gracious Lord.
Instruct us in your ways.
Lead us in what is right,
And teach us your way.
We humbly offer you our lives, surrendering all to you through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayers for Palm Sunday – All Years (BCP)

Download Palm Sunday Year B BCP  or  Palm Sunday Year B RCL

Readings: See The Book of Common Prayer or The Revised Common Lectionary

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the Lord our God,
The one to whom we turn in time of trouble.
Our souls are overwhelmed with terror and grief,
As we consider the weight of sin and death.
Our times are in your hand, Holy God.
Rescue us from death at the hand of our enemy.
Our souls wait for you alone.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

You are the rightful Lord of the whole creation,
And you alone are worthy of the worship and service of all people.
May your kingdom come in the midst of unrest and war,
Set to rights our earth ridden with corruption and violence, brutality and suffering.
We commit into your care the plight of the world,
Asking that your life-giving Word would spread to every corner of the globe.

I invite you to pray for the needs of the world, remembering especially our president, Barack Obama, and other leaders.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Jesus Christ, we confess that you are Lord.
We think of your humility,
Your willingness to be born in human form,
Your obedience unto death on a cross.
May the whole earth proclaim your praises and rejoice in your eternal purposes.
Lord of our salvation, equip your church with the mind of Christ.
Grant us perseverance and unwavering faith
That we might humbly obey you in the work you have given us to do.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We ask that your will be done in our lives and in the world.
We humble ourselves before you, praying for all that weighs heavily on our hearts as we remember our own cares and the needs of others.
We pray for those who suffer because of injustice and human evil.
We remember victims of abuse, slaves, prisoners, orphans, widows, and those captive to addictions and despair.
We pray for the depressed, the lonely and forgotten, for those weighed down by anxiety and guilt, and for anyone whose spirit has been crushed and deeply wounded.
We remember the starving, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the terminally ill, and those crippled by pain and infirmity.
The groaning of the world is too much for us to bear.
Come quickly to us, Lord Jesus, you who took on flesh and understand all our pain.
Let us drink deeply of the peace of your presence.

I invite you to pray for the needs of others.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy Spirit, we ask that you would ready our hearts for the upcoming week.
Help us to set aside anything that would hinder or distract us from making space to journey with you through Holy Week.
Grant us grace to remember,
To meditate upon your passion and suffering,
To watch and pray with you for a little while.
Our spirits are willing, but our flesh is week.

Silence

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for your church,
For all who have been given your grace in Christ Jesus.
How beautiful is the bride of Christ, stretching back throughout the ages and across the world, crossing boundaries of time and place!
We remember now those who have gone before us, those who have died in the faith, trusting that they are in your care.

I invite your thanksgivings to God for those who have died in the faith.

Silence

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Holy God, you dwell among your people,
And our hearts are full of gratitude for your closeness.
Who is like you, O Lord?
Your majesty astounds us,
Your holiness overwhelms us,
And yet, in your mercy you draw near to us.
You are the Living God,
The giver of all life,
The God who reconciles even his enemies to himself.
Our souls wait for you alone,
 Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.