Monday, March 31, 2014

A Prayer for Monday, March 31, 2014

Twenty-Third Day of Lent

O God,

With each passing day, the days are growing longer.
With each passing day, our lives are getting shorter.

And yet in both cases new life is springing forth.

Thank you that spring brings the greening of the grass and the blossoming of the flowers.
Thank you that advancing age can bring with it the greening of our spirits and the blossoming of new possibilities.

Let it be that our spirits are constantly being renewed in you.
Let it be that our lives are constantly being drawn into yours.

Let it be that our love, our faith, and our hope are constantly growing.

And let it be that when we close our eyes for the last time,
we open them to find that we are, at long last, fully grown.

Amen.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Prayer for Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fourth Sunday in Lent

O God,

We worship you today because of your great love, grace, and mercy.

When we ponder the ways in which you relate to us despite and because of our failures and our frailties, how can we not be amazed to the point of being flabbergasted?

Let us worship you in spirit and in truth today that we might go back out into the world ready to live a flabbergasted life in which our thoughts, our motives, our actions, and our words bear ongoing witness to our constant amazement at who you are and what you do.

Amen.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Prayer for Saturday, March 29, 2014

Twenty-Second Day of Lent

O God,

Bless the struggle.

Let us come out on the other side better, stronger, more focused, and ready to enter into the next struggle.

Give us the blessing of having each struggle actually be a struggle with you, since that is the struggle that is most worth having. Give us courage to struggle with you honestly and fervently; give us grace to accept and to live in light of the wounds and changes that must come to us in our struggles with you.

Bless the struggle …

Amen.

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Prayer for Friday, March 28, 2014

Twenty-First Day of Lent

O God,

Thank you for the mercy you show us when we acknowledge, confess, and repent of the wrongs we have committed against you.

Make us so aware of and so appreciative of your mercy that when someone acknowledges, confesses, and repents of a wrong they have committed against us, we cannot help but show them mercy as well.

Let your mercy lead to our mercy …

Amen.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Prayer for Thursday, March 27, 2014

Twentieth Day of Lent

O God,

Give us grace and mercy

to turn away from our sins,
to turn them over to you,
to turn our lives toward you,
and then
to turn toward with world with freedom and hope.

Amen.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Prayer for Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Eighteenth Day of Lent

O God,

Show us the illusions we have about ourselves and about you.

Help us to move past illusion and on to reality; help us to grow in our ability to know ourselves as we really are and to know you as you really are.

Help us especially to come to see ourselves and you in light of who your Son Jesus showed both us and you to be.

Show us that embracing illusion leads to delusion while embracing reality leads to faith and hope—then help us to live in faith and hope …

Amen.

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Prayer for Monday, March 24, 2014

Seventeenth Day of Lent

O God,

On the one hand, if we are honest and intentional about the effort, we can know a lot more about ourselves than we currently do.

On the other hand, no matter how honest and intentional we are about the effort, we can never know everything about ourselves.

But you know everything about us, which at the same time gladdens and terrifies us.

Help us to be inspired by the grace you bestow on us to bestow grace on ourselves.

Help us to see as much as we can about the ways in which we are living in and out of your will.

Help us to know that the honest effort to know you, to know ourselves, to seek your will, and to live in light of what we discover is enough …

Amen.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Prayer for Sunday, March 23, 2014

Third Sunday in Lent

O God,

Use our worship of you today
to draw us more deeply
into an ever-deepening communion
with you and
with each other.

Amen.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Prayer for Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sixteenth Day of Lent

O God,

Thank you for loving us enough to care about the state of our lives.

Thank you for loving us enough to care about our actions but also

about our motives,
about our intentions,
about our thoughts,
about our feelings,
about our perceptions, and
about our relationships,

all of which stand behind our actions.

As we acknowledge and admit the things we have done that we ought not to have done and the things that we have not done that we ought to have done, help us to acknowledge and admit what is within us that stands behind our actions.

Thank you for loving us enough to help us see the truth about ourselves.
Thanks you for loving us enough to touch our hearts and to change our minds.

Amen.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Prayer for Friday, March 21, 2014

Fifteenth Day of Lent

O God,

There is so much going on both inside and outside of us and so much of it is important.

Perhaps some of the things we treat as important aren’t and perhaps some of the things we treat as unimportant are. Or perhaps every single thing—

every atom,
every second,
every event,
every thought,
every feeling,
every word,
every action,
every motive,
every decision, and
every relationship—

is important.

If so, it is more than we can bear.

So help us

to pay the best attention we can,
to make the best effort we can,
to think the clearest thoughts we can,
to have the noblest motives we can, and
to make the best choices we can—

and to leave the outcomes to you.

After all, your grace and our faith are important, too.

Amen.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Prayer for Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fourteenth Day of Lent

O God,

We are well aware of the chaos—

some of it comes from outside of us while some of it comes from inside of us;
some of it is imposed on us while some of it is self-inflicted;
some of it inspires us to action while some of it makes us want to run and hide.

Yes, we are well aware of the chaos; we know that it is not going to go away so long as we are of this place and time.

So please enlarge that place in us

where we can be still and quiet before you,
where we can rest in your love, and
where we can experience your constant presence.

We don’t ask to be spared from the chaos.
We do ask to have an internal place of calm, safety, and trust.

Thank you that it exists;
help it to become larger and more obvious.

Amen.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Prayer for Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Thirteenth Day of Lent

O God,

As we examine ourselves with the help of your Spirit, we will discover ways in which we have been prodigal—ways in which we have been extravagant and wasteful—in the ways we have been living.

Such living indicates an approach to life that is more interested in self-gratification than in anything else; it indicates a shocking disregard of the needs of other people and a blatant rejection of the manner of life modeled for us by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Help us to come to our senses; help us to return to you knowing that you in your great grace, which is always greater than our greatest sin, will receive us back. And once we are home, help us to live in ways that best honor you, that best nurture our spirit, and that best care for the needs of others.

Amen.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Prayer for Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Twelfth Day of Lent

O God,

Show us the way we should go.

If we can’t see the way, at least point us in the right direction.

If we can’t know the right direction, at least guide our feet so we can inch forward tentatively, with great faith.

If we can’t move forward, at least give us purpose in our standing still and waiting and listening …

Amen.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Prayer for Monday, March 17, 2014

Eleventh Day of Lent

O God,

As we walk through this day and through this life, sometimes the path will appear straight and clear while sometimes it will appear crooked and confusing.

Thank you for those times when the path is straight and clear—but protect us at such times from arrogance and carelessness that lessen our alertness to danger and that cause us to stop seeking your guidance.

Thank you also for those times when the path is crooked and confusing—but protect us at such times from a limited and limiting faith that leads us to think that such a path does not lead through your will and that causes us to stop seeking your guidance.

Help us to grow in our ability to keep our eyes on you regardless of and because of the terrain we encounter.

Amen.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Prayer for Sunday, March 16, 2014

Second Sunday in Lent

O God,

As we remember and celebrate
the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
make us more aware
of his ongoing life and
of his continuing presence.

As we walk in the newness of life
that is ours because
we have been buried with Christ and
have been raised with him,
let us remind others
of his ongoing life and
of his continuing presence.

Amen.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Prayer for Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tenth Day of Lent

O God,

Thank you for those times when our minds and hearts experience the gift of rest and peace; thank you for using those times to rejuvenate and refresh us.

Create in us a place where we are always at rest and peace because in that place we are always in your presence, even as we deal with the craziness and chaos that so often characterize our lives.

Amen.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Prayer for Friday, March 14, 2014

Ninth Day of Lent

O God,

Help us develop a life that is always growing in three dimensions.

Give us a life of length; help us to grow in keeping our eyes always on you, the Eternal God, so that our lives might have an eternal perspective.

Give us a life of depth; help us to grow in keeping our eyes always on ourselves, on our true selves, so that our lives might have a self-aware perspective.

Give us a life of breadth; help us to grow in keeping our eyes always on other people, on their experiences and their needs, so that our lives might have a selfless perspective.

Help us to develop a sound and healthy three-dimensional life.

Amen.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Prayer for Thursday, March 13, 2014

Eighth Day of Lent

O God,

Let our repentance be honest; help us to be honest about

the fact of who we are,
the fact of who you are, and
the fact that our hope is in you.

Let our repentance be genuine; since to repent is to turn, help us to live in light of the fact that our turning needs to be

toward you who loves and accepts us
and not
toward some ideal to which we can never measure up.

Thank you that when we turn to you, you welcome us home and embrace us. Help us to turn constantly to you that we might constantly experience your grace and mercy.

Amen.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Prayer for Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Seventh Day of Lent

O God,

Give us grace and courage

to look for,
to see, and
to acknowledge
the truth about ourselves,

to tell the truth
to ourselves and
to you,

to accept
your acceptance of us and
to grow in our ability
to accept ourselves,

to let you work in us
to grow and to change us
in ways we need
to grow and change, and

to work on ourselves
to help ourselves grow and change
in ways we need
to grow and change.

Amen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Prayer for Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sixth Day of Lent

O God,

We appreciate it when things come easy. But help us not to appreciate it too much; help us not to seek for things to come easy.

Let us see the value in striving, in struggling, and even in suffering, especially when it comes to the things that matter the most: our relationship with you and with other people and the costly ways that those relationships work out in real, daily life.

Remind us that things that are most worth having are worth whatever pain it takes to get them, to have them, to keep them, and to grow in them.

Amen.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Prayer for Monday, March 10, 2014

Fifth Day of Lent

O God,

Thank you for that place deep within us where we can always be aware of you and where we can always rest in you.

Help us always to be mindful of that place and to dwell in it constantly, no matter what—and because of what—is happening to us and around us.

Cause that place to grow and to have increasing influence over the totality of our life.

Amen.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Prayer for Sunday, March 9, 2014

First Sunday in Lent

O God,

As we step out of our Lenten mode to observe the Lord’s Day, show us

how celebration occurs in the midst of mourning,
how reconciliation occurs in the midst of repentance,
how salvation occurs in the midst of seeking,
how acceptance occurs in the midst of denial, and
how resurrection occurs in the midst of death.

As we spend these forty days pursuing the truth about ourselves and about our world, use our Sundays to show us the greater truth about you and about your mercy.

Amen.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Prayer for Saturday, March 8, 2014

Fourth Day of Lent

O God,

As we try today
by your grace
and
by your Spirit

to grow toward being
who you made us to be
and
who in Christ you are forming us to be,

help us to take
at least half a step more
forward
than we take
backward.

Amen.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Prayer for Friday, March 7, 2014

Third Day of Lent

O God,

When we stand in your light
we can see ourselves as we really are
but
we can also see our shadow,
the projection of ourselves on the world.

Help us to know the difference.

Then form us, shape us, and grow us
so that
the self we are
and
the self we project
become more and more identical.

Amen.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Prayer for Thursday, March 6, 2014

Second Day of Lent

O God,

Help us to look
at ourselves
and
in ourselves
to see
what we have accumulated
that is
wasteful
or
hurtful
or
unnecessary
or
undesirable.

Then help us
to give it up
in great pain
and
with great joy.

Amen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Prayer for Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ashes

O God,

Thank you for the inescapable and wonderful reality of our humanity and of our mortality.

Thank you that they teach us, if we have eyes that see, of the value of time and of the cruciality of opportunity.

Thank you that they remind us, if we have minds that consider, of our commonality and community with all other living things and especially with all other human beings.

Thank you that they inspire us, if we have spirits that marvel, that our Lord Jesus Christ by his coming in the flesh shared in our lot and by his death and resurrection redeemed our body as well as our spirit.

Thank you for the inescapable and wonderful reality of our humanity and of our mortality. Help us to embrace it and not to try to flee from it.

Amen.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Prayer for Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Perspectives

O God,

Thank you for what our particular and unique experience has taught each one of us; thank you for what each of us knows that nobody else knows. Show us how to value our particular experience and its resulting particular perspective without regarding it as superior.

Thank you as well for the particular and unique experience of every other person and for the particular perspective that comes with it. Show us how to value those experiences and perspectives without devaluing our own.

Teach us to pool our knowledge so that we might together better see the big picture of human experience.

In all things, help us to add to one another and to be helpful to each other.

Amen.

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Prayer for Monday, March 3, 2014

Doing

O God,

Enable and empower us in this week and in all weeks

to do what our responsibilities and obligations dictate we have to do,
to move toward doing what our heart and spirit tell us we need to do, and
to give ourselves permission to do some of what we really want to do.

In all of our doing, help us to want nothing more or less than to live out of your will and in your way.

Amen.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Prayer for Sunday, March 2, 2014

Transfiguration Sunday

O God,

Give us a glimpse of your Son’s glory.

Let us be inspired by both what we can and can’t understand to worship him with our intentions, our motivations, our words, and our actions.

Protect us from arrogance that can come from what we think we see and know.
Protect us from haste that can cause us to claim to understand more than we do.

Help us to know that the true glory of Jesus is seen only in the light of his crucifixion and resurrection.

When it comes to his crucifixion and resurrection, protect us again from arrogance and from haste.

Inspire us to celebrate and to contemplate the wonder and majesty of who you are as you revealed yourself to us in your Son Jesus Christ …

Amen.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Prayer for Saturday, March 1, 2014

Apart/Together

O God,

In this world, things fall apart; we make it by your grace.
In this world, things hold together; we make it by your grace.

It is easy when things fall apart for us to forget your grace.
It is easy when things hold together for us to forget your grace.

Since we usually—maybe always—live with things simultaneously falling apart and holding together, it is always easy for us to forget your grace.

Help us to remember...

Amen.