Ancient of Days, who accompanies us on our inward journey, We draw near to you in this silence, waiting for your love to carve away our excess, so that we may find what is truly valuable. Your relentless grace guides us into our interior shadows, softening away our hardness with your compassionate Presence. Make this Ash Wednesday be the doorway to a season in which our inconsistencies are revealed. Unbind us from any fear, envy, pride, sloth or perfectionism. Release us into your creative light so we can become more fully yours. Remind us that this path is not a solitary one but for the whole community. Amen.
Source of all Hope, available to us in every realm on earth and in heaven, Your Presence makes real your encompassing love. Even when we are swept away into lives that are not of our own choosing, we do not despair. You give us clarity, comfort and conviction, placing a right spirit within us. Answer in us questions for others. Make our lives a portrait of your ways. Amen.
Divine Hope, who is found both beyond and within us, As we begin this season of preparation, we admit how often we fear silence, fight stillness and resist the unknown. Move us beyond the exterior material in our lives toward the inner rooms of our hearts. As we explore in these depths, adjust our seeing toward each new reality that arises out of shadow and darkness. Through our sense of relief, stir us to passion for others, leading us beyond mere survival to fullness of joy. Amen.
Blessed Provider, who picks up the pieces of our lives gathering an abundance where we saw not enough, Soon we will be together at table; families, friends and foe. For some of us, the empty places at our tables reflect what has happened in our hearts. Change us to be those who trust rather than fear, turn our yearning into gratitude. Move us to respond to your grace by giving before we take. Fill us with your Loving Presence. And if ever any hostile encounter threatens to separate; extend our arms to reach out in love through your life-giving Word. Amen.
We cannot be still. We cannot wait. Too many young people are dying, like the leaves that have fallen to the ground. Remind us to take in your breath, to notice something of your Presence; to acknowledge Love that arrives in flowers, candles and tears. We stand and watch at these altars of remembrance. Stir in us, move us to speak for those whose voices are no more. And give us hope for the mystery of your work so deep below the surface. In you mercy, so be it.
Creator of Beauty, who colors outside the lines to a new season, As this season changes the earth, new light comes in through open spaces and dark nights blanket us in. Teach us to accept, adapt and change in response to both. Reveal new patterns and designs in our relationship with you until the colors of your mercy extend hopeful layers to all people. And together, we breathe thanksgiving. Amen.
Maker of the heavens and earth, who arrives in flickers of translucence, Fill us with your breath in this moment and set our intention on finding your Presence in this day. Open us to all the ways you work to restore our bond with your creation. We so often fear spaciousness, we are afraid of letting go, we cling to the towers of our own making. Transform us with your delicate touches of grace where we might acknowledge the fullness of your Presence. Remind us to remain watchful for the reverent flow of life where Love emerges inviting us to enter in. Amen.
This is my first post this year. Not for any lack of prayer. I am offering daily prayer on Facebook Live each Monday thru Thursday on the Manassas, VA, Grace United Methodist Church page. Please join me there. I hope together we can grow in our awareness of both the beauty and the suffering around us. Come, Spirit, Come to fill us and move us!
God of mercy, whose creation is ever before us Even the falling leaves whisper their consent. Even the fading flowers express their beauty as they wither. Help us to recognize the visible strength found in delicateness. Slow our pace, remind us to pause as living things return to the earth. Increase our trust in the rhythm of the seasons that follow. You breathe your goodness and gladness in us, make us satisfied to breathe in you this day. Amen.
2 Cor 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Harvester of Souls, who nurtures us through the deep, fragrant soil of the earth, Each of us belong to your tree, some of us grafted by cuttings, some of us pollinated by generations, all of us tender and fragile in our ripening. Hold us in your branches to nestle in safety, until we find ourselves ready to explore beyond toward brighter light. Set us free in your fields of grasses, to touch the countenance of everything that is alive, accepting the love with which you labor to strengthen us all. Amen.
Matthew 9:38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.