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.
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.
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.
Generous Giver, who makes time our home, day to day, and week to week,
Today, we can choose to listen for the song of birds, to let their chirping drown out the hum of traffic beyond. Today, we can watch the sun’s rays lick the dew drops from blades of grass. Creation is alive and today, we can choose to draw near to the Source of all life in the complexity of our experiences. We admit that on most days, rather than you, we trust only in ourselves. Today, help us choose your silent strength over our noisy clatter and clumsy efforts. You are the Key that unlocks our illusions to bring us truth today. Let us all be grateful for this day. Amen.
Living Word, who speaks creation into existence
We are tired of hearing condemnation from every angle. Gently awaken us to listen for the one Voice that gives life. Fill us with what we need to carry into the course of this day. Help us to listen to one another more than we speak. Rather than increasing any conflict, make the words you give us to speak create understanding. Multiply the opportunities we have to share that the power of your mercy brings justice. Amen.
Ancient Builder, who offers us refuge in the wilderness,
Use your silence to draw us in to a place of simplicity and shelter. Soak us in the peace of your Presence. When the day calls for more strength than we have, send others alongside to encourage and sustain us. When issues require careful discernment, let your wisdom arise from within the gathered community. When creativity is flagging and life seems dull, give us the imaginations of children full of fresh ideas. Remind us that you provide all that is needed to make us whole, and return us home to you. Amen.
Divine Maker of Wind and Snow, who fills us with wonder and awe,
As we begin this day, use this blanket of white to erase any need for words. Bring us an assurance that your Presence is made real in the silent winter landscape. Help us to practice this trust in the interruption of our lives, today. Warm our hearts and widen our interiors as we breathe in the beauty of the snowfall. Rather than increasing our anxiety over our lack of control, let this time of quiet bring peace in our souls. Indeed, help us learn that even in when we perceive we are lacking, you provide all that truly satisfies. Amen.
who brings comfort to the lost, lonely and to the self-sufficient,
Our anxiety for the losses in our world has been high these last few weeks. Our questions bring us to our knees. Do you really know each hair on our head? Have you counted of every blade of grass? Slow us for a few hours so that we can count the grasses with you. Reposition our hearts and minds so that the world glows with life-giving mystery again. Rather than a moment of attending to your Presence, use as long as it takes to remind us that your creation is good and your wisdom is merciful and just. Make us people of prayer, saturated in your compassionate love to respond with thanksgiving for this life and the next. Amen.
Beam of Blessing, who sends sparkles of light into every moment,
Our first morning breath, as we attend to the fullness of your Presence, gives us focus. Our hearts fill with gratitude by the way your creation nurtures us each day and yet, is often overlooked when there is much imperfection in our world. It is easy for us to find the broken branches, the shadows and woundedness in our midst. Help us to not only see from fresh perspectives but to act with renewed hope. Strengthen us to persevere and give us eyes of grace to see the beauty that is emerging in difficult places. Amen.
King of Heaven and Earth, who waits and weathers out the storms with us,
Use our silence this morning preparing us to make space for relationship. Help us to see the many ways we try to escape rather than stay in the place that provides us a further encounter with you. Somewhere in the course of our day, guide us to encourage another to take respite in your Presence. Then, may we sit together at the throne of creation in wonder of that which makes us whole. Amen.