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.
She-Mystery, who gives herself away completely,
In this challenging season, we breathe, we pray, we serve others. Make us not forget, however, that an important part of our work is to accept the Love you offer. Help us not even try to make sense of it, only open our eyes to watch for it and open our hearts to receive it. We don’t want a feel good story on Easter, we want you to turn our hearts from stone into bread that brings life for the world. Amen.
1 Kings 17: 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
Creator of Light, whose light shines in ordinary places, We enter this day with silent snow, reminded to take a breath. Some of us are missing important events, and some of us are planning for future events. Help us all to stay present to you in this day. Expand the capacity of our hearts to receive your beams of love. Keep our feet on the path of this Lenten wilderness. Make any confusion or turmoil cease with one Word. Cast your light into our shadows and shine upon us again this day to renew the whole earth. Amen.
Creative Spirit, who purifies and refines our hearts,
Set aside our many distractions for lending attention to the fullness of your Presence. Help us breathe with those who struggle for air. As we admit the temporary nature of our existence, so also move us to act on the eternal quality of our love. Make everything we surrender this season an opportunity to welcome our neighbors into your communion. Amen.
Mover of Mercy, who leads us to places of renewed hope,
The time is come. Help us be still without running away as you expose our futility, our selfishness and emptiness. Your morning light reveals our darkness. Help us to bear these holy days with patience. Make our prayer one with the numerous refugees trying to escape the powers that condemn life. You have shown us the way that leads to life, increase our obedience to live in the purpose for which you created us. Make us those who live in the power of your resurrection. Amen.
Rock of Ages, who carries us to places of refuge.
Use this silence to draw us deeper into the canyon of your love. Bring us low enough to soften our rough edges and fill us with your mercy. Then, direct us to footholds that elevate us to a place of your perspective. When we cannot see ahead, move us to simply listen, waiting upon your guidance for our discernment. Like all those who have gone before us, give us confidence to explore the mystery of your Presence today. Amen.
Creator of Clarity, whose light reveals magnificence in each detail of every hour,
Shine gently upon us as we take in the first breath of morning. We so often manage our stress by doing more. Our lives are starved for time, for a moment of stillness to see the reality around us. We blindly fill our days with activity and don’t recognize or receive the abundance you provide. Use this silence to help us make peace with our circumstances. Guide us in discerning how our energy can best bless the world around us. Give us the wisdom to let go of all that is unnecessary. Make the gift of this day be our attention in the fullness of your Presence. Amen.
Precious Savoir, who guides us through each day,
In this time of quiet, move us a step closer toward the mystery of your Presence. Open our hearts to your leading through the Holy Week ahead. Give us an honest clarity at our private rationalizations and our comfortable self-deception. Bring us to let go of the burdensome things we have held so dear. Breathe through us with renewing power, challenging us to pour out love, peace and reconciliation in our homes, our churches and our communities. Amen.
Patient Purifier, whose creation is covered under snowy white blankets,
In this morning quiet, as our flaws are exposed, cleanse us with compassion. Through the power of your loving Presence, search our interior lives relieving us of our intolerance and prejudice. Help us learn that surrender is not passivity rather instead, uses our discomfort to increase our understanding for one another. Remind us that even when it appears nothing is happening, you continue to make new realities possible. Amen.
Divine Gardener, through whom beauty appears,
Open us in this silence to allow your life-giving power to enter us through each breath. Teach us to hold lightly any sense of your Presence. Increase our trust through the empty and dark days. Strengthen our awareness of the delicate and fleeting blooms of kindness that help us endure reminding us that we are not alone. Help us return to this emptiness often so that we can emerge full. Amen.