L: Today the journey begins. Are you ready?
L: Let go of those things that chain you to despair.
P: Lord, help us see the ways in which we have abandoned you. Open our hearts today to receive your freeing love, O Lord.
Lord, we are so tempted by everything we see; the glitz and glitter of the world and the get-rich-quick schemes are placed before us. We believe that if we just have enough money, enough friends, enough power, enough safety we will be OK. Show us how foolish we are to place our hope and trust in these things. Give us hearts for loving service in which we will find our strength, our courage, our security, our home.
God of infinite patience and love, we come to you this day, not sure if we want to embark on this Lenten journey, this spiritual trip. It is easy for us to get caught up in our own needs and our own anxieties. We are a people of great “want,” and we need to become a people of great “faith.” Stop us and remove us from the self-destructive journey on which we were living. Place us on your track of hope and salvation. Forgive our stubbornness, and heal our sorrowful souls.
Help us to realise just how much are loved - by You! And in that love rests all safety, security, comfort, and hope. Help us rest in Your love, and prepare ourselves for service to You, because deep in our hearts we KNOW you are ever faithful to us. Help us be ever faithful to you.
Father, it seems as though Lent came too early this year. Our spirits need restoration and healing. We’ve just been through the fires, and the floods – and now the coronavirus has us worried. We’re caught up in things beyond our control. It’s hard to rest in the assurance that you are with us through it all. Settle us down, Lord. Help Thou our unbelief, our un-settledness.
During this season of Lent you send us on a journey to the cross with Jesus, and beyond the cross to the resurrection. We would just rather skip to the happiness of Easter and enjoy the flowers and all the trimmings. We cannot truly understand the power of the resurrection until we have been to the cross – and so you insist on the journey.
Today we travel to the cross where Jesus encounters Satan who flashes before him visions of power, wealth, and individual security. How shall we respond to those same temptations when they are presented so seductively to us? Help us, O Lord. Guide and restore us. Give us courage and strength as we journey to you. (pause)
And, Lord, hear our prayer about our concerns with Coronavirus:
We cry out to you now on behalf of those infected by the coronavirus. Heal the sick, and bind up the broken-hearted who grieve those felled by this illness.
As both infection and fear spread, we ask for courage and protection for healthcare workers risking their own well-being for the sake of others. We pray wisdom for government officials and those in decision-making positions. May they rightly discern what needs to be done to treat those already infected and prevent others from falling sick.
We know there are those in quarantine, afraid they might be exposed to illness, wondering when they will return to their normal lives, anxious about what might happen next. Comfort them with your peace that passes understanding and grant them patience during this liminal and frightening season.
Lord of all, we are intimately connected to one another no matter where we reside on the earth, and so we plead for healing, good healthcare, relief and wholeness for our siblings in China and South Korea and Iran and Italy and in all the places where this virus has made its appearance. May our collective care, effort, resources and love bring an end to this epidemic. Amen.
Hear us as we pray the prayer Your son taught us . . .
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and forever.