What was it about Jesusthat was so confusing for governments and for ordinary people?
Pilate couldn’t make sense of Jesus and half the time we can’t either.
We want a God who comes in might and power to take all before him and yet we get Jesus: unmistakably human and vulnerable, trouble-maker peace-lover, political subversive always on the side of love, not power human, even to the point of death.
We keep asking the question, ‘God, who are you?’ in the hope we’ll get a different answer. And God just keeps coming back with this one. Amen. -Cheryl Lawrie
Day 39 - March 30, 2018 Good Friday
God of mystery and wonder,because we know the ending of the story, it’s tempting for us to ignore the darkness of this day. It’s tempting for us to go about our business as usual. It’s tempting for us to move too quickly to the dawn of light on Easter morning.
But give us courage and strength on this day to live for a while in the darkness, to set aside comfort and pleasure, to feel the darkness in which so many of your children dwell, the darkness into which your son Jesus entered.
As we reflect on the frailty of Christ, remind us of the frailty of all life. As we cringe at the suffering of Christ, make us mindful of suffering throughout the world. As we witness the death of Christ, bring us back full circle to the beginning of Lent, to the wisdom of Ash Wednesday: the awareness of our mortality and the mortality of those we love.
Gracious God, deep in the human heart is an unquenchable trust that life does not end with death. Like a seed which is buried in order to bring forth life, Christ goes to the tomb to usher in new life. We trust that we too will be raised to new life, in this world, here and now, and in the mystery of what lies beyond physical death. We trust that the whole world will be born anew, that your kingdom is coming as a new heaven and a new earth.
On this day of darkness, it is for this kingdom that we boldly pray. Amen.
Day 38 - March 29, 2018 Holy Thursday
Gracious God, As those who strive to follow Jesus in our living and to trust your power in our dying, we gather to reflect upon the life that ended on a cross.
We recognize in ourselves the strengths and weaknesses of Jesus’ disciples: although they loved him, they disappointed and failed him.
And yet, gathering with these imperfect friends at this last meal Jesus washed their feet in service, and then extended the bread and cup to each. Jesus called them to love one another, and invited them to share in his very life and in his acceptance of the road ahead.
We are humbled, honored and inspired by the deep love Christ extended to the world, and we take seriously the calling to be the body of Christ today.
Forgive us when we disappoint and fail you, and guide us back to a place of trust and faithful living.
Grant us the vision to see the world as you see it, with love and compassion for each creature and all of your creation. Amen. -Kelly Burd
Day 37 - March 28, 2018 Holy Week
Creator of the universe, you made the world in beauty, and restore all things in glory through the victory of Jesus Christ. We pray that, wherever your image is still disfigured by poverty, sickness, selfishness, war, and greed, the new creation in Jesus Christ may appear in justice, love, and peace, to the glory of your name. Amen. —Vanderbilt Library
Day 36 - March 27, 2018 Holy Week
Almighty and everlasting God, who in your tender love toward [humanity] sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross: grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. -Methodist Prayer
Day 35 - March 26, 2018 Holy Week
Almighty God, whose dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other that the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. -Book of Common Prayer
Day 34 - March 24, 2018
O Lord, you rode on.
You rode over the cloaks and under the branches, You rode through the shouts and past the praises, Receiving the praise that you deserved, but not confusing our praise in your presence for your purpose in coming.
O Lord, you rode on.
You rode towards the controversy and the cost, You rode towards the curses and the cross, Receiving the stripes you didn’t deserve, to give us a reward that we couldn’t earn.
O Lord, you rode on.
You rode through the tomb and the grave, You rode through our time and space, Ascending to a throne that will never decay, A priesthood that will never pass away, A life of love that will always remain, And hearing us even now as we pray.
O Lord, you rode on.
We remember the journey you have taken as we commit ourselves to walking in the same way. Give us the strength, hope, and joy we need as we follow.
In your name we pray, Amen. —Joe Welty
Day 33 - March 23, 2018
Forgive those things we have done which have caused you sadness, and those things we should have done that would have brought you joy. In both we have failed ourselves, and you. Bring us back to that place where our journey began, when we said that we would follow the way that you first trod. Lead us to the Cross and meet us there. Amen. —John Birch
Day 32 - March 22, 2018
Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation, to you be praise and glory forever. As a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief your only Son was lifted up that he might draw the whole world to himself. May we walk this day in the way of the cross and always be ready to share its weight, declaring your love for all the world. As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and forever. Amen. —Methodist Prayer
Day 31 - March 21, 2018
Today, God, make your love known in unexpected ways. Give me clarity of mind and openness in heart to receive your love. May you cause me to trust with certainty—to hope without fear—to give without conditions—to love without judgment—to know with grace. Today, God, keep me nearer to you, even more than yesterday, and draw me closer to you. And may I stay there with you no matter what this day might bring. Amen. —Amy Spivey
Day 30 - March 20, 2018
Lord, guide me always to do your holy will knowing that your strength will carry me through. Lord, grant that I may always desire to spend time in your presence. May I not forget your goodness to me. Guide me to share your blessings with others. Amen. —Sacred Space
Day 29 - March 19, 2018
Eternal Father, you reach out to us in mercy even when we rebel against your holy call and prefer to walk in disobedience rather than in the way of your divine truth. Soften our hearts with the warmth of your love, that we may know your Son alive within us, redeeming us and raising us up into your eternal presence. Amen. -The United Methodist Church
Day 28 - March 17, 2018
Most merciful God, who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ delivered and saved the world: grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross we may triumph in the power of his victory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen —From Methodist Prayer
Day 27 - March 16, 2018
All-knowing and all-caring God,we [come to you] this day drained by another week. We are like a parched desert, empty and in need of replenishment. Visit us with your presence, saturate us with your Spirit, and bathe us in your streams of living water, that our lives might acknowledge and worship you to the praise and honor of Jesus Christ. Amen -Adapted from re:Worship
Day 26 - March 15, 2018
Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy, to you be praise and glory forever. In the darkness of our sin, your light breaks forth like the dawn and your healing springs up for deliverance. As we rejoice in the gift of your saving help, sustain us with your bountiful Spirit and open our lips to sing your praise.
The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and forever. Amen. —Adapted from Methodist Prayer
Day 25 - March 14, 2018 I reflect for a moment on God's presence around me and in me.Creator of the universe, the sun and the moon, the earth, every molecule, every atom, everything that is: God is in every beat of my heart. God is with me, now.
Dear Jesus, I can open up my heart to you. I can tell you everything that troubles me. I know you care about all the concerns in my life. Teach me to live in the knowledge that you who care for me today, will care for me tomorrow and all the days of my life. Amen. —Adapted from Sacred Space
Day 24 - March 13, 2018
Compassionate Lord, forgive us when we falter on this Lenten pathway; when the road ahead seems too uncertain and we are afraid. We admit that following Jesus is not an easy task. Jesus requires us to be willing to make the ultimate commitment of our whole lives and we hesitate and hold back. Draw us back to you, Lord. Give us confidence and courage to face the future with hope. Let us place our trust in you that the message of peace and mercy you have given to us through Jesus Christ may be offered to others through our own witness to your healing mercy. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN. -Nancy Townley
Day 23 - March 12, 2018
Lord, may Lent be a time of inward searching that makes me more able to look with compassion at the needs of the world. Thank you for desert experiences, when being confronted with myself makes me realise my need of you. Amen -The Methodist Church UK
Day 22 - March 10, 2018
Lord, we come to you this day with so many things laying claim to our lives, our hearts, and our spirits. Open our ears and our hearts to hear your words of healing love. Prepare us to be faithful disciples for you. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN. —Nancy Townley
Day 21 - March 9, 2018
If I have failed to do God's will in any way today, If I have stumbled or have erred forgiveness I would pray. Though I have slipped and fallen far into the paths of sin. Though my soul aches with anguish deep, and battles rage within. And though my sin be known to all or be it never guessed. Though those once friends point to me in shame or blame be in my breast. I bring a heart that filled with pain and kneel in humble prayer And ask for full forgiveness, though hope, I do not dare. 'Tis then I hear the [Savior's] voice, kind words he whispers o'er "Neither do I condemn thee, child, go and sin no more." -Grace Huck
Day 20 - March 8, 2018
God of Old, daily you are new to us. Enliven our heavy hearts; refresh us in your spirit. Birth us again in newness of mind that we may bear new hope to a dying world. We ask in the name of Jesus...and the Spirit that sustains us through the changing times. Amen. -Nancy A. Johnson
Day 19 - March 7, 2018
Merciful God, the fountain of living water, you quench our thirst and wash away our sin. Give us this water always. Bring us to drink from the well that flows with the beauty of your truth through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. -Evangelical Lutheran Worship Book
Day 18 - March 6, 2018
God of light, you do not see as others see; you look beyond our limitations and find us strong and beautiful for your purpose. Help us now to see Jesus your Son who, though he was despised and rejected, became our beautiful Savior. Show us Jesus' face in the face of those who suffer and lead us to give your healing touch to all. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Day 17 - March 5, 2018
New every morning is your love, Great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen. —The United Methodist Book of Worship
Day 16 - March 3, 2018
Gracious God,thank you so much for the many ways light comes into our world through Jesus. We ask you to help us notice daily when people do good things for others; when people care for the world you have created; when nations treat other nations in just ways. Help us notice the increasing light of each day. Receive our thanks and praise. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen. —MaryJane Pierce Norton
Day 15 - March 2, 2018
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Let us give thanks for yesterday, have hope in tomorrow, and yet, be fully present in today. Amen. —Amy Spivey
Day 14 - March 1, 2018
The prayers we pray today are those that live deep within and root far below. They are the prayers of quiet spirits and questioning minds, tumultuous tummies and fidgety fists.
We pray prayers of silence and chatter, laughter and tears. We pray, we seek, we hope to find.
Holy God, we trust you pray with us, we trust you hear us, we trust you know the beatings, rumblings, crevices and crannies of our minds, our bodies and our spirits. We walk this Lenten journey with both timidity and courage as our guides.
We walk this Lenten journey committing to pray all the prayers we need to pray, all the prayers we want to pray, all the prayers we do not yet know need to be prayed.
We walk this Lenten journey because we want to follow you. So, breathing in the silence, trusting in your way, lead us, O Holy One, toward the import of your Love. -Claire McKeever-Burgett
Day 13 - February 28, 2018
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life. Amen. --Prayer of St. Francis
Day 12 - February 27,2018
O God our deliverer, you led your people of old through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide now the people of your church, that, following our Savior, we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen. -United Methodist Hymnal #268
Day 11 - February 26, 2018
Well, God, with each step that we take, it becomes more and more apparent that we need you. We want to reflect your image to people around us and into your world; however, the fast-paced, pain-staking, heart-breaking, life that we live often casts a shadow and pulls us into ourselves and away from you. Help us notice that you lovingly and relentlessly pursue us. Give us the desire and the courage to set ourselves aside. Shape us and make us, by your grace, into better reflections of you each step that we take today. May we go with trust. Amen. —Amy Spivey
Day 10 - February 24, 2018
Almighty God, give us wisdom to perceive you, intellect to understand you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you and life to proclaim you, through the power of the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. -Benedict, 489-543
February 23, 2018
Lord, grant us simplicity of faith And a generosity of service That gives without counting cost A life overflowing with Grace Poured out from the One Who gave everything That we might show The power of love To a broken world And share the truth From a living Word Lord, grant us simplicity of faith And a yearning to share it. Amen.
Day 8 - February 22, 2018
Lord, as we enter Lent help us to draw near to you in praise, stripping away all that distracts us from worship. Amen
As Jesus resisted temptation by the devil in the wilderness, help us reflect on his faithfulness to God, his rejection of worldly values and hold these thoughts in our hearts throughout Lent and beyond. Amen
Jesus, you prayed and fasted. As your disciple teach me about spiritual discipline in my relationship with you. Amen
Lord may Lent be a time of inward searching that makes me more able to look with compassion at the needs of the world. Amen
Thank you Lord for desert experiences, when being confronted with myself makes me realise my need of you. Amen
Lord, you've guided us through the difficult days of Lent, encouraging us along the way. We pray as we move towards the darkest day, that you'll not forsake us but remind us of our Saviour's ultimate gift and promise of new, abundant, eternal life for all who believe and trust in him, your precious son, Jesus. Amen
Day 7 - February 21, 2018
Gracious God: We remember Jesus’ baptism and give you thanks for the ways he has taught us to love you. We remember that you call each of us by name, and we give you thanks for the ways you have created each of us. Help us to remember we are not alone. We are your children and you are with us. Help us to share this knowledge with others so that they too can know your love and care. Amen. -MaryJane Pierce Norton
Day 6 - February 20, 2018
Lord, Teach me a new freedom. Freedom to reject comparison And to embrace uniqueness. Freedom to cut ties with greed And feast on love. Freedom to abstain from over indulgence And feast on self-control. Freedom to leave behind selfish thoughts And to focus on the needs of others. Freedom to fend off insecurity And to embrace grace. Lord, at this time of Lent, Thank you for the freedom you bring. Amen. -Author Unknown
Day 5 - February 19, 2018
Because we are citizens of God's righteous reign, Jesus calls on us to repent, that is, to turn toward God, take up our cross, and leave behind all that keeps us from following Jesus: God of glory, you sent your Son Jesus to die that we might have life. Show us the ways we fail to answer your call. Keep us from being bound to possessions, from longing for outward approval, from listening to voices that distract us from your word, from hesitating to lose our old lives and take up your new life. Our help comes from you, O Lord; keep us from all evil. In Jesus' name. Amen. -Blair Gilmer Meeks
Day 4 - February 17, 2018 Dear God, the season of Lent is here again and, as with so many times before, we find that we are not really ready for this journey of discipleship. So many things claim our lives and prevent us from being ready to take the steps in faith. As we look at our barrier of readiness, help us to remember that Christ is with us, every step of the way. We are not alone. Christ will help lift our hearts and spirits and direct our paths. Enable us, loving Savior, to take this journey of faith to new life with you. Amen. —Nancy C. Townley
Day 3 - February 16, 2018
In the silence of the night - in the din of the day, you are there, O God. In the peace of the moment - in the chaos of the world, you are there, O God. If only I will take notice and turn my eyes to you - turn my mind to you - turn my ears to you - turn my heart to you. No matter where I am, there you are. When I stand up straight and tall with enough confidence to walk with you anywhere, I pray that you go before me, beside me, and behind me, holding me in your grace. When I bend over bearing the weight of fear, worry, and sin, I pray that you embrace me, comfort me, forgive me, and give me peace. At no time, then, will I have to ask, “Where are you, God?” Because you are here. —Amy Spivey
Day 2 - February 15, 2018
Christ our Lord was tempted in the wilderness and knows all our trouble and weakness. We therefore have courage to confess our failings and our sins, knowing that God of Jesus Christ will hear and forgive us. God of mercy, we confess that we too often satisfy our own desires before we think of others; we take needless risks that endanger ourselves and those around us; we look for power in the wrong places and fail to let you rule in our lives. Help us to turn away from all that keeps us from worshipping you alone. Jesus dismissed the tempter and walked from the wilderness toward the glory of the cross. Amen. --Blair Gilmer Meeks
Ash Wednesday - February 14, 2018
BLESSING THE DUST All those days you felt like dust, like dirt, as if all you had to do was turn your face toward the wind and be scattered to the four corners or swept away by the smallest breath as insubstantial—did you not know what the Holy One can do with dust? This is the day we freely say we are scorched. This is the hour we are marked by what has made it through the burning. This is the moment we ask for the blessing that lives within the ancient ashes, that makes its home inside the soil of this sacred earth. So let us be marked not for sorrow. And let us be marked not for shame. Let us be marked not for false humility or for thinking we are less than we are but for claiming what God can do within the dust, within the dirt, within the stuff of which the world is made and the stars that blaze in our bones and the galaxies that spiral inside the smudge we bear. —Jan Richardson