First Sunday in Lent, March 10, 2019
Offered by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor
Gracious God, we gather before you this First Sunday of Lent, aware of how much we need your grace. We so easily stray from the way of loving faithfulness you have shown us. Sometimes we wander in the wilderness, alone with ourselves, vulnerable or succumbing to the temptation to close ourselves off in self-preservation. We are tempted to turn your blessings into means to gratify ourselves instead of gratefully and openly sharing with others. Power, money, and looking good in the eyes of others all seduce us. Teach us the mind of Christ, who emptied himself and took the form of a servant. And when we feel ridiculed or others treat us with disdain, strengthen us to keep firm in our conviction that it is your favor we seek and that our identity is secure as your beloved people. Open us to receive appropriate correction from others, that we may be more loving and respectful.
As a fine potter works the clay, so shape and mold us to fit your design. Bring us back from times of struggling alone better equipped to love, honor, and serve you and our neighbors. We pray that you would comfort all who mourn, bring wholeness to those who are ill, feed the hungry, and bring liberation to the oppressed. Guide our political and government leaders, that they may lead lives of righteousness, be held accountable for their conduct, and make decisions that benefit the whole community, especially the poor and ostracized. Give immigrants and refugees hope and homes, strengthen all who work at our borders, and break open the heart of our nation, that we may treat every human being with full respect and care.
All this we pray in the name of Christ, who taught us to pray, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church