Lenten Thoughts

In place of our normal Lent Homegroups, which can’t happen this year, We’ve gathered thoughts from members of the congregation to share each day.

From Ash Wednesday, There will be a thought or prayer for the day posted here, along with a short service of Prayer During the Day which you can use at any time for a few moments of reflection,

 

 

 Prayer During the Day in Lent

(Ash Wednesday to Mothering Sunday)

 This simple form of daily prayer is intended for use either by groups or individuals at any time of the day. Please feel free to include any of your own material that you find helpful. The important thing is to be aware that we are sharing a daily form of prayer across the parish during Lent.

 

Preparation  

Hear my prayer, O Lord,

 and give ear to my cry.

O God, make speed to save us.

   O Lord, make haste to help us.

 

Praise

The words of a hymn or chorus may be said or sung, or the following:

 

Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you;

you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.

Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness;

through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.

Your warmth gives life to the dead,

your touch makes sinners righteous.

Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us;

in your love and tenderness remake us.

In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness,

for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us

  (St Anselm, 12th Century)

 

The Word of God      (a Psalm taken from the Bible, Prayer Book or ASB) 

Sunday Psalm 27                                Monday Psalm 32

Tuesday Psalm 48                                Wednesday Psalm 139.1-11

Thursday Psalm 62                                 Friday Psalm 51. 11-end

Saturday Psalm 61

Each psalm may end with:

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;

                        as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

 

  Short readings  

Sunday

Away then with all malice and all deceit, all hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave for pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow up in your salvation; for surely you have tasted that the Lord is good. So come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – and allow yourselves, like living stones yourselves, to be built into a spiritual temple, a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.                                      1 Peter 2.1-4

 Monday

Jesus … is able to deal gently with those who are in darkness and are going astray, since he himself was subject to human weakness. God said to him,

“You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”

Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who place their hope him.                                                                  Hebrews 5   

Tuesday

You must be holy in all that you do, since God, who chose you to be his children, is holy. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake .    I Peter 1.15-20 

Wednesday

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.                                     Isaiah 53.3-6

 Thursday

The kind of fasting that I choose is this: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?  Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear-guard.  Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.                                                                                            Isaiah 58.6-9a

Friday

Jesus said to the disciples, ‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.  But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.  Matthew 6.4-9

Saturday

Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’ Luke 10.38-end

Response to God’s Word      

A time of silence may be kept for reflection

Prayers  

As well as the current crisis, prayers may include these concerns:

 

Sunday:    Those preparing for baptism and confirmation

Those who work in scientific research

Monday:   Our journey of faith in this present isolation

All who suffer injustice or are persecuted

Tuesday:   Those who work in the NHS

To be wise and responsible stewardship of creation

Wednesday:  For all the people we know who are self-isolating

All who are seeking God or looking for forgiveness

Thursday:  For our care for each other, our mission and service

Those who are trapped by any kind of addiction

Friday:   For all in our community who have experienced loss

All who suffer pain or disability

Saturday: For our keeping of Lent and Holy Week this year

and the festival of Easter in whatever form it may need to take

All who are hungry, homeless or without work

_________________________________________________________

Conclusion

The Collect  (from the notice sheet) or one of the following is said

 

Father of all,

from birth to death you hold us in your hand:

make us strong to bear one another’s burdens

and humble to share our own,

that we may rest in your care

and trust in your love;

through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

(Franciscan daily prayer)

 

We turn to you, Father, you created us in your image.

We turn to you, Son of God, you feed us with the bread of life

We turn to you, Holy Spirit of God, you sustain us by your breath.

Blessed and glorious Trinity,

we commit our lives to you. Amen.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

The Blessing

 

May the Lord bless us and defend us from all evil

and keep us in eternal life.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday:    Those preparing for baptism and confirmation

Those who work in scientific research

Monday:   Our journey of faith in this present isolation

All who suffer injustice or are persecuted

Tuesday:   Those who work in the NHS

To be wise and responsible stewardship of creation

Wednesday:  For all the people we know who are self-isolating

All who are seeking God or looking for forgiveness

Thursday:  For our care for each other, our mission and service

Those who are trapped by any kind of addiction

Friday:   For all in our community who have experienced loss

All who suffer pain or disability

Saturday: For our keeping of Lent and Holy Week this year

and the festival of Easter in whatever form it may need to take

All who are hungry, homeless or without work

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

 

Conclusion

The Collect  (from the notice sheet) or one of the following is said

 

Father of all,

from birth to death you hold us in your hand:

make us strong to bear one another’s burdens

and humble to share our own,

that we may rest in your care

and trust in your love;

through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

(Franciscan daily prayer)

 

We turn to you, Father, you created us in your image.

We turn to you, Son of God, you feed us with the bread of life

We turn to you, Holy Spirit of God, you sustain us by your breath.

Blessed and glorious Trinity,

we commit our lives to you. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

 

The Blessing

 

May the Lord bless us and defend us from all evil

and keep us in eternal life.  Amen.

 

Lenten Thoughts

Ash Wednesday

Our insensitivity to the needs of others, O Lord, forgive.

Our prejudice and fear, that prevents us from loving, O Lord, forgive.

The narrowness of our vision and shrinking from your demands, O Lord forgive.

Our resentment against those who have hurt us, O Lord forgive.

Our desire to work in our way, O Lord forgive.

Our impatience with those who are different from us, O Lord forgive.

Our failure to listen properly to other points of view, O Lord forgive

Our fear of coming out of the fortress of our own souls into fuller life and deeper love,

O Lord forgive.

 

Thursday 18th

Father in Heaven

the light of your truth bestows sight

to the darkness of sinful eyes.

May this season of repentance

bring us the blessing of your forgiveness

and the gift of your light.

Grant this through Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

 

 

Friday 19th

This is really a prayer before prayer. Something to help us centre ourselves in preparation for our prayer time. It is a reminder of God’s closeness to us, His care for us and His under-standing and acceptance of us. It was taught to me by a spiritual guide many years ago.

God is with me now,
Closer than breathing,
Nearer than hands and feet.
God has made me for Himself.
I come from God,
I belong to God,
I go to God.
God knows me,
God loves me,
God has a use for me,
Now and for ever.

 

Saturday 20th

 

Pooh and Piglet were walking through a wood on a stormy night.  The wind was howling, the trees were swaying and the branches were creaking.  Piglet was scared and turned to Pooh.

“Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it”?

After careful thought, Pooh replied, “Supposing it didn’t?”

 

Monday 22nd Feb

Thinking back to the story of Jesus turning water into wine, we pray that our questions may be turned into understanding; that our shortcomings might be turned into new beginnings, and that our little might be turned into plenty, and be used for the good of others. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday 23rd Feb

An extract from the song Stumbling Blocks and Stepping Stones, from Iona. At first sight it may sound a bit bleak, something we have got used to in the last year. But it ends in hope just like Good Friday leads to Easter Day. So, I found it helpful.

Unsure, when what was bright turns dark and life, it seems, has lost its way.

We question what we once believed and fear that doubt has come to stay.

We sense the worm that gnaws within has withered willpower, weakened bones,

And wonder whether all that’s left is stumbling blocks or stepping stones.

 

Ah God, you, with the Maker’s eye, can tell if all that’s feared is real,

And see if life is more than what we suffer, dread, despise and feel.

If some by faith no longer stand nor hear the truth your voice intones,

Stretch out your hand to help your folk from stumbling blocks to stepping stones.

 

Wednesday 24th Feb

Thank you, Lord God for all you have given us in the world, for its beauty and for all the good things we enjoy.   But I thank you most of all for loving me, and for your promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.   Please help me to share these blessing with others.   Amen.

 

Thursday 25th Feb

I am a huge fan of Desmond Tutu: his compassion and love for people of all faiths and none. His quest for peace and justice – the list goes on!  And so I share these words from him:

 

‘An authentic Christian spirituality is utterly subversive to any system that would treat a man or woman as anything less than a child of God. It has nothing to do with ideology or politics. Every praying Christian, every person who has an encounter with God, must have a passionate concern for his or her brother or sister, his or her neighbour.  To treat anyone of these as if they were less than a child of God is to deny the validity of one’s own spiritual experience’

 

Friday 26th Feb                    “Praying” by Mary Oliver

 

I am in love with every church

And mosque

And temple

And any kind of shrine

 

Because I know it is there

That people say the different names

Of the One God

 

Saturday 27th Feb

He said

I long to take your load

I want to bear your burdens too as you walk along the road.

But this you must remember,

This one thing you must know,

I cannot take your burden until you let it go!

Corrie Ten Boom

 

Thoughts, readings or prayers for each day of Lent – Week 3

 

Monday 1st March

Father in Heaven, I pray for my family and friends, that you will bless them and keep them safe.  Help them to know your peace and the love you have for them.   Help me to make their world a richer and happier place.   Amen.

Tuesday 2nd March

This poem was drawn to my attention by a friend whose daughter died recently, leaving two young children, and the first verse has been inscribed on her headstone.   Hope seems to be one of the most important things to hang on to at the moment and helps us to persevere during these difficult times.

 

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all,

 

And sweetest in the gale is heard; and sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird that kept so many warm.

 

I’ve heard it in the chilliest land and on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity, it asked a crumb of me.                                                            By Emily Dickinson.

 

Wednesday 3rd March

You don’t have to go on “Who wants to be a Millionaire” to phone a friend – you can do it now.

 

Thursday 4th March

I bought a CD last year “The World’s Favourite Praise & Worship songs” and would like to share the lyrics of the song ‘One Thing Remains’:

 

Higher than the mountains that I face, stronger than the power of the grave,

constant in the trial and the change – one thing remains.
Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.

On and on and on it goes, it overwhelms and satisfies my soul,

and I never ever have to be afraid – one thing remains, one thing remains.
In death, in life, I’m confident and covered by your great love.

My debt is paid, there’s nothing that can separate my heart from Your great love.

 

Friday 5th March               

It’s a strange world of desperate emotions, sober judgments, high-tech procedures, life and death and love.  Bur God is there in it all, recognised and unrecognized.  Look for him in motivating researchers; breathing wisdom and serenity into troubled minds; pouring love into those whose hands reflect his care; bringing peace to replace anxiety.

 

Saturday 6th March

Invocation For Lent

 

Into the dark world a snowdrop comes,

a blessing of hope  and peace

carrying within it a green heart:

symbol of God’s renewing love.

Come inhabit our darkness, Lord Christ,

For dark and light are alike to you.

May nature’s white candles of hope remind us of your birth

and lighten our journey through Lent and beyond.                                        Kate Mcllhagga