Prayers With Lenten Hope

Praying TogetherResponsive Prayers by Tom Robb, for use on the first Sunday of Lent.

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With Lenten prayer and Lenten hope the Spirit beckons us on toward Jerusalem.
In Moses’ dusty footsteps we follow Jesus into the howling wilderness – comfort only a memory.

Cold desert nights besiege us with fear and anxiety for our church… our nation… our parish family… and our loved ones.
Out of the depths we cry to you Lord.

Blazing desert sun leaves no place to hide.
Your Son sees us as we are.

Trickster ravens mock our pretensions and delusions.
And yet, God’s voice whispers in the endless wind.

Hollow temptations, unneeded food, and passing pleasures weigh down our souls.
Holy Spirit of God make us mindful of our shortcomings, and of our strengths.

Oh Lord our Savior we repent in ashes and sorrow; remember not our sin.
Wash us, Lord, and we will be made clean; remember us with your love.

Lead us Jesus, out of the desert and up to Jerusalem.
In our woundedness, Lord, help us bind up the wounds of others.

Beloved, life is short; we’re given so little time to help and comfort the friend…the neighbor…the stranger on the Way.
Let us be swift to love and make haste to be kind.

Rejoice, beloved, as we follow in the footsteps of our Lord.
Always and everywhere, thanks be to God.

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These prayers were first used on February 26, 2012 (the first Sunday of Lent) at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, Washington.

The readings for the day.

More about responsive prayer.

More prayers and meditations for the Lenten season.

Praying HandsResponsive prayers in solitude

Tom also sent me a version of these prayers that he wrote in first person. When prayed in solitude, this version creates an interior dialog between the biddings and responses.

We offer these prayers for use in your own personal Lenten journey.

With Lenten prayer and Lenten hope the Spirit beckons me forth on the Way up to Jerusalem.
In Moses’ dusty footsteps I will follow Jesus into the howling wilderness – comfort only a memory.

In the cold of night I’m besieged with fear and anxiety for our church, our nation, our parish family and our loved ones.
Out of the depths I cry to you Lord.

Remember not my sin Lord; judge me by your love.
I am a tiny child of the infinite God; I put my trust in you.

The foolish temptations of unneeded food and passing pleasures invade my soul.
Out of the depths I cry to you Lord.

The desert rips away my pretensions and delusions.
In Holy wilderness the voice of God whispers in the endless wind.

I cannot escape the burning hot sun.
Rejoice! The white-hot Son burns away my sin.

Sisters and brothers, life is short; I do not have much time to help the stranger on the Way.
Therefore let me be swift to love and make haste to be kind.

May it be ever thus. Thanks be to God.

Note from Tom: “The ending bit (Sisters and brothers life is short…make haste to be kind) is a direct quote from Ed Perkinson, our retiring assistant priest at St. Paul’s in Akron, and one of the finest sermonizers and teachers in the church.”

About Margaret D. McGee