Prayers for the First Sunday in Lent (February 21-27, 2021)

The Watchword for the Week:
Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. Psalm 25:8

In this Lenten season, loving God, you call us to a time of reflection and contemplation.
This is a time to ponder where our wandering steps have separated us from you.
This is a time to consider all of who we are and where you want us to be.
This is a time to establish a proper relationship with you.
O Lord, we want to be upright in heart.
May your comforting spirit allow us to unburden our souls. 

Psalm 25:1-10

1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. 

Confession of Sin

If we confess our sins God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In full assurance of faith, let us confess our sins.

Gracious God, this season of Lent calls us home to you. As we have wandered in our spiritual lives, we now hear your invitation to return to you. As such, Lent challenges us to look within ourselves and examine the priorities in our lives and how those priorities have influenced our choices. Loving God, if we only stop and look, we easily see that our ways are not your ways, and for that we are sorry, and we seek to repent. Your ways are loving and gracious, yet we nurse selfish attitudes and practice only a selective distribution of grace. Forgive us for the barriers with which we separate ourselves from you and keep us from looking deep into our hearts. We seek to have you know us so that we, in turn, might know our true selves. We trust, O Lord, in your steadfast love. 

The good news in Christ is that when we face ourselves and God with the awareness of our needs, we are given the grace to grow and the courage to continue the journey.
Friends, repent and believe the good news that is the Gospel.
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven! Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. AMEN. 

Take time to read today’s Daily Texts. God speaks to us through the inspiration of scripture, so approach the opportunity to read the texts as a privilege, eagerly anticipating what might be spoken to you today. How might today’s Word make a part of your life new again? If you do not have a copy of the Daily Texts, you will find today’s texts posted in the margin on your page’s right side (at the bottom of the page if you are on a mobile phone). When you have finished praying, continue as follows.

Let us pray together:

Creator of all humanity, we call you Holy and seek to worship you all the days of our lives. We pray that the ways of your heavenly kingdom may be made real in the world that surrounds us. May the bread that we need today be made available for us and all who are hungry, and may you forgive us, just as we can forgive those who have sinned against us. In the time of moral testing, may we listen first for your voice calling to us. This world, and all that is in it, always has been and always will be yours, help us to lose ourselves to you and your kingdom. Help us to find who we truly are as we walk in your light. Amen. 
(The following is taken from the Liturgy for Lent 2, as found in the Moravian Book of Worship pages 80-81. Used by permission of the Interprovincial Board of Communication)
Throughout this Lenten journey, let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
We thank you, Lord Jesus, not only for the privilege of believing in you but of suffering for you as well so that we may also be glorified with you.
Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, since as members of the body, we were called to peace. And let us be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly as we teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. Whatever we do, therefore, whether in word or deed, let us do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Amen.