Rev. Craig Jan-McMahon
Lent 2B, 2/28/2019
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:23-3
Let us Pray: O Lord our God, hear our prayers, and send us your Spirit, that we might learn how to pray.
We are here, waiting on you, O Lord, opening our hearts, praying for courage, listening for you in the silence
But in the silence, there is a lot of noise, hurtful voices echoing inside from the past, fears deafening us to your voice, distractions demanding our attention and sending our minds racing, anxieties and worries as familiar as friends we are afraid to let go of.
And so we wait; and so we listen; and so we pray.
We pray for ourselves in this Lenten season, for courage to examine our hearts to find the noise and distractions that limit our capacity to listen, to feel compassion, to act with love.
And we pray for the very real suffering that goes on all around us and invades our lives, and so we harden our hearts to protect ourselves, and so we hide behind judgments of others, and so we hide behind our sense of what others need to do to fix their problems.
And so we lift our hearts to you, confessing our own brokenness, our own mutual need for healing, for pain that we have to locked deep inside our hearts because we believe we can hide it away there as if it will have no effect on us, as if it will have no effect on those we love, and because, somehow, foolishly, we think we need to pretend as if we can bear it alone, as if anyone can bear it alone.
But then we are here, examining our hearts, promising again, to make good on our covenant with you, to walk with you into challenges and difficulties, denying ourselves, and walking with you by faith ever forward, never stopping, transformed and renewed all along the way.
For we trust you do not despise our afflictions, nor do you hide your face from us, though we often feel misbegotten, unloved, and abandoned.
For we trust you promise to feed the poor, whose suffering we see multiplied before our eyes, and we pray they will be satisfied, and we ask, dear lord our God, for the honor of contributing to your good provision for the poor, for those who suffer hardships we cannot fathom, but which is known to you.
Clean our hearts O God,
And renew a right spirit within us.
And our great congregation will praise you, with freedom borne of humility, and with strength founded in repentance, our hearts broken open by love.
Into your hands we commend all those for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.