Prayers for Lent

Holy Spirit, Lead us into the wilderness: away from the sounds and furies, away from our fidgety fingers and swipe/tap temptations, away from the allures of power and pleasure and "likes" and winning. Help us to walk in the way of weakness, the way of the cross, the way of ashes and hunger and weeping for the world.

Meet us there. In the void, in the absence, be present with us.

Confront us there. Shake our shoulders and speak truth into our lies. Strip away our comfortable distractions, our #selfie obsessions, our anxiety and rage and judgment and wrath. Remove from us the burdens of justifying ourselves before men on Facebook.

Cleanse us of the soundbites that fill our feeds and inflame our anger. Purge us of the pride that leads us to have opinions and make comments about everything.

Create in us clean hearts, O God, And renew a right spirit within us.

Forgive us for our restlessness: our fickle hearts, our refusal to be awed by the simple majesties and quotidian graces: Scripture, silence, the colors of the sky, communion wafers, oxygen. Renew in us a sense of curiosity about the world and wonder at your grace.

Forgive us for our casual ambivalence about holiness. Convict us of our sin and lead us to repentance. Break our hearts not only for injustice in the world, but for the ways we've rejected you, scorned you, disobeyed your commands and sidelined your agenda in favor of our own.

Forgive us for our apathy about the immortality and vulnerability of our neighbors: refugees, immigrants, the unborn, our coworkers, the people of other political parties, the beggars, the baristas, our crazy uncles.

Forgive us for seeking other sources of hope and revelation more fervently than we seek you and your Word: politics, art, consumerism, activism, travel, sex, identity. Help us to seek you first, and to rest in your sufficiency.

Guide us in your grace as we experience the desert, the dark nights, the lamentations. Guide us even more in the times of abundance. In the highs and lows of life, in the plentiful harvests and depressing droughts, help us to clear our crowded minds of all else but you, our hope and our light, our sustenance and salvation.