Christian Education

Let Us Pray: Week 1

Training Disciples
Lent 2022: Let Us Pray

Week 1: March 9, 2022, 6pm

L: The love of God poured into our hearts, the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and the abundant life of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
C: And also with you.

Opening Prayer
L: Let us pray. O God, rich in mercy, full of kindness: out of your great love, you raise us up from sin and death and make us alive together with Christ. Be present with us in prayer and praise. Write your word upon our hearts and restore in us the image of your love that, by your Spirit, the way of Christ may become our way of life.  In Christ’s name we pray.
C: Amen.

A Lenten Litany
L: We come to you, gracious God, for healing, reconciliation, peace, purpose, and guidance. 
C: It feels like these past couple of years are a blur. It feels like in these past couple of years that everything has changed. And yet, it feels like nothing has changed. 

L: We come to you Saving One, for presence, hope, pardon, and assurance. 
C: It feels at times like we may be lost in the wilderness, the dark of night, uncertain of who we are now and where we are going. 

L: We come to you Giver of all Life, for life, love, and salvation.
C: It feels at times like we have a million questions and no easy answers. We know things are not the way they were, and we see the path forward only a step or two at a time, if at all.

L: People of God- No matter where you are, our loving God is with you and with me. God sees you, knows you, loves you, and is with you. Always.
C: God is with us now and always.

L: God, we give you thanks for being with us. Now in this time together, open us up to wonder, to discern your will, to receive your life-changing and life-giving love.
C: Fill us, guide us, and lead us. Open us to big questions without easy answers; guide us into the future you are breathing into being; help us to wonder, to wrestle, to imagine, and to follow you. Amen.

Questions for reflection as you hear the reading:

  • What words or phrases do you feel drawn to in this text?
  • How do you see God moving in this text?
  • What invitations do you hear in this text to pray?

Reading: Luke 19:29-48
29 When [Jesus] had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32 So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35 Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38 saying,

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

41 As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. 44 They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”

45 Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; 46 and he said, “It is written,

‘My house shall be a house of prayer’;
but you have made it a den of robbers.”

47 Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.

Prayer practice: Praying with GRASE
This kind of prayer, called a “collect” prayer, has a five-part structure that dates back to the early centuries of Christianity.  While it’s typically used for prayer in community, it can also be used in your personal prayer life (or on the spot if someone asks you to pray!).  Collect style prayers are very common in our own Sunday worship life – see if you can spot a prayer with all five parts the next time you’re in church (pro-tip: start with the prayer of the day)!

To follow along, grab a blank sheet of paper and trace the outline of your hand. Write the letters G, R, A, S, E by each finger, starting with your thumb.

  • G (thumb): Start your prayer by addressing God in some way – we express and experience relationship with God in many and specific and wonderful ways.
  • R (index finger): Remember good things that God has done – we remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness and offer thanks and praise
  • A (middle finger): Ask God for what you or someone else needs – Jesus urges us to “take it to the Lord in prayer”; we lift our concerns to God with trust and hope
  • S (ring finger): “So that…” desired outcome – we try to enter into God’s imagination for the world and name how what we pray for will help bring that about
  • E (pinky finger): End the prayer in the name of Christ – Jesus told his followers to ask for anything in his name, and by faith we take him at his word

Your turn: try writing your own collect-style prayer.  Pray about whatever it is that’s on your heart in this moment.  Don’t worry about making it sound any particular way.  This is just another way of opening up conversation with God. 

Communal prayer: We pray for one another & for the world
L: Let us pray. In Christ Jesus we meet the God who knows our weakness and bears the wounds of the world. Therefore, let us be bold as we pray, trusting that God draws near to those in any kind of need.

All are invited to add their own prayer petitions here. 
Please end your petition with: 
L: God, in your mercy,
C: Receive our prayer.

L: God of all compassion, gather our prayers in your mercy and grant to us what you know we need, that we may walk in the life and peace of your Spirit, through Jesus Christ, our hope and our salvation
C: Amen.

L: Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.
C: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

L: Go in peace. Christ is with you.
C: Thanks be to God.

Thanks so much for spending time with us this evening! Please be sure to join us for the remaining Lenten Wednesday evenings — in person or online — March 16, 23, 30, April 6. Meal starts at 6pm, with prayer following.

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