Lent 2022: Let Us Pray
Week 4: March 30, 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.
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.
A Lenten Litany
L: We come to you, gracious God, for healing, reconciliation, peace, purpose, and guidance.
C: We come carrying the weariness of these past years. It feels like so much has changed. And yet, it feels like nothing has changed.
L: We come to you Saving One, for presence, hope, pardon, and assurance.
C: We come, feeling at times like we are lost in the wilderness, uncertain of who we are now or where we are going.
L: We come to you Author of all Life, for life, love, and salvation.
C: We come, burning with a million questions and no easy answers. We know things are not the way they were, yet 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 – or how you come this evening – our loving God is with you and with me. God sees you, knows you, loves you, welcomes 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 22:14-23, 39-42, 45-53, 66-71
14 When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. 15 He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21 But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. 22 For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!” 23 Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.
39 He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40 When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” 41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”
45 When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”
47 While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?” 49 When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” 50 Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”
66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. 67 They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.” He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe; 68 and if I question you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?” He said to them, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”
Prayer practice: Praying with our Neighbors — the Braiding Prayer
(adapted from prayer by Lyle Griner, Peer Ministry Leadership)
“A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” – Ecclesiastes 4:12
The interweaving and braiding of strands brings three parts into one stronger whole. Similar to a braid, we are stronger when we work and walk alongside each other in community, bound together by the love of Christ. This braiding prayer is a tangible, meditative way to lift up others in prayer.
Choose three different colors of yarn/cord/string and cut pieces of each that are twice as long as you’d like your braid to be.
Fold the pieces of yarn/cord/string in half and tie a knot so that you end up with a loop at one end and six strands hanging down (you’ll hold the two strands of each color together as one).
Use the loop to anchor your braid as you weave.
- Pick up two of your colors. Think of a relationship between two people/organizations/nations/etc. that you would like to pray for. This may be a relationship in conflict, a broken relationship, or even a relationship you admire.
- Pick up the third color – this is your prayer strand. This strand represents peace, comfort, grace, strength, thanksgiving, forgiveness, hope, and/or whatever else you might pray for this particular relationship.
- Pray as you weave all three together, envisioning your prayer surrounding those for whom you pray with the healing, life-giving, transformative love of Christ. Tie a knot at the end as your “amen,” if desired.
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. (You are welcome to add your own prayers in comments on this post or on the video)
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
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 our last Lenten Wednesday evening — in person or online — next Wednesday, April 6. Meal starts at 6pm, with prayer following.
We will also have several opportunities to worship during Holy Week and Easter, all of which will be live-streamed:
- Palm Sunday — April 10, 9:30am
- Maundy Thursday — April 14, 6:30pm
- Good Friday — April 15, 6:30pm
- Easter Vigil — April 16, 6:30pm
- Easter Sunday — April 17, 9:30am