Lenten Prayer Requests

Lord, bring us to our knees. Quiet our hearts.

Away from the onslaught of screens and tweets and texts, focus our eyes on you.

Abide in our perceptions, as we taste and see and hear that you are good.

In the stillness of dusk, on ever lengthening days; serenaded by car horns, engines, buzzing iPhones, birds, distant planes, and the mystical fugues of February vespers… speak to us oh God.

Remove us from ourselves. Help us to dismiss our notions of grandeur and relinquish our litany of self-appointed rights: that we deserve jobs, freedom and low gas prices; that our social updates deserve to be paid attention to; that the world revolves around us; that we can do with our bodies what we fancy; that the chief end of life is our own individual happiness.

Remove us from ourselves Lord, and draw us closer to You. Bring us to a distance–a desert, a depth, a hunger, Sehnsucht–so that what we see of ourselves isn’t glamour and greatness, but only your grace. Only your righteousness.

Only you, in fact, for it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

Ashes to ashes, let us deny ourselves. Let us give ourselves away rather than grab what’s ours. Let us be crucified with Christ. Let us seek the cinders, Oh God, to be crushed as you were, refined to a new fragrance.

In the darkness, in the desert, in the endless debates, let us look to resurrection. The morning is coming.

Into debt we further go. Under avalanches of paperwork, tasks, and to-dos we further sink. Against our arthritic, cancerous, flaking-away bodies we further fight. The nations wage war and the blizzards take their toll. The groundhog saw his shadow.

But Easter looms.

5 responses to “Lenten Prayer Requests

  1. Thank you for this, Brett. Wonderful words that speak the truth.

  2. Awesome prayer!

    Yesterday, I read an entry of yours from three years back about Lenten promises to keep. I am feeling inspired to have a _big_ Lent. I want to give back to God some sacred gifts (sacrifices) to more fully recognize the many blessings in my life and the simple fact that He is the Creator…

    For Lent, not only am I giving up sweets but also sweeteners (so no diet sodas either). In the past, I’ve had an addiction to video games and can be obsessive about a game for about two weeks (playing 6-8 hours a day). So I am also giving up video games and TV (for leisure).

    I do want change and growth in my life and I want my actions to line up with my priorities. So I should be spending my life on what is important; if I’m not I need to pull myself away from what is not important. If I’m entranced by Facebook or the endless Internet rabbit hole of reading, I gotta pull myself away from the world and back to my center.

    The pastor of my church is very passionate about St. Francis of Assisi. He said (in different words) that the core to his teaching was to give up your worldly attachments so that you’re not focused on the past or future, and instead being focused on being in the present for everyone you encounter. This allowed St. Francis of Assisi to have great relationships because he was not distracted or owned by his attachments. By the time of his passing (this was in the 1200s) he had attracted 5,000 to his order.

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  4. Such poetry.

    Much appreciated.

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