Prayers for the 4th Week in Lent (March 6-12, 2016)

The watchword for the week:
If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 2 Corinthians 5:17

This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
From the rising to the setting of the sun,
The name of the Lord be praised. 

Psalm 32
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom God imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to God,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.
Many are the torments of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in God.
Be glad in God and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Confession of Sin

Loving God, even though we have placed our trust in you, we have often betrayed this sacred relationship by living in such a way that has caused us to be separated from you and caused pain in the lives of others. Hear now our confessions as we seek to present ourselves honestly to you.

Almighty and most merciful Father, we have often wandered from you like lost sheep. More than we care to admit, we have followed the desires of our own hearts. We have ignored your will for us as well as your holy laws. As a result, the good that we know to do, we have not always done, and those things that we ought not to have done, we have done. We are truly sorry, and we humbly repent. Today we humbly ask that you create in us a clean heart, O God. Renew within us a true and right spirit with which we can stand before you without guilt or shame. Do not cast us away as we might deserve, but restore unto us the comforting presence of your Holy Spirit. Give us joyful hearts with which to serve our brothers and sisters, and your Church. 

A silence is observed, giving each penitent the opportunity to reflect on their own particular shortcomings, and upon the gift of God’s grace.

Christ died for our sins. We are forgiven and we have the promise of new life now and of eternal life in the world to come. Thanks be to God.
Amen.

This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage.  If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read today’s texts now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to.  So read slowly and deliberately.  Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world.  May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:

As you taught your disciples to pray, so we pray together:

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,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, we give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made.
We thank you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your grace which gives us the gift of re-creation.
Loving God, come and make us new.
May we then respond with acts of loving kindness that might bring about social justice and new life for all. Amen.

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About Daily Prayers for Moravians

My name is Chris Giesler and I am blessed to be serving as Pastor of the Emmaus Moravian Church in Emmaus, PA. I am also privileged to serve as a Bishop of the world wide Moravian Unity. If you are ever in the area I would invite you to drop by for a visit. Please see our congregation's church web site at www.emmausmoravian.org. I live in Bethlehem, PA with my wife Tina. Our daughter, Martha, is a Moravian College graduate now teaching high school math. She is married to Matt, and now living in Harrisburg, PA. We also love being grand-parents to Addison (an inquisitive 6-year old) and Michael (an active 3-year old) and a new-born, Riley, who belong to our son Andrew, and his wife Amy.
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