Prayers for Transfiguration and Ash Wednesday (February 11-17, 2018)

Watchword for the Week
For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as servants for Jesus’ sake. 2 Corinthians 4:5

We praise you, O God; we acknowledge you to be the Lord.
All the earth worships you, the Father everlasting.
To you all angels cry aloud; the heavens, and all of the powers in them.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
As we begin this Lenten journey we do so in your grace;
And so today we look deep within our souls and acknowledge our need for that grace with deep humility.

Psalm 32:1-8
1Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
5Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my wrongdoing; I said, “I will confess my sins to the Lord,” and you forgave me, freeing me from guilt.
6Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
7You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.
8I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Confession of Sin

New life is only possible when we bring to the cross those parts of our existing lives that need healing and transformation. Together then, let us confess our sins.

We are deeply moved, gracious God, that you would welcome us to your throne of grace. With humility we gather to praise and adore you. We ask now that you hear us as we pray. 

Forgive us Lord: 

  •  For the times when we forget to proclaim you as Lord with our lives. 
  • For the times when we feel that our personal well being and comfort are more important than the proclamation of your Gospel.
  •  For the times we have assumed that the Church is here to serve us.
  •  For the times when we take the weight of the world upon our shoulders, thinking that we are the sacrificial lamb needed to save it.
  •  For the times when we feel that our answers are the only ones that will solve the problem at hand. 

Awaken us to know that it is your wisdom that is most needed, not ours. Make us aware that it is your sacrifice that saves the world, not ours. Help us to proclaim the Gospel of grace though all that we do and say. 

The good news in Christ is that when we face ourselves and God with the awareness of our need, we are given grace to grow and courage to continue the journey.
Friends, repent and believe the good news of the Gospel.
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven! Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 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 them now, you can get the only version of the Daily Texts at https://dailyprayersformoravians.wordpress.com.  Don’t rush over these words 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:

Let us affirm the faith that we seek to proclaim:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. 

How shall we live in response to our faith?
We will seek to have our lives reflect God’s love for us and for the world.
Our God is merciful, gracious, faithful, and righteous.
May these attributes be found in our words and actions.
God sent Jesus Christ into the world not to condemn it, but to save it.
And we are thankful for Christ’s love for all humankind.
Jesus said: Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.
Empower us, Holy Spirit, to take up this mission today.
As we do so, may the Grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be and abide with us now and forever more. 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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