Prayers for the 1st Week in Lent (February 18-24, 2018)

The Watchword for the Week:
Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. Psalm 25:8

In this Lenten season, loving God, you call us to a time of reflection and contemplation.
This is a time to ponder where our wandering steps have separated us from you.
This is a time to consider all of who we are, and where you want us to be.
This is a time to establish a proper relationship with you.
O Lord, we so want to be upright in heart.
May your comforting spirit allow us to unburden our souls. 

Psalm 25:1-10

1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. 

Confession of Sin

If we confess our sins God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In full assurance of faith, let us confess our sins.

Gracious God, this season of Lent calls us home to you. As we have wandered in our spiritual lives we now hear your invitation to return to you. As such, Lent challenges us to look within ourselves and examine the priorities in our lives, as well as the ways in which those priorities have influenced our choices. Loving God, if we only stop and look, we easily see that our ways are not your ways, and for that we are sorry and we seek to repent. Your ways are loving and gracious, yet we nurse selfish attitudes and practice only a selective distribution of grace. Forgive us for the barriers with which we separate ourselves from you and keep us from looking deep into our hearts. We seek to have you know us so that we in turn might know our true selves. We trust, O Lord, in your steadfast love. 

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 that is 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 on-line 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 are present with you 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 the prayer as follows:

Let us pray together:

Creator of all humanity, we call you Holy, and seek to worship you all the days of our lives. We pray that the ways of your heavenly kingdom may be made real in the world that surrounds us. May the bread that we need for today be made available for us and all who are hungry; and may you forgive us, just as we are able to forgive those who have sinned against us. In the time of moral testing, may we listen first for your voice calling to us. This world, and all that is in it, always has been and always will be yours, help us to lose ourselves to you and your kingdom. Help us to find who we truly are as we walk in your light. Amen. 
(The following is taken from the Liturgy for Lent 2, as found in the Moravian Book of Worship pages 80-81. Used by permission of the Interprovincial Board of Communication)
Throughout this Lenten journey, let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
We thank you, Lord Jesus, not only for the privilege of believing in you, but of suffering for you as well, so that we may also be glorified with you.
Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, since as members of the body we were called to peace. And let us be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly as we teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. Whatever we do, therefore, whether in word or deed, let us do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 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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