Lent 2010 … Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51v11) … The season of Lent offers us a time to engage with God, to take stock of our lives with him and to respond to his transforming love. Traditionally this time is associated with self-denial but it can also provide us with an opportunity for positive action. At St Matthew’s, we have, sometimes joined together in using a form of daily prayer throughout Lent as a positive response to God. In his Lent Letter this year, Bishop Lee has written that “if we truly want to see the energy of the whole people of God released in this Diocese then prayer and fasting ought to be at the top of our shared agenda for discipleship this Lent” (see Diocese of Bristol: News and Events). He has invited all of us to join Bishop Mike and him in responding to this call. Below you will find a simple version of Daily Prayer and each week during Lent a sheet with psalms and scripture passages will be available. ***** Daily Prayer Preparation Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy, to you be praise and glory for ever. Let us pray with one heart and mind. Silence is kept for a short time As we rejoice in the gift of this day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever. Amen. Praise: Psalm for the day The Word of God: Reading for the day Silent space: to be still; to listen, think, ponder and respond to the Lord in the light of this week’s challenges to us. Intercessions For today and all its tasks Our mission focus (see weekly sheet) Our local community Our church community Heavenly Father, pour out your Holy Spirit on St Matthew’s. Grant us a new vision of your Glory, a new experience of your power, a new faithfulness to your Word, a new consecration to your service, so that, through our renewed witness, your Holy Name may be glorified and your Kingdom advanced; through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen. Prayer for the week (see weekly sheet) The Lord’s Prayer Conclusion May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God. [Adapted from Prayer During the Day: Lent from Common Worship: Daily Prayer (Church House Publishing, 2002)] Alternative ways of using the daily prayer material While we are seeking to be united in prayer throughout Lent, it is important to recognize that not all of us pray in the same way. So, you may wish to use the weekly sheet with suggested scripture passages in another way such as: Using the psalm and/or reading meditatively – read it several times – think what it is about – what does it say or mean to you? – what does it say to you about God and about following Jesus? – how do you feel moved to respond? Using your imagination. Read the passage and imagine you are present as the event takes place or as you listen to Christ – what do you notice? – what is happening? – where do you find yourself within this, are you an observer, a participant, is Jesus addressing you? – what are your feelings? – speak to the Lord from your heart, be honest about how you feel, respond to him as you are able and ask for what you need. Read the passage and be silent, attending to the Lord. Read the passage in the morning and allow it to “be there” as you go about your daily life – return to it in the quiet moments, let it run through your mind, let the Lord speak in the midst of your busyness, let him deepen his word and increase his love in you and your response.
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