Zack Jackson

| February 25th, 2024

Will you pray with me?

Gracious and loving God,

Many of us have come to this sacred space with a myriad of thoughts crowding our minds and a host of emotions burdening our spirits. God, settle those parts of us that would seek to hide from your gaze or shun your gift of grace. Instead, open our hearts to your gentle guidance and care in this, our time of worship. 

Help us to embrace the Lenten invitation to introspection and renewal. We pray that our journeys through this season might draw us closer to you and to one another. May we find solace as we dwell for a while in the shadow of the cross. And as the days and weeks pass, we pray too that we might allow ourselves to lay down our burdens, embracing the redemption extended to us through the power of your transforming love.

God, we lift up to you the brokenness of our world. Heal the societal wounds caused by rampant injustice, relentless division, and rife violence. Increasingly inspire us to be agents of reconciliation, working toward a world where all are seen, heard, and valued as ones who are made in your image.

As we walk the path before us, grant us also the courage to confront our own shortcomings and the humility to seek forgiveness from those we have wronged. Help us, God, to deepen our empathy, compassion, and understanding for the struggles of others. Not only this but hone our abilities to respond to the needs of those around us in ways that are wise and effective. 

We hold in prayer those who are suffering, whether from physical aches, mental afflictions, or spiritual ailments. Aid those disoriented by life’s undulations to find solid ground upon which to stand. May our church community offer a sense of comfort and strength to those in our midst who need to know they are not alone. Equip us, God, to care for ourselves, one another, and all whom we love.

Over and over, in ways both substantial and small, calamity befalls us. So much these days keeps our shoulders hunched over and our eyes directed toward the ground, yet we march on in the Way of Jesus.  Advocate and Sustainer, help us to hold out hope for that day which is coming—that day when all weeping shall cease, and war will be no more. Raise our eyes to the horizon and fortify us to believe you really are an ever-present help in our need. God, renew our spirits and prepare us to embody the bold love and boundless compassion to which we’ve been called, even as we wait for the glory to come.

We pray these things in the name of Jesus who taught us to pray:

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 forever. Amen.