Pastoral Prayer

Pastoral Prayer


Our journey of Lent has begun, O God, the journey that began last Wednesday as we received the ashes in the sign of a cross on our forehead . . . a symbol to show our commitment to examine our lives and our faith. A time to look at our motives and our convictions. A time to question our intention in life. A time to look deeply at what has been, at where we are and at the meaningful changes we can make that might deeper our faith and renew our spirit.

Our journey began with a smudge of dust . . . dust that will carry us through these next 40 days.


Are we ready to look honestly at our lives, O God? To look carefully at what we have felt and have done. Are we ready to be alone with our thoughts? To have only ourselves to reach for or blame?  Are we ready to carefully examine all that we keep hidden away? All for which we have guilt or remorse?

Are we willing to open our hearts to all that is stirring within us?

Are we willing to look honestly to the breadth and depth of who we are as people of faith?

Are we willing to risk making changes in our patterns or our relationships or our commitments, O God?


We confess, there have been seasons of Lent where we have accepted the mark of the ashes only to dismiss their meaning when the smudge is quickly washed from our foreheads. We have chosen to opt out of the promise of forty days, we have taken a pass, we have refused to commit. We have failed to examine our lives and our faith.

*       *               *       *       Silence         *       *       *         *      


Let this season of Lent be different for us, God. Allow the image of the mark of ash serve as an ever-present reminder of our faithful promise to confront all that faces us as we walk into the wilderness . . .

      into temptation . . . into ourselves.

So that we can face our fears and our inadequacies.

So that we can risk choosing our best intentions.

So that we can love abundantly and live our faith – fully and completely.

So as we enter into this season of Lent, God, allow us the courage and grace to begin.


All this we pray together with one voice ~

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 debts as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power

     and the glory, forever.    




Manchester Church of the Brethren

February 18, 2018

Karen C. Eberly


Mark 1: 9-15