Lord Jesus, you seek us, and offer us your friendship and invite us into life at its fullest. Grant us the courage and trust to answer your call so that we may be healed and transformed and become witnesses of your love for the world.
Prayer of the Bible
Lord what is the kind of fast do You desire from us? To break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, and cancel debts. Lord what are You interested in seeing us do? To share our food with the hungry, invite the homeless poor into our homes, and put clothes on the shivering poorly dressed and naked, and to be available to our own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer. You'll call out for help and He will say, 'Here I am.
-Adapted from Isaiah 58:6-9
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
Holy God, Holy and mighty, Holy and immortal: Have mercy on us.
-The Eastern Orthodox ‘Trisagion’
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayers for Ourselves and Others
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens
-I Thessalonians 5:17
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
Father, you have shown me how to walk in your footsteps. You are daily transforming me. My heart is filled with joy as you renew and refresh me. You no call me your beloved just as you called Jesus your beloved Son. You have shown me that I am worthy to be called one of your children. Your love for me surpasses my comprehension. How you are calling me to a new level of growth. Give me the desire in my heart to rise up and meet this challenge. This I pray in the name of our Lord Jesus. Amen
-Thomas Merton (1915–1968)