Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy. Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy. Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.
-St. Augustine (354-430)
Prayer of the Bible
Because you have satisfied me, GOD, I promise to do everything you say. I beg you from the bottom of my heart: smile, be gracious to me just as you promised. When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed. I was up at once, didn't drag my feet, was quick to follow your orders... Your love, GOD, fills the earth! Train me to live by your counsel.
-Psalm 119:57-60, 64
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
Search me thoroughly, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayer for ourselves and others
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
-I Thessalonians 5:17-18
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
Keep me, O Lord, while I tarry on this earth, in a serious seeking after Thee, and in an affectionate walking with Thee, every day of my life; that when Thou comest, I may be found not hiding my talent, nor serving the flesh, nor yet asleep with my lamp unfurnished, but waiting and longing for our Lord, our glorious King, forever and ever. Amen
-Richard Baxter (1615-1691)