God's Merciful Love
"Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love."—Psalm 51: 3
As we begin Lent, we reflect on the psalm for Ash Wednesday, which is a prayer for God's loving mercy. 40 days are given to us to embrace the three disciplines of Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Alms Giving. Taking the look at these three themes, we prayerfully reflect on how God's merciful love propels us to action:
God, gentle and compassionate creator of all things, we come to you asking for mercy for all the times we have ignored Your presence in our lives. We ask You to be generous in your kindness to us as we look back on those times we failed to acknowledge and recognize you in the joys and sorrows of our lives. We endeavor this Lent to pray daily—to converse with you from our heart and share our hopes, struggles and happiness. Bless us with your mercy!
We forget sometimes to fast and abstain, and it discourages us when we fail you, dear God. We unite with the whole Church in giving up meat and food which humbles us in the sight of God and draws us closer to His love. Our unified sacrifices place us in one mind and heart, and the clutter of life fades away leaving us with an experience of the important things that really matter: faith, hope and love. We promise to remember the days of fasting and abstinence in a way that gains us freedom, and not restriction. God, unite us to Your love.
Loving God, be gentle as you watch us struggle with our own generosity and gentleness. In fear, we keep the door tightly closed, opening it only when we felt safe or for other selfish reasons. The need for giving to the poor is everywhere, and it overwhelms us. Help us to be more courageous, dear God. We pledge to do better this Lent by giving all of ourselves to those in need without counting the costs. Bless us, generous God, with the strength of our convictions.
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