Lord, I am yours;
I do yield myself up entirely to you,
and I do believe that you take me.
I leave myself with you.
Work in me all the good pleasure of your will,
and I will only be still in your hands and trust you.
~Hannah Whitall Smith
A few of us attended the Ash Wednesday service today with our brothers and sisters at First Presbyterian. This is the prayer of confession we prayed together near the beginning. You know, every day as a Christian is a dying and a rising, a dying to self and a resurrection with Christ, a putting down and a taking up. I trust this will bless you as you begin or continue your own journey with Jesus to the cross.
Holy and merciful God, we confess to you and to one another and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed by what we have done and what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart, mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven. Have mercy on us, O God.
We confess to you, O God, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience in our lives.
We confess to you, O God, our self-indulgent appetites and ways and our exploitation of others.
We confess to you, O God, our anger at our own frustration and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves.
We confess to you, O God, our negligence in prayer and worship and our failure to commend the faith that is in us.
Have mercy on us, O God. And in your mercy, cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
You might be asking God to bless you in 2021. That may be what you’re praying right now. Lord, bless me in this new year. Bless my health, bless my finances, bless my relationships. God, please bless me.
I’ve been thinking over the past few weeks that it might be good to pray, “Lord, please make me blessable.” Maybe something like this.
Lord, please make me blessable.
Move me to the place where I am able to receive your blessings.
Draw me closer to you; push me closer to your people;
bring me to your Word; bring me to your worship.
I want to be with you in the place where you are.
Father, give me the strength and the resolve to move to you
and to the place of your blessings.
The invocation for my daily time with our Lord this week comes from The Book of Worship. This prayer is mine every morning this week. I share it here hoping you can find something in these words that resonates with you and brings you peace today.
O God, the King Eternal, who divides the day from the darkness and turns the shadow of death into the morning:
Drive far off from us all wrong desires;
incline our hearts to keep your law;
and guide our feet into the way of peace;
that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, we may, when the night comes, rejoice to give you thanks.
Through Jesus our Lord.
The Greed which exploits the labors of men
and lays waste to earth;
Our Envy of the welfare and happiness
Our Indifference to the plight of the
homeless and the refugee;
The Lust which uses for ignoble ends
the bodies of men and women;
The Pride which leads us to trust in
ourselves and not in God;