Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 2/3

Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 2/3

Unlike Advent, when so much reminds us that Christmas is approaching, there’s little to put us in a Lenten frame of mind-and-heart each year before Easter.  Of a sudden and without warning, you wake up one day and it’s Ash Wednesday!  This year, February 14 will be the day for ashes (as well as Valentine hearts and flowers). That’s still a week and a half away  –  but in anticipation (and for better preparation) I’ll be writing some Here Comes Lent! posts to help us get ready.  This is the first.

In February’s chill, Lord, 
I‘m longing for the spring

and its promise of light, warmth 
and new life…

The first day of spring is still six weeks away

but come Feb 14

a springtime of grace will begin

    in purple and prayer, 
    in fasting and ashes,

    inviting me to new life in you…

Help me remember, Lord, that Lent is spring training
for my mind, heart and soul:
    time to strengthen what’s weak
        and tone up what’s gone soft;
    time to remember things I’ve forgotten,
    time to let go what I really don’t need
        and to find what I truly need the most…

Help me remember, Lord,

that Lent is the grace of a new beginning: 
    a time for taking stock,

    a time to look within,
    a time to be honest about my faults and failings,

    a time to ask for your pardon and make amends,
    a time to fast from what does me no good
        and to feast on what nourishes body and soul;
Lent is a time, a season, a chance
    to set things right between you and me
        and anyone I’ve hurt or offended…
 Lent is a time to seek peace,
    a time to make peace,
    a time to live in peace,
    a time to be grateful for peace,
        the peace, Lord, that only you can give… 

Help me remember, Lord,

that Lent’s a season of your grace: 
    a time to speak to you in prayer,

    a time to listen for your voice,

    a time to study your Word,

    a time to seek your truth and wisdom

    a time to live as you call me to live…

Help me remember, Lord,

that Lent’s a time of mercifully generous:
    a time for me to give more freely 

        of all I have to give,
    to give more and more
        of the bounty that’s mine,
    a time to tend to my neighbor’s needs,
    a time to reach out to the poor,
    a time to empty myself for others,
        not stopping to count the cost to me…

Lord, I’m longing for the spring to come
with its promise of light and new life:
    help me begin, now, to turn my heart to you
        and prepare for Lent,
    for this springtime of your grace
        in my mind, my heart and soul…