“Life, Death, and Jesus Christ” (Mark 14:1-11)

We come to this sacred space every week,
to hear your word and your teachings.
Help us to come to you with the excitement
of those who welcomed you to Jerusalem.
Fill our hearts with the joy of your love.
Free us from concern about what others think
and encourage us to wave our palms in the air
as we celebrate and share your love.
Make us like the children who dance in the streets.

As your followers, help us to really feel your presence.
Open our hearts to the fullness of your love and grace.
Open our eyes to see how you have touched our lives
and the lives of others.
Open our hands so that we are willing to share our gifts
and treasure with others.
Open our mouths so that we can speak your truth.

As your followers, we have formed a community in this space
and in this world.
In this journey of Lent, we have prepared to encounter the mystery.
We cannot say we understand it fully, but together, we learn
from each other and from you.
Your mystery overwhelms us, surrounds us and fills us
with both joy and sorrow.
As you embrace us, we ask that you be with those among us
who are facing illness, worry and doubt.
Help them feel your peace and your grace.

As your followers, we celebrate your life and prepare for your death.
Our shouts of Hosanna in the Highest may turn into whispers,
but remind us again of your truth and your teachings.
We remember the prayer you taught us and we lift up our voices together,
“Our Father…”

God’s Stories (Mark 9:2-9 )

Lord, there is much that we do not understand.
As the three did not know what to make of Jesus’ encounter
with Elijah and Moses,
we sometimes do not understand our encounters with you.
We may not hear you calling our name.
We may not recognize the opportunities you place before us.
Transform our hearts so that we are open to you.
Transform our lives so that we want to freely share your love with others.

Lord, there is much that we do not value enough.
As the three were dazzled by the encounter on the mountaintop,
we sometimes are dazzled by the glitz of this world and
fail to see what is most important.
Remind us of your teachings.
Remind us to focus less on the glory of the world and
instead help us to focus on relationships with others.
Remind us to spend time with those around us.
Remind us to cherish the simple gifts of life,
the laughter of a loved one,
the joy of reuniting with an old friend, or
the chance to accept forgiveness.
Remind us that you formed us to live in community
with one another.

Lord, there is much that we fail to see.
May the light of your teachings show us the way.
Open our eyes so that we can see the path you are making.
Open our ears to hear the needs of those around us.
As we support one another, we ask that you be with those among us
who need your grace and healing touch. We name ___.
Give us the strength to make it up the mountainside.
Give us the strength to lift up the powerless.
Give us the strength to speak up for those who are forgotten and overlooked.
Give us the strength to work for justice and peace in the world that you have given to us.

As we come together in community, we use the words you taught us,
“Our Father….”

Called to Listen (Mark 1:21-28)

Gracious God, in today’s world, it can be hard to know who we should listen to.
Who should be our authority in a world that is too black and white?
Help us to discern the truth by listening to all sides.
As we listen to the stories of those around us,
help us to see ourselves in their stories and
help us to see you in their stories.
You should be our authority
but sometimes we allow ourselves to be pulled by the material worl

Gracious God, call us to listen to you
and inspire us to fulfill your plan here on earth.
Open our eyes to the vision you have for us here in this world.
Open our heart to your teachings.
Open our ears to the cries of those around us and
open our arms to share our talents and treasures with those in need.
We are your followers and in your authority, we share your good news.

Call on us, Lord, we are your followers.
We gather here each week in this sacred space.
We are your followers and we support one another as your family.
As we support those who are in pain or in need of healing,
we ask that you be with ___ and fill them your healing presence
and gift of grace.
As your community, we also celebrate and lift up fellow members in joy.
We lift up ___ .

Gracious God, we celebrate your authority in this world.
Remind us always that your word takes precedence over the world around us.
When we face conflicting views in our world today,
grant us the comfort of your never-changing ideals and guidelines.
Our understanding of the material world that surrounds us
may change over time, but your teachings remain constant.
Call us to understand, call us to listen, call us to fulfill your plan here on earth.

As we respond to your call, we use the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Called as a Gift (Mark 1:14-20)

Now is the time for God’s kingdom here on earth.
Gracious God, we ask for your help in making this so.
We ask that you change our hearts
so that we can change our lives as well as
the lives of those around us.
Open our hearts to your teachings,
and inspire us to follow you.
Fill our hearts with your peace,
but don’t make us complacent.
Mend our broken hearts, damaged by the world around us,
and keep us from becoming cynical.

Now is the time for God’s kingdom here on earth.
We trust in that good news as we gather here each week.
Help us to share the good news with others
by using the gifts you have given to us.
Encourage us to recognize our gifts and
the gifts we see in others.
Remind us our gifts have value
and help us to recognize their worth.
Call on us to use those gifts freely without fear.
Give us the strength and wisdom to use our gifts
to speak for the voiceless,
to lift up the fallen,
to see the plans you have set in place for us,
and to listen for the needs of those around us.
You have called us together to be a family of your believers.
As a family, we support one another and
we ask that you be with those among us who need your healing grace.
We name ____.
As a family, we celebrate our joys and rejoice with one another.
We lift up ___.

You have called us here to this sacred place.
You have given us priceless gifts and talents.
You have loved us and shown us your grace and your mercy.
And now it is time to make this world your kingdom.
We take the first step in our call by using the words that you have taught us, “Our Father..”

Changing the Rules (Mark 1:21-28)

There is safety in the rules.

If you work hard, you will be rewarded.
If you don’t make a mistake, bad things won’t happen.
But we know that it doesn’t really work that way.
Our world is not always an orderly place.

Things happen no matter what we do.
Storms erupt.
Cancer strikes.
Jobs are lost.
Cars cross the center line.
Adhering to the rules will not prevent bad things from happening to us.

Things happen no matter what we do.
But your son changed the rules.
He taught us that it is not what we say,
but rather what we do.
We know that our deeds do not buy our salvation.
That is by your grace.

But it is up to us to make this world as it is in heaven.
It is up to us to strive constantly for peace and justice.
It is our hands who fulfill your plan here on earth.
It is our eyes who see the needs of those around us.
It is our hearts that open to your love and grace.
And it is you who have taught us to love one another.

Things happen no matter what we do.
But we know that you are with us always.
We ask that you be with __ as we know they need your healing grace.
We know that it is up to us to make this world as it is in your heaven.
And we use the words that you taught us, to remind us that it is our job,
“Our Father…”

Restoring People (Mark 1:29-39)

Lord, you had a talent for restoring people back to their rightful place in the world.
You gave them back their dignity and gave them acceptance.
You did not judge people based on how society judged them.
You gave only love and complete acceptance.

In our lives, we know we spend too much time worrying about what others think about us.
We know that we don’t always spend our time and our resources on the right things.
We allow people to become alienated and alone.

Lord, you had a talent for restoring people back to their rightful place in the world.
Open our eyes to those in our world who need to be brought back into their rightful place in the world.
Open our hearts and remove any judgement and bias.
As you freely give us love and grace, help us to also freely give love and acceptance to others.
We know that we are all brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.

Our world can be a divisive place.
But we know that we can break down the barriers.
We know that we are to support one another, to make each other whole,
to heal the differences between us.

Lord, you had a talent for restoring people back to their rightful place in the world.
It is your teachings that have restored us.
It is your teachings that have brought us here today.
We are a community of believers.
We long for the oneness within this community, and with all the people of the world.

We commit ourselves to fulfilling your plan here on earth.
Open our eyes to those among us who may feel ignored and alone.
Open our ears to those who are crying in pain and hopelessness.
Open our hearts to feel compassion and understanding for those in pain.

Lord, you had a talent for restoring people back to their rightful place in the world.
We know that you are with us always. Be with ___ who need your healing grace and support.
We are a community of believers. And as your followers, we use the words that you taught us,
“Our Father…”

We Cling to Our Fears (Mark 9:2-9)

Our worries and fears weigh us down at times.
We know that we are to depend on you, and yet we cling to our fears.
We tell ourselves to lift our concerns up to the Lord and He will assume our burdens.
But we know that it is not that easy because

We cling to our fear.
We cling to our burdens.
And, yet, even while we do that, we know that you already know us.
You, who formed us before we were born, you know what worries us.
You know what fears keep us up at night.

Our world is full of uncertainty.
We can be filled with fear.
And , yet, we are also filled with your strength.
You, who formed us before we were born, you have given us the strength we need.
We know that you are with us.
We ask that you be with ___ granting them your peace and healing grace.

We let go of our fear.
We know that we were made in your image.
We know that before our birth, you celebrated us, knowing us within every inch of our being.
We are your children, Lord.
You know what our hearts yearn for, before we even ask you,
We raise our fears, our burdens and and our concerns to you.

As your children, we use the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Be With Us (Mark 1:9-15)

Lord, as we enter this time we call Lent,
be with us.
Open our eyes to your presence in our daily lives.
Remind us to reflect daily on our interactions with you,
and with those around us.
As we look back on our day, where did we please you?
Where did we fall short?

Lord, as we enter this time we call Lent,
be with us.
We were created in God’s image and
we know we are the children of God.
Remind us that we are uniquely loved and cherished.
As we look back on our day, where were we shown love?
Where did we share your love with others?

Lord, as we enter this time we call Lent,
be with us.
We say that we are brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.
As we look back on our day, where did we work together equally with others?
Where did we build walls between ourselves and others?

Lord, as we enter this time we call Lent,
be with us.
You taught us that each of us is a valued child of God.
You fought for the powerless, spoke for the voiceless, and
loved the unloveable ones.
As we look back on our day, where did we live out your teachings?
Where did we choose to ignore your lesson?

Lord, as we enter this time we call Lent,
be with us.
Remind us to reflect daily on our interactions with you,
and with those around us.
As we look back on our day, where did we please you?
Where did we fall short?

As we think about our interactions with those around us,
we know that there are people we hold in our hearts
who need some extra support.
While we reach out to them, we ask that you also surround them
with your love and grace. We ask that you be with ___.

Lord, as we enter this time we call Lent,
we know that you are with us.
We use the words that you taught us,
“Our Father…”

Setting our Sight on Human Things (Mark 8:31-38)

We set our sights on human things.
We judge our success by human guidelines.
We can worry too much about our future
and forget to celebrate today.

We forget that we are to be following you.
Remind us to freely put down our earthly possessions
so that we are free to pick up your cross.

We set our sights on human things,
but intertwined within our day to day,
is the Spirit.
The Spirit inspires us, lifts our eyes toward you,
away from the sights of the world that distract us.
The Spirit connects us, placing people and events
in our lives in ways that allow your love to be shared.
The Spirit interprets your word in scripture for us,
allowing us to see your teachings in our world today.
The Spirit nudges us, reminding us to follow you,
to put down our earthly possessions
so that we are free to follow you.

We set our sights on human things.
We have human worries and concerns.
As your children, we know that we are loved.
We know that you are with us,
and we ask that as we reach out to those among us
who need assistance, that you also be with them,
especially ___.

Holy Spirit,
fill us with your inspiration,
connect us with one another,
open our hearts and our eyes.
As we use the words taught to us so many years ago,
interpret them for us and give them new meaning
for our lives today so that we are free to follow you,
“Our Father….”

Setting Our Sights (Mark 8:31-38)

We set our sights on human things.
We judge our success by human guidelines.
We can worry too much about our future
and forget to celebrate today.

We forget that we are to be following you.
Remind us to freely put down our earthly possessions
so that we are free to pick up your cross.

We set our sights on human things,
but intertwined within our day to day,
is the Spirit.
The Spirit inspires us, lifts our eyes toward you,
away from the sights of the world that distract us.
The Spirit connects us, placing people and events
in our lives in ways that allow your love to be shared.
The Spirit interprets your word in scripture for us,
allowing us to see your teachings in our world today.
The Spirit nudges us, reminding us to follow you,
to put down our earthly possessions
so that we are free to follow you.

We set our sights on human things.
We have human worries and concerns.
As your children, we know that we are loved.
We know that you are with us,
and we ask that as we reach out to those among us
who need assistance, that you also be with them,
especially ___.

Holy Spirit,
fill us with your inspiration,
connect us with one another,
open our hearts and our eyes.
As we use the words taught to us so many years ago,
interpret them for us and give them new meaning
for our lives today so that we are free to follow you,
“Our Father….”