NGHT PRAYER: Monday 2/12

Lent is almost here, Lord,
which brings to mind some well-known words and phrases:
    giving up something for Lent,
    prayer, fasting and almsgiving,
    caring for the poor and those in need,
    stations of the Cross and Holy Week,
    days of fast and abstinence,
    "What am I doing for Lent this year?" 

How might I save the truth in these words
    from becoming rote and routine?

Instead of saying "more prayers" this Lent,
    perhaps I could learn to keep still and quiet,
        to spend more time in silence, 
            mindful of your presence,
listening for your voice
    whipsering, calling my name,
        calling me to follow you more faithfully,
            more mindfully, more prayerfully,
listening 'til I hear you
    in the peace of the silence
        of sitting by your side...
And besides fasting from some food or beverage,
    perhaps I might fast from my stubbornness, 
    from my my quick-triggered temper and hasty snap judgments, 
    from my subtle and obvious prejudice and bias, 
    from my proud and self-important attitude,
    from my resistance to bend, to change and to grow...
And in addition to giving things up, Lord,
what might I add to my life this Lent?
    patience with someone who bugs me?
    ears open to what others are saying?
    compassion for folks I'd rather ignore?
    spending time with someone who's lonely?
    a smile for strangers passing by?

In what new ways might I care for the poor?
    - giving until I feel the pinch,
        giving so much that I go without?
    - writing a check may be helpful
        but how might I get more involved?
    - taking stock of all that I have
        and giving away (at least some)
            of all that I have but don't need?    
What am I doing for Lent this year?
Perhaps a better question to ask, Lord:
What are you going to do for me?
    How will you move in my life this Lent? 
    What changes do you have in mind for me?
    What gifts will you offer 
        to help me serve more generously?
    How will you help me draw closer in prayer?    
    What will you do in my life this Lent?
With Ash Wednesday now so near, O Lord,
    send your Spirit to open my heart
        to help me grow and flourish in faith
    as I make my way as a sinner,
        walking the way of the Cross, 
    making my way to Easter peace
        and the joy of rising with you... 
Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
    and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
    and asleep, rest in your peace...
Hosea: Come Back to Me by Gregory Norbet
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Come back to me with all your heart
Don't let fear keep us apart
Trees do bend though straight and tall
So must we to others' call
Long have I waited for
Your coming home to me
And living deeply our new life
The wilderness will lead you
To the place where I will speak
Integrity and justice
With tenderness
You shall know.




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