God of unfailing love and infinite grace,
you know us better than we know ourselves,
for you formed us from the dust of the earth and
gave us life with your very breath.
As we enter this holy season of Lent,
our season for self-examination and repentance,
we pray, O God, for eyes to see the inward and outward
parts of our lives that separate us from you...
that keep us from becoming more fully the people
you created and are calling us to be.
Give us strength to then deny those things,
so we might open our minds to your will, not our own,
and fix our attention on you...
so we might open our hearts to your way,
the way of grace and forgiveness,
and love from the very center of who we are.
Lord, keep us mindful that beyond the transformation
of our singular lives our life together also needs
transformation...the kind that begins and ends with you.
Where there is hatred, help us show love.
Where there is injury, help us reconcile and heal.
Where there is doubt, help us have faith.
Where there is despair, help us bring hope.
Where there is darkness, help us carry your light.
Where there is sadness, help us find joy.
And so, as we begin our Lenten journey, we thank you
for your grace that goes before us...
your grace that travels with us...
and your grace that follows behind us.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.