I know most of Christians denominations didn’t observe Lent season. But I am more comfortable with this season, to celebrate the upcoming resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. When I was a lone ranger in my wavering faith in old days, I still fasting and observe Lent season as ritual for myself. It helped me in many things – especially when it comes to the less addictions to something such as caffeine, movies etc.
But the important thing I have learned to pray for my family’s salvation, for they received God’s calling and for they to open their heart to accept Jesus as their saviour. I have tried for two (2) years in this Lent observations- informal. I am now satisfied and praise God because He is doing His great and wonderful works on my family and me. I trust Him 100% because His mercy for us- a wicked sinner from Islamic background. I am fully succeeding by His wills. Now I understand how God is working inside the wicked heart of the unbelievers. He can do all things – especially impossible things if we had this thought in our mind. We are totally wrong and always limit His powerful wondrous works on us. Hallelujah God is really our wonderful creator!
Ash Wednesday 10/2/2016 –
This is my daily thought I wish to write since I was a believer. Three days ago my family and I working a little bit hard in our small garden at backyard. It was abandoned almost half a year. What is happier than to appreciate the earth, trees and a new seed? Hallelujah for this beautiful canna, hibiscus, and bougenvillas.
As our hands full of dirt, we reflected about Ash Wednesday. Many of believers will have their forehead crossed with ashed. It remind us about where we came from – a dust from earth. One day we will go back in Lord’s arm to the dust so let us pray for our healthy body, mind and soul as it is written in Psalm 91, “ I will satisfy him with long life, and show him my salvation” Amen.
Lets pray together
Let us fulfil our first day of Lent with some of starter prayers. THANK YOU onlineministries.creighton.edu)
Daily Lent Prayer
“Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting
this campaign of Christian service,
so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils,
we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Joel 2:12-18; Psalm 51: 3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14&17; 2 Cor. 5: 20 – 6:2; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
A very special day.
The ashes we use are the burnt palms from last year’s celebration of Passion Sunday.
We begin our Lenten journey aware of where we are going.
We want to enter into the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus for us more fully.
That is the purpose of our journey. It is why we mark our heads with his cross.
It is why we fast today and abstain from meat.
Our Lenten program is not an effort to save ourselves.
We have been saved by his sacrifice.
Our self-denial helps us, in the darkness that surrounds us,
to prepare ourselves to receive his light.
For this is a journey to the Easter font,
where we will renew the promises of our Baptism,
remembering that in dying with him in the waters of Baptism,
we are re-born with him to everlasting life.
This year’s journey begins today.
Yet even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
– Joel 2:12-13
Prayer Over the Gifts:
Lord, help us to resist temptation
by our Lenten works
of charity and penance.
By this sacrifice
may we be prepared
to celebrate the death and resurrection
of Christ our Savior
and be cleansed from sin
and renewed in spirit.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
Today’s Daily Reflection
Today God our Father brings us to the beginning of Lent.
We pray that in this time of salvation
he will fill us with the Holy Spirit, purify our hearts,
and strengthen us in love.
Let us humbly ask him:
Lord, give us your Holy Spirit.
May we be filled and satisfied,
– by the word which you give us.
Teach us to be loving not only in great and exceptional moments,
– but above all in the ordinary events of daily life.
May we abstain from what we do not really need,
– and help our brothers and sisters in distress.
May we bear the wounds of your Son in our bodies,
– for through his body he gave us life.
it feels like we are embarking on a Lenten journey together, you and I.
Today we are invited to let the Holy Spirit
purify our hearts, and strengthen us in love.
That feels like what I am looking for –
or what you are looking for in me.
I want to remember how much I need you in my life
and how much my life needs redemption.
I want to remember it clearly and
in the background of my day today and all through Lent.
On this special day, Ash Wednesday,
may my small sacrifices in fasting be a way to clear away
the clutter in my life to see you more clearly.
May my longing for meat and other food,
help me to focus my life today more outside myself.
Let me be aware of those who are in so much more suffering than I am
and may I be aware of them as the brothers and sisters you have placed in my life.
Lord, I know there is darkness within me and around me.
Bless these days with your Word.
Let your Light shine in the darkness.
Help me long for that Light
until we celebrate it at the Vigil six weeks from now.
And most of all Lord,
help me to honor this day with the ashes on my forehead.
They help me remember where I have come from and where I am going.
May I acknowledge to you my sins
and my deep need for your loving forgiveness and grace.
I pray that this Lenten season will make me so much more aware
of how much I need your healing in my life.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
And let begin this Lent with some readings:
1 Shout the message! Don’t hold back.
Say to my people Israel:
You’ve sinned! You’ve turned against the LORD.
2 Day after day, you worship him
and seem eager to learn his teachings.
You act like a nation that wants to do right
by obeying his laws.
You ask him about justice,
and say you enjoy worshiping the LORD.
3 You wonder why the LORD pays no attention
when you go without eating and act humble.
But on those same days that you give up eating,
you think only of yourselves
and abuse your workers.
4 You even get angry and ready to fight.
No wonder God won’t listen to your prayers!
5 Do you think the LORD wants you to give up eating
and to act as humble as a bent-over bush?
Or to dress in sackcloth and sit in ashes?
Is this really what he wants on a day of worship?
6 I’ll tell you what it really means to worship the LORD.
Remove the chains of prisoners who are chained unjustly.
Free those who are abused!
7 Share your food with everyone who is hungry;
share your home with the poor and homeless.
Give clothes to those in need;
don’t turn away your relatives.
8 Then your light will shine like the dawning sun,
and you will quickly be healed.
Your honesty will protect you as you advance,
and the glory of the LORD
will defend you from behind.
9 When you beg the LORD for help,
he will answer, “Here I am!”
Don’t mistreat others or falsely accuse them
or say something cruel.
10 Give your food to the hungry and care for the homeless.
Then your light will shine in the dark;
your darkest hour will be like the noonday sun.
11 The LORD will always guide you
and provide good things to eat
when you are in the desert.
He will make you healthy.
You will be like a garden that has plenty of water
or like a stream that never runs dry.
12 You will rebuild those houses left in ruins for years;
you will be known as a builder and repairer
of city walls and streets.
13 But first, you must start respecting the Sabbath
as a joyful day of worship.
You must stop doing and saying whatever you please
on this special day.
14 Then you will truly enjoy knowing the LORD.
He will let you rule from the highest mountains
and bless you with the land of your ancestor Jacob.
The LORD has spoken!
The Seven Penitential Psalms
A Prayer in Time of Trouble
1 Don’t punish me, LORD, or even correct me
when you are angry!
2 Have pity on me and heal my feeble body.
My bones tremble with fear,
3 and I am in deep distress.
How long will it be?
4 Turn and come to my rescue.
Show your wonderful love and save me, LORD.
5 If I die, I cannot praise you or even remember you.
6 My groaning has worn me out.
At night my bed and pillow are soaked with tears.
7 Sorrow has made my eyes dim, and my sight has failed
because of my enemies.
8 You, LORD, heard my crying,
and those hateful people had better leave me alone.
9 You have answered my prayer and my plea for mercy.
10 My enemies will be ashamed and terrified,
as they quickly run away in complete disgrace.
The Joy of Forgiveness
1 Our God, you bless everyone
whose sins you forgive and wipe away.
2 You bless them by saying,
“You told me your sins, without trying to hide them,
and now I forgive you.”
3 Before I confessed my sins, my bones felt limp,
and I groaned all day long.
4 Night and day your hand weighed heavily on me,
and my strength was gone as in the summer heat.
5 So I confessed my sins and told them all to you.
I said, “I’ll tell the LORD each one of my sins.”
Then you forgave me and took away my guilt.
A Prayer in Times of Trouble
1 When you are angry, LORD, please don’t punish me
or even correct me.
2 You shot me with your arrows,
and you struck me with your hand.
3 My body hurts all over because of your anger.
Even my bones are in pain,
and my sins 4are so heavy that I am crushed.
5 Because of my foolishness, I am covered with sores
that stink and spread.
6 My body is twisted and bent, and I groan all day long.
7 Fever has my back in flames, and I hurt all over.
8 I am worn out and weak, moaning and in distress.
9 You, LORD, know every one of my deepest desires,
and my noisy groans are no secret to you.
10 My heart is beating fast.
I feel weak all over, and my eyes are red.
11 Because of my sickness,
no friends or neighbors will come near me.
12 All who want me dead set traps to catch me,
and those who want to harm and destroy me
plan and plot all day.
13 I am not able to hear or speak a word;
14 I am completely deaf and can’t make a sound.
15 I trust you, LORD God, and you will do something.
16 I said, “Don’t let them laugh or brag because I slip.”
17 I am about to collapse from constant pain.
18 I told you my sins, and I am sorry for them.
19 Many deadly and powerful enemies hate me,
20 and they repay evil for good because I try to do right.
21 You are the LORD God!
Stay nearby and don’t desert me.
22 You are the one who saves me. Please hurry and help.
A Prayer for Forgiveness
1 You are kind, God! Please have pity on me.
You are always merciful! Please wipe away my sins.
2 Wash me clean from all of my sin and guilt.
3 I know about my sins,
and I cannot forget my terrible guilt.
4 You are really the one I have sinned against;
I have disobeyed you and have done wrong.
So it is right and fair for you
to correct and punish me.
5 I have sinned and done wrong since the day I was born.
6 But you want complete honesty,
so teach me true wisdom.
7 Wash me with hyssopa
until I am clean and whiter than snow.
8 Let me be happy and joyful!
You crushed my bones, now let them celebrate.
9 Turn your eyes from my sin and cover my guilt.
10 Create pure thoughts in me
and make me faithful again.
11 Don’t chase me away from you
or take your Holy Spirit away from me.
12 Make me as happy as you did when you saved me;
make me want to obey!
13 I will teach sinners your Law,
and they will return to you.
14 Keep me from any deadly sin. Only you can save me!
Then I will shout and sing about your power to save.
15 Help me to speak, and I will praise you, LORD.
16 Offerings and sacrifices are not what you want.
17 The way to please you
is to feel sorrow deep in our hearts.
This is the kind of sacrifice you won’t refuse.
18 Please be willing, LORD, to help the city of Zion
and to rebuild its walls.
19 Then you will be pleased with the proper sacrifices,
and we will offer bulls on your altar once again.
A Prayer in Time of Trouble
1 I pray to you, LORD! Please listen.
2 Don’t hide from me in my time of trouble.
Pay attention to my prayer and quickly give an answer.
3 My days disappear like smoke,
and my bones are burning as though in a furnace.
4 I am wasting away like grass, and my appetite is gone.
5 My groaning never stops,
and my bones can be seen through my skin.
6 I am like a lonely owl in the desert
7 or a restless sparrow alone on a roof.
8 My enemies insult me all day,
and they use my name for a curse word.
9 Instead of food, I have ashes to eat and tears to drink,
10 because you are furious and have thrown me aside.
11 My life fades like a shadow at the end of day
and withers like grass.
12 Our LORD, you are King forever
and will always be famous.
13 You will show pity to Zion because the time has come.
14 We, your servants, love each stone in the city,
and we are sad to see them lying in the dirt.
15 Our LORD, the nations will honor you,
and all kings on earth will praise your glory.
16 You will rebuild the city of Zion.
Your glory will be seen,
17 and the prayers of the homeless will be answered.
18 Future generations must also praise the LORD,
so write this for them:
19 “From his holy temple,
the LORD looked down at the earth.
20 He listened to the groans of prisoners,
and he rescued everyone who was doomed to die.”
21 All Jerusalem should praise you, our LORD,
22 when people from every nation meet to worship you.
23 I should still be strong,
but you, LORD, have made an old person of me.
24 You will live forever! Years mean nothing to you.
Don’t cut my life in half!
25 In the beginning, LORD, you laid the earth’s foundation
and created the heavens.
26 They will all disappear and wear out like clothes.
You change them, as you would a coat,
but you last forever.
27 You are always the same. Years cannot change you.
28 Every generation of those who serve you
will live in your presence.
Trusting the LORD in Times of Trouble
1 From a sea of troubles I call out to you, LORD.
2 Won’t you please listen as I beg for mercy?
3 If you kept record of our sins, no one could last long.
4 But you forgive us, and so we will worship you.
5 With all my heart, I am waiting, LORD, for you!
I trust your promises.
6 I wait for you more eagerly
than a soldier on guard duty waits for the dawn.
Yes, I wait more eagerly
than a soldier on guard duty waits for the dawn.
7 Israel, trust the LORD! He is always merciful,
and he has the power to save you.
8 Israel, the LORD will save you from all of your sins.
A Prayer in Time of Danger
1 Listen, LORD, as I pray!
You are faithful and honest and will answer my prayer.
2 I am your servant. Don’t try me in your court,
because no one is innocent by your standards.
3 My enemies are chasing me, crushing me in the ground.
I am in total darkness, like someone long dead.
4 I have given up all hope, and I feel numb all over.
5 I remember to think about the many things
you did in years gone by.
6 Then I lift my hands in prayer, because my soul is a desert,
thirsty for water from you.
7 Please hurry, LORD, and answer my prayer.
I feel hopeless.
Don’t turn away and leave me here to die.
8 Each morning let me learn more about your love
because I trust you.
I come to you in prayer, asking for your guidance.
9 Please rescue me from my enemies, LORD!
I come to you for safety.a
10 You are my God. Show me what you want me to do,
and let your gentle Spirit lead me in the right path.
11 Be true to your name, LORD, and keep my life safe.
Use your saving power to protect me from trouble.
12 I am your servant.
Show how much you love me by destroying my enemies.
AMEN. God bless us today!