Prayers of the People on Ash Wednesday

Gracious God, out of your love and mercy you breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to serve you and neighbors. Call forth our prayers and acts of tenderness, and strengthen us to face our mortality, that we may reach with confidence for your mercy. At the gateway to these 40 days, reacquaint us not only with our own mortality, but also with the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

In Jesus Christ, O God, you were despised and rejected by others. Watch over people who are different, who cannot copy well-worn customs, or put on popular styles of life. If they are left out because narrow people fear different ways, help us to welcome them into the wider love of Jesus Christ, brother of us all.

Our heavenly Father, we commend to your mercy those for whom life does not spell freedom: prisoners of conscience, the homeless and the handicapped, the sick in body and mind, the elderly who are confined to their homes, those who are enslaved by their passions, and those who are addicted to drugs. Grant that, whatever their outward circumstances, they may find inward freedom, through him who proclaimed release to captives, Jesus Christ our Savior.

Lead us O God, by the power of your spirit to live as the Lord requires: to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with you, our God. Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ until this mortal life is ended and all that is earthly returns to dust. Give us strength to serve you faithfully until the promised day of resurrection when, with the redeemed of all the ages, we will live in peace and joy. As our savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to pray: Our Father….Amen.

February 14, 2024

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