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Monday 8 March
Prayer for uncertain times
Lord Jesus Christ, light of this world, thank you for the hope you have given us.
Help us to give our worries to you and, above all, to trust in your unfailing love.
For you have promised us "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."
Almighty God, our protector, let us trust in you to carry us through this time of uncertainty. 
Jesus, hear our cries as we mourn those who've left us.
Whatever tomorrow may bring, we will praise your Holy name
Di Levantine 

Sunday 7 March Lent 3
From The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:    Love III 

Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back
                              Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
                             From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
                             If I lacked any thing.
 
A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
                             Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
                             I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
                             Who made the eyes but I?
 
Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
                             Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
                             My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
                             So I did sit and eat.
Tim Ward

Saturday 6 March
[St Dimitri of Rostov 1651-1709] 

‘Open O doors and bolts of my heart that Christ the King of Glory may enter! 
Enter O my Light and enlighten my darkness
Enter O my Life and resurrect my deadness
Enter O my Physician and heal my wounds
Enter O Divine Fire and burn up the thorns of my sins
Ignite my inward parts and my heart with the flame of Thy love
Enter O my King and destroy in me the kingdom of sin
Sit on the throne of my heart and alone reign in me
O Thou my King and Lord.’

Graham Thrussell

Friday 5 March
‘Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness’
He was led there to be exposed to temptation.

Through his experience he grew to new understandings.
We also have times of being in the wilderness but how often
do we think that it might be the Spirit of God who has led us there?
Those wilderness experiences are the difficult times in life.
The sudden change in circumstance or a time of loss or grief.
When we look back either we can see God’s hand in it or we can resent it. 
If we see God’s hand in it then we grow; we are better for having trodden
the path; we are able to cope with the next time. This is the path of faith.
Spirit of God when I am faced with the wilderness draw close to me
I pray that I may not falter but might grow closer to Jesus. 
Increase my faith I pray.
John Pilling 

Thursday 4 March
A Personal prayer that you may wish to adapt to make your own: 

Dear Lord
Please help me to remember all the blessings that you have given me 
and help me to thank you every day for all the joy I receive daily from
my darling husband Chris, all my family, and so many good friends.
May this time of Lent bring me closer to you. - I will try my best to
do this with your help.
Madeline Doman

Wednesday 3 March 
From Jeremiah 9v 23-24a
Knowing God is what Life is all about.
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, 
let not the mighty man boast in his might,
let not the rich man boast in his riches,
but let him who boasts boast in this,
that he understands and knows me.


In other words, Jeremiah says that what matters in life are not
our brains (wisdom) nor our bodies (Strength),
neither our bank accounts (Riches). None of these provide
the purpose of our lives.
The purpose of our lives is to understand and know God.
If we know God and his kindness, justice and righteousness,
then we will imitate him and bring him delight.
Kevin Durban Jackson

 

Tuesday 2 March  St Chad
Be with us, Lord, as we seek to follow in the footsteps of your servant Chad, 
whose humility and prayerfulness attracted so many to your kingdom. 
Let our lives, like his, reflect the light of Christ and the hope of faith. 
In the name of your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.
Martin Hobbs

Monday 1 March  St David
By Robin Mark
Faithful one, so unchanging,
Ageless One, you’re my rock of peace.
Lord of all, I depend on you,
I call out to you again and again,
I call out to you again and again.

You are my rock in times of trouble,
You lift me up when I fall down.
All through the storm your love is the anchor, my hope is in you alone.    
Andy Blumer

Sunday 28 February Lent 2

Lent is all about setting priorities and working out just how seriously
our commitment to God really is. It is not a time for us to work out where
we are going in life, or what decisions we need to take for our future.
If we are serious about our faith, then we have to allow our own priorities to
be seen in the light of God's guidance.
 
This is very difficult; how do we know what God wants? If only it was so easy
to understand the divine plan ! Yet from our Gospel reading today we do get
a pointer in the right direction. Jesus tells the disciples.
 
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross
and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever
loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
 
The message is clear. When we seek to make decisions and choices, Christians
are not their own boss. If we seek to be faithful we will need to 'let go and let God.'
This might seem to be a loss of freedom and personal sacrifice. It is.
However it is only as we learn to put our personal ambitions under God's spotlight
that we can ever really be free.
 
Give us light and strength, O God, to know your will. Guide us by your wisdom and
support us by your power. Unite us to yourself in the bond of love and keep us faithful 
to all that is true; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Isidore of Seville, c.560-636

 

Saturday 27 February 
Commemoration of George Herbert, Priest and Poet
From The Temple (1633), by George Herbert: Praise. (II)

King of glory, King of peace,
I will love Thee;
and that love may never cease,
I will move Thee.
Thou hast granted my request,
Thou hast heard me;
Thou didst note my working breast,
Thou hast spared me.

Wherefore with my utmost art
I will sing Thee,
and the cream of all my heart
I will bring Thee.
Though my sins against me cried,
Thou didst clear me;
and alone, when they replied,
Thou didst hear me.


Sev'n whole days, not one in sev'n,
I will praise Thee;
in my heart, though not in heav'n,
I can raise Thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort
to enroll Thee:
e'en eternity's too short
to extol Thee.

Friday 26 February
I have always found these three verses from Numbers
to be a constant source of strength and comfort:
   The LORD bless you and keep you;
    the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;  
    the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
    Ian Senior

Thursday 25 February
Christ’s invitation is:-
To connect in a time of isolation,
To go deep in a time of distraction,
To have courage in a time of containment,  
To hope in a time of hype,
To receive breath in a time of death,
And to love in a time of fear.
Gaye Reynolds 

Wednesday 24 February
You raise me up - By Westlife
When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary   
When troubles come and my heart burdened be,  
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me. 
You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be 
You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be 
You raise me up to more than I can be
Bernard Lane

Tuesday 23 February
Lord, I will turn,
Turn my face towards you.
I will lay before you the desert areas I hide
And turn to soak in your refreshing words of life.
I will cast aside the barren, selfish pursuits
And turn to rest in the tranquil warmth of your love.
I will draw back from the harsh pull of media
And turn to bathe in the gentle power of your Spirit.  
Lord, today I turn my face towards you. I will turn
To soak in your words of life,
To rest in the warmth of your love,
And to bathe in the power of your Spirit.
Julie Palmer 

Monday 22 February 
Watch, dear lord,
With those who cannot sleep
And those who weep this night. Tend the sick,  
Give rest to the weary 
And bless the dying. 
Relieve those who are suffering, 
Have pity on those in great distress,
And shield those who are happy. 
Amen 
Ann Wells

Sunday 21 February Lent 1
Thought for the Day:
There are many paradoxes that as Christians we have to contemplate aspart of the mystery of our faith. So when I think of God, the integrated, involved, present, ‘here and now’ God; the suffering, Almighty, Crucified God; Christ our ‘foolishness’ and Christ our wisdom, Christ the slaughtered Lamb on the Throne; the suffering servant, the humble and humiliated God; only then am I beginning to grasp the full reality of God, Father and Son close to me.

John Pilling

Saturday 20  February
I know I am not the only member of St Mary’s who values the books written by Stephen Cottrell, now Archbishop of York.  Those for Lent include 'The Things He Carried: A Journey to the Cross', 'The Things He Did: The Story of Holy Week' and 'The Things he Said: The Story of the First Easter Day'.  This prayer comes from 'The Things He Carried'

Loving God,
your Son Jesus Christ carried us to the cross and shed his blood for us and brought us into new community with you:
help us to follow in his way,
deny ourselves and take up the cross he gives us, that the world may learn his way of peace;
may his life and his purposes be alive in us this day, and may we be alive in him;
and when our hearts are broken,
and when the burdens of this life feel too great to bear, take us to the cross, and enable us to see there the great weight that Jesus carried; for here we receive the affirmation of your love, the assurance of your promise, and the strength to persevere.
for we ask it in his name.
Amen.
Julie Allday 

Friday 19 February
O Lord Jesus Christ, 
take as your right,
receive as my gift,
all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my will;  
all that I have,
all that I am,
all that I can be.
All is yours,
dispose of it according to your will.
Give me your love,
Give me your grace.
It is enough for me.
St Ignatius Loyola
Peter and Liz Brown

Thursday 18 February
I'm asking GOD for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long.
I'll contemplate his beauty;
I'll study at his feet.
That's the only quiet, secure place
in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
far from the buzz of traffic.
verses from Psalm 27 v4-5 from the Message translation.  
Kevin Durban-Jackson

Ash Wednesday 17 February
Almighty and ever living God,
you invite us deeper into your world, your people, your Lent.
May this time be one of outward focus;
seeking you in those we often ignore.
Help us live a Lent focused on freedom, generosity, and encounter. 
Give us hearts hungry to serve you
and those who need what we have to give.

Bishop Michael