FORTY DAYS OF PRAYER

Giving up chocolate, Facebook, or The New York Post for Lent are fine ideas.  Most of us could do with less sugar, screens, and sensationalism.  Lent might matter more, however, if we added rather than subtracted.  What if we took a moment each day to pray?  These prayers are the invitation to give ourselves to God.  If we can give up M&Ms, social media, and tabloid journalism, then we can ask God to help us give up the pursuit of lesser things in order to live with God's love.  

Each day we will provide you with a prayer on our Facebook page. A weekly email and our eNews will also include that week's prayers. Consider giving two minutes in the morning and finding your own best way to carry the prayer with you through the day.

As we listen and speak these prayers, we share sacred time with one another, and become God's people.


WEEK ONE

day one Wednesday, february 14

Creator-God, who made us in your image, in our encounters with each other remind us that we are encountering you. May we treat each other and each others bodies with the respect we would show to you, because we are a part of you, and loved by you.

day two Thursday, february 15

God among us, who is found in all of us, remind us that we are equally loved, of equal worth, filled with your possibilities. In you there is neither male not female, powerful or weak, rich or poor. Let us pray that all unity will one day be restored. 

day three Friday, february 16

Dear God, when things don’t seem right, fill us with the strength to question, and the fortitude to act.

day four Saturday, february 17

O God, open our minds and our arms. Teach us to embrace all who ask for our help.

Prayers offered by Beth Fleisher & Amy Anderson of the Anti-Trafficking Ministry


WEEK TWO

Day five monday, february 19

God, help me have patience with others and be open-minded and not so judgmental. Help me relax and find peace in this really stressful time, and in all stressful times. I need to release all these strong emotions and anger. Thank you, God. Amen.

Day six tuesday, february 20

God, it’s hard to be a Christian when leading my day to day life doesn’t correlate with what you ask of us. How can I turn the other cheek when a friend hurts or angers me? Send me strength to keep my faith. Amen.

Day seven wednesday, february 21

God, help me to relax and breathe, to be open-minded, and to be truly grateful for all the amazing opportunities I’ve received in my life. Amen.

day eight thursday, february 22

God, help me forget my jealousy and remember my humility. Help me remember you when I need you, and remember you when I think I don’t need you. God, help me be patient, forget myself, and remember others. Amen.

day nine friday, february 23

God, I pray for more persistence in believing in you and that my faith can be strengthened throughout the years of my existence. Amen.

day ten saturday, february 24

Dear Lord, Often I let my anger and contempt overwhelm me when spending time with others. I fail to show them the love and patience you have shown us. Please, God, help me to remember to overcome my prejudices and be kind and understanding, even when it seems hardest to do so. Amen.

Prayers offered by Plymouth youth


WEEK THREE

day eleven Monday, February 26

Gracious God, we are thankful for the many blessings we’ve received.  Help us to open our hearts and minds to the experience of others, and to be your hands in the world, seeking justice for all.  Amen.

day twelve Tuesday, February 27

Dear God, we hold refugees and immigrants in our hearts.  Help us to see your face in all your children and to understand your will.  Amen.

day thirteen Wednesday, February 28

God of Justice, strengthen us.  The racism in our land is heartbreaking.  It is so far removed from the beloved community to which you have called us.  Help us to see how we can act to bring justice.  Amen.

day fourteen Thursday, March 1

Dear God, please help me to keep an open mind when I meet someone different from me.  Let me look in the eyes — the window of the soul — and judge people on the contents of their character, not their skin color, their money,  their clothes, their status; just as you, Lord, care about my character.  Amen.

day fifteen Friday, March 2

Dear God, we are troubled by how many of our brothers and sisters are jailed in New York City, not convicted of any crime but awaiting trial, and stay there for months or years because they cannot afford bail.  Thank you for organizations that support prisoners and their families.  Amen.

day sixteen Saturday, March 3

O God, when I hear the cries of those who suffer injustice, I’ve learned to excuse myself from getting too involved. But what if you are the one calling to me and I refuse to move?  Work on me, God. Teach me that all your children are my neighbors. Help me love my neighbor as much as I love myself.  Amen.

Prayers for Justice offered by members of Plymouth’s Racial Justice Ministry.


WEEK FOUR

Day Seventeen | Monday, March 5

Gracious God, teach me to embrace your love rather than my own insecurities. Help me see myself through your eyes. Amen.

Day Eighteen | Tuesday, March 6

God, challenge me to see all of your children and become your servant. Amen.

Day Nineteen | Wednesday, March 7

Holy Teacher, help me live out your vision for my life. Remind me that being able to do this is something I still need to learn from you. Amen.

Day Twenty | Thursday, March 8

God, how easy it is to look over our shoulder and see who's noticed that we are serving. Free us to focus on you in the face of those we serve. Make us your compassionate followers. Amen.

Day Twenty One | Friday, March 9

Make my heart clean, God. Help me see myself as you do and give me the grace to start again. Amen.

Day Twenty Two | Saturday, March 10

God of miracles and the mundane, may I see you in everyone and everything, particularly in people and places where I least expect to find you. Amen.

Prayers written by members of the Plymouth community for the devotional guide Reflections.


WEEK FIVE

Day Twenty Three | Monday, March 12

Dear God, help me not get angry at my parents when they tell me I can’t do something I want to do.  It’s hard not to get what you want and it makes me mad but I know there’s a reason and that I shouldn’t yell.  Amen.

Lord teach me patience regardless of misfortune, annoyance or pain. Give me the capacity to accept what crosses my path. Amen.

Day Twenty Four | Tuesday, March 13

Dear God, thank you for all of the little things that make my life so much better.  Thank you for hamburgers, washing machines and friends.  I love my friends.  Amen.

Dear God, you are a God of love.  You call us to love and to take care of each other so that we can build a society of love, peace and justice.  Amen.

Day Twenty Five | Wednesday, March 14

Dear God, give me patience.  Help me listen to friends and not interrupt.  I want to be a better friend.  I want to be a friend when someone needs a friend. That’s when it’s important to be a good friend.  Amen.   

Christ, when I am tempted to keep my distance from you, help me see what I am doing. Give me the courage to remember that I am yours and to follow you more closely. Amen.

Day Twenty Six | Thursday, March 15

Dear God, help me remember what is important.  Help me be grateful for the meaningful things and worry less about unimportant stuff.  Thank you for happiness.  Thank you for courage.  Thank you for forgiveness.  Thank you most of all for forgiveness.  Amen.

God, at this point in my life I can no longer remain as faithful as I have been in the past. I can only say this: “May we all find our way in our lives, whatever path it may be.” Amen.

Day Twenty Seven | Friday, March 16

Dear God, help me see the truth.  Help me understand what really happened before I get angry and act.  Amen.

I find it hard to be a Christian when moments in my life are overtaken by hopelessness. Help me find hope. Amen.

Day Twenty Eight | Saturday, March 17

Dear God, thank you for all you created.  Thank you for life, the earth and the universe.  Thank you for the sun, the moon and the stars.  Seeing the moon makes me feel good.  Amen.

God, help us experience your presence that always seems to dwell in humble acts of service. Amen.

Prayers offered by Plymouth’s children, youth and adults.


WEEK SIX

Day Twenty Nine | Monday, March 19

Dear Lord, Keep us mindful of how we are all slaves to desires and expectations.  Free our hearts and all who are physically or emotionally enslaved in this world. Amen.

Thirty | Tuesday, March 20

Dear Lord, Sometimes I feel so unworthy and ungrateful for all my blessings.  Help me to accept how much You love us, and to move that acceptance into sharing all those blessings with others less fortunate.  Thank you, God.

Day Thirty One | Wednesday, March 21

Dear God,  In these 40 days of Lent, help me to use the time wisely, to understand what I might do to improve my life as a Christian, and to take some positive action in that direction.

Day Thirty Two | Thursday, March 22

Dear God, whoever you are and where ever you are, give me the will and clarity to see what is coming towards me and us, and the strength and honesty to deal with it. 

Day Thirty Three | Friday, March 23

Gracious God, please free me from the entanglements and preoccupations of my mind so that I might fully experience your eternal love and peace in each moment. Amen.  

Day Thirty Four | Saturday, March 24

God, Help us to provide for the most basic needs of others so that they may thrive and live as you intended for all of your children---safe, cherished and free.

Prayers are offered by Plymouth’s Underground Thrift Store Volunteers.


WEEK SEVEN

Day Thirty Five | Monday, March 26

Tend him
in the night
cover him
carry him
keep him
ever in your sight.

May Jesus be ever in our sight.  Amen.

Day Thirty Six | Holy Tuesday, March 27

Dear God.  It is easy for me to hold a grudge.  I allow my anger towards someone who has offended or hurt me to invade and overwhelm my thoughts, to weigh me down.  Help me want to forgive as your son taught us to.  Help me see the humanity in others.  Help me not enjoy my suffering.  Help me truly let go and experience your love and grace by extending it to others.

Day Thirty Seven | Holy Wednesday, March 28

Lord Jesus, this Holy Week as I remember your passion and death, help me to think of your story as more than a simple history.  Help me to place myself in your path and experience the depth of meaning in your actions.  Remind me to always look to your Resurrection as a source of hope and refreshment in my moments of despair and rejection.  Thank you for dying and rising, not just for me, personally, but for all your creation.

Day Thirty Eight | Maundy Thursday, March 29

Loving God, on Maundy Thursday we remember Jesus sitting at the table with his friends, sharing bread and wine, and washing their feet.  Help us receive the gift of your love by treating one another as friends, sharing what you have given us, and serving those who need our help.  Like Jesus did, Amen.Day Thirty Nine | Good Friday, March 30

Day Thirty Nine | Good Friday, March 30

Lord, in the shadow of Good Friday, give us enough faith to loosen our grips on doubt and fear so we might reach out to new possibilities. Help us cling to your hope despite the world’s overwhelming darkness. Though we are broken by what has happened and uncertain of what is to come, teach us to lean into your grace as we trudge forward, trusting in your guidance and strength to carry us to the light. Amen.

Day Forty | Holy Saturday, March 31

God of patience and action, give us the patience this day to reflect on what we have heard in these past holy days and on the pain suffered by our Lord.  We await with anticipation the resurrection of our Savior, the most glorious action of all.  Amen

Prayers offered by Plymouth staff persons.