Prayers for Ash Wednesday
Prayer of the Church
P O almighty and everlasting God, Your people come to You with weeping and mourning over all our sins, yet we give You thanks that You are gracious and merciful to us. Grant to us Your Holy Spirit that our hearts may be contrite, our faith steadfast and immovable, and our hope built securely upon Your cross.
We praise You for all Your loving care over our lives; for Your Word which accomplishes Your purpose and manifests Your saving glory to the whole world; for those who bring Your Word to us–all pastors, missionaries, church workers and church leaders. Keep us in Your Word that we may rightly divide Your Law and Gospel and hold fast to the doctrine of the apostles all our days.
We remember before You those who stand against Your Word and the reign of Your kingdom–both among the nations and their leaders, and those who have closed off their hearts to the voice of Your mercy. Bring them to repentance, and restore all those who have fallen away or been overcome by error.
We pray for good weather and good harvest, for good government and good leaders, for good schools and good teachers, for good service from those in the armed services of our nation, police, firefighters, medical and emergency personnel. Protect us against all enemies and from natural and man-made disasters.
We invite You into the homes where Your people dwell that they may be places of blessing and faith and love. Help husbands and wives to live in holy love and to be faithful in the vows and promises they have made. Bless the children in these homes that they may grow up to know You and to love You. Be with the widowed, the families broken by divorce, and the orphans.
We ask You, O Lord, to teach our hearts gratitude for all Your gifts and generosity toward those in need. Help us to support the poor, to feed the hungry, to assist the unemployed and to care for the hurting. We pray [especially for . . . names of the sick and those in need] that the suffering may find relief, the sick may find healing, the mourning may find comfort, and the dying may find peace in the arms of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
We beg You to keep us from being distracted by the things of this world, to keep us from being overcome by the chances and changes of this mortal life, and to be firmly anchored in the arms of Your mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. As He came among us to walk in holy life to the suffering of the cross, help us as we walk with Him in this Lenten journey, that we may learn to trust in Him evermore and to rejoice in what He has accomplished for us and for our salvation.
We look forward to the day when all our troubles and trials will be ended and we shall dwell in Your presence forevermore. Until that day comes, keep us faithful and guard us against all our enemies. And when that day comes, O Lord, receive us into the fellowship of all Your saints, in the blessed reunion with those who have gone before us with the sign of faith and now rest from their labors; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom be glory and honor, now and forevermore.
Source: LCMS Commission on Worship