Scotty Smith’s Ash Wednesday Prayer: “Over these next forty days give us an insatiable hunger for yourself”

February 14, 2013

I was not able to post this yesterday, but even though it was written for Ash Wednesday, I think it makes a good reminder as we look ahead to the rest of Lent. May God give us grace this Lent not to focus on whatever we may be giving up, but to focus on “getting more of Jesus,” living and delighting more in His grace and beauty. I add my very hearty Amen to what Pastor Scotty Smith has written and prayed!

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday and a Grace-full Lent

And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.” Mark 2:19-20

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:17-19

Dear Lord Jesus, it’s Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. For the next forty days we have the privilege of surveying your cross and acknowledging our need. For your glory and our growth, we ask you to inundate us with fresh grace in the coming weeks.

Indeed, we don’t want an ordinary Lenten season, Jesus. Melt us in your mercies; overwhelm us with your love; astonish us with your kindness, for your it’s your kindness that leads us to repentance. It’s all about you, Lord Jesus. It is all about what you’ve done for us, not what we promise to do for you. It’s not about beating ourselves up, it’s about lifting you up. Our deepest conviction of sin comes from the clearest sighting of your beauty.

That’s why we begin Lent today anticipating our wedding, not our funeral; for you are the loving bridegroom who died to make us your cherished bride. The work’s already done; the dowry has been paid in full; the wedding dress of your righteousness is already ours; the invitations have been sent out; the date has been secured; you’ll not change your mind about us! We are much more beloved than we are broken. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Over these next forty days give us an insatiable hunger for yourself; reveal new dimensions of your love; intensify our longing for the Day of your return—the Day of consummate joy—the wedding feast of the Lamb.

In light of that banquet, we choose to deny ourselves (fast from) certain pleasures for this brief season; but we’re not looking to get one thing from you, Jesus—just more of you. Fill our hearts with your beauty and bounty. So very Amen we pray, in your holy and loving name.

From Heavenward

P.S.  And even if the good Anglicans among us blanch a little bit at Pastor Scotty’s triple “Hallelujah” in the prayer above (horrors!  on Ash Wednesday!!  grin….) I pray that we would be so refreshed in the joy of the Lord this Lent that the Hallelujahs for God’s LAVISH grace, mercy and promises would well up and flood our hearts, even if they remain unspoken on our lips.  May we have a torrent of Hallelujahs (or Alleluias!) to release on Easter morn.

Omnipotent Lord, My Savior and King

February 14, 2013

Hymn by Charles Wesley. Charlotte Brontë de­scribes this hymn in Shir­ley, chap. ix, as sung in ‘Bri­ar Cha­pel, a large, new, raw, Wes­ley­an place of wor­ship.’

As there was even now a pray­er-meet­ing be­ing held with­in its walls, the il­lum­in­a­tion of its win­dows cast a bright re­flect­ion on the road, while a hymn of a most ex­tra­or­din­a­ry de­script­ion, such as a ve­ry Quak­er might feel him­self moved by the Spir­it to dance to, roused cheer­i­ly all the echoes of the vic­in­age, “O who can ex­plain this strug­gle for life.”’

Omnipotent Lord, my Savior and King,
Thy succor afford, Thy righteousness bring;
Thy promises bind Thee compassion to have,
Now, now let me find Thee almighty to save.

Rejoicing in hope, and patient in grief,
To Thee I look up for certain relief;
I fear no denial, no danger I fear,
Nor start from the trial, while Jesus is near.

I every hour in jeopardy stand;
But Thou art my power, and holdest my hand;
While yet I am calling, Thy succor I feel,
It saves me from falling, or plucks me from hell.

O who can explain this struggle for life!
This travail and pain, this trembling and strife!
Plague, earthquake, and famine, and tumult, and war,
The wonderful coming of Jesus declare.

For every fight is dreadful and loud,
The warrior’s delight is slaughter and blood,
His foes overturning, till all shall expire;
But this is with burning and fuel of fire.

Yet God is above men, devils, and sin,
My Jesus’ love the battle shall win,
So terribly glorious His coming shall be,
His love all victorious shall conquer for me.

He all shall break through; His truth and His grace
Shall bring me into the plentiful place,
Through much tribulation, through water and fire,
Through floods of temptation, and flames of desire.

On Jesus, my power, till then I rely,
All evil before His presence shall fly;
When I have my Savior, my sin shall depart
And Jesus for ever shall reign in my heart


John 1:29-34

February 14, 2013

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for he was before me.’ I did not know him; but that he should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.” And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and he remained upon him. I did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34)

      Holy Spirit, descend on us. Fill us with the fire of your love. Give us such a love for Jesus that we will be compelled out into our communities and workplaces to share the good news of what Jesus has done for us. Help us daily share the Father’s love with others. Thank you.

Thursday: 37:1-18; *; 37:19-42; Deut. 7:6-11; Titus 1:1-16; John 1:29-34
Friday: 95* & 31; *; 35; Deut. 7:12-16; Titus 2:1-15; John 1:35-42

      Notes from the Front Line

***** From: Nigel Mumford
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Do you say Grace over your food?
May I suggest you say Grace over your medications.
Pray that they will hit the target, do what they are supposed to do and and have no side effects.
I am praying for your healing in Jesus name.
~Fr. Nigel Mumford+

Ps. For more information read Sirach 38:4-8 (Apocrypha)
4 The Lord created medicines from the earth, and a sensible person will not hesitate to use them. 5 Didn’t a tree once make bitter water fit to drink, so that the Lord’s power[b] might be known? 6 He gave medical knowledge to human beings, so that we would praise him for the miracles he performs. 7-8 The druggist mixes these medicines, and the doctor will use them to cure diseases and ease pain. There is no end to the activities of the Lord, who gives health to the people of the world.

Repent this Lent. Have a Holy Hunger this Lent. Have a Holy Thirst. Go to the well four times a day at least… Ingest “The Word. ” Grab it, take a hold of it. Shove it in your ear. Be filled with the very love of the Very God from Very God. Have no doubt. Get a quiver in your liver as my friend J.John puts it. Smile, Aslan is on the move. Got it? ~ Fr. Nigel Mumford+

Albany Intercessor

Lent Quotes: Dean Robert Munday – What Lent Should Really Be All About

February 14, 2013

Dean Robert Munday of Nashotah House seminary posted an excellent comment about Lent at the blog Stand Firm.  His words provide a great perspective on what Lent should really be all about:

We would do well to remember the purposes for which Jesus spent 40 days fasting and praying in the wilderness.  He had no sins for which he needed to atone.  We have no sins for which we are capable of atoning.  If we could, what He did for us—what He had to do for us—would not have been necessary.

In a holy Lent, we need to spend time being reminded of our need to trust in the providence of God (“Do not put the Lord your God to the test”), the supremacy of God (“Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only”), and the sufficiency of His Word (“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”).

So Lent is really much more about what God adds to our lives as we spend intentional, focused time with Him rather than what we give up, because the Gospel is always about what God has done for us, not about what we do for Him.

You can read the full comment (and the original article and other comments) here.

Update:  Dean Munday expanded on his comment in a post at his blog.  Here’s the link to his entry.

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