God of power and grace, even as we acknowledge the reality of death and ashes, help us boldly to proclaim the hope of your new life in Christ. Although we keep our Alleluias in silence for this season, let nothing silence the good news we proclaim throughout our lives.

When voices of power, status, or self-righteousness beckon us, may we bear witness to the love that gives itself away in service to the least of your people.

When we fear for the well-being of our families, our communities, or our churches, may we turn again to the One, Jesus Christ, in whom is salvation and peace.

At this time when parties clash over visions of the future, when nations rage against one another, when governments turn violence against their people, may your healing and reconciliation embrace all people.

In a season when many in our community work to recover from illnesses, struggle to put food on the table, or wait in the dark shadows of grief, may we be your instruments of healing, hope, and kindness.

As we enter a season of prayer and reflection, open our hearts, minds, and souls to care for those whom we only recognize in the mystery of our hearts…

Hear our prayers, Lord God, as we lift them in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray as we say now together: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.”