A prayer as we enter Lent


Two days from now I’ll be reading and singing and praying with my brothers and sisters, then lining up with them, slowly moving toward the front of the sanctuary where a fellow human will look each of us in the eye and mark a cross of ash on each forehead, reminding us that we are dust. Loved dust.

As we begin once more this journey with Jesus toward the cross, I find myself drawn back to words that I prayed several years ago. They are still my prayer:

Jesus, as we prepare to enter Lent this week, my mind wanders back to St. Anselm who wrote a theology text and then rewrote the whole thing as prayer; it had seemed to him all wrong to talk about you as though you weren’t right there listening to the conversation, initiating it, allowing us to know you at all.

You are one who stands at the threshold, calling us into this journey with you.

You are the one who invites us to come closer, to lay our head on your chest, our ear pressed up tight against the deep lub-dub of your heartbeat.

You are the one in whom our journey ends.

We speak of Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday as though we know the whole story. We know it only a little bit. We need to know it again, to live it more deeply, to walk through it hand in hand with you. We need you to point out the details and show us how our stories mingle with and flow from yours.

Teach us, we pray, what it means to be human.

Shape in us your heart’s love-beat.

Satisfy our longing, and help us long more deeply still.

Mighty God made one of us, love us closer to you as we walk these weeks together toward death and then on through death into life that can never be broken.


Taking it further: For some wonderfully practical thoughts on how to cooperate with God as He uses this season of Lent to help shape in us His heartbeat of love, check out Kasey Kimball’s article, Freedom to Love: The Heart of Lent

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Janna. Lock

    Oh that was beautiful , So very true. So lovely. We are but dust but I rarely think of that. Our ultimate healing is death it is only then that we will completely be with Jesus.

  2. Claudia

    How beautiful!! So much so that I’d like to understand every bit of it (smile). I’m wondering about that last sentence, which starts with “Mighty God made one of us” -is there a word missing or am I missing something?

    1. hearingtheheartbeat

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Claudia, and thanks for checking about that last line! I was meaning it as “Mighty God (who was) made one of us (in Jesus, the God-man).” Does that make it clearer? Now that you ask, I can see how it could easily be read in a couple of different ways.

      1. Claudia

        Yes, thank you Carolyn – that does make sense. I think I stumbled over Mighty God in connection with the passive verb form “made” – as if Mighty God was being made… and here’s what I stumbled over: made by who? Now we ‘re deep into the mystery of the Trinity, I guess (smile). So would it be like, “Mighty God who made Himself one of us in Jesus” or is that different from what you were trying to express?

        1. hearingtheheartbeat

          Yes, that’s it exactly! Thank you, Claudia.

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