Lenten Evening Prayer 18 March 2020

PRAYER Connection to the Source   

For our prayer time together, I invite you to light a candle, find a quiet space where you can relax and center.  Notice that you are breathing:)  Tune in to what happens when you breathe in and when you breathe out.  Relax into this moment of blessedness.

Enough.  These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
until now.
Until now.                               – David Whyte

Pause:  What does “enough” mean to you?  What opening have you refused…..until now?

Let’s focus on a beloved biblical text, Psalm 139, a Psalm of David found in the Old Testament.  Psalms are prayers which are often sung.  This awesome  psalm is one of PRAISE and a bit of individual lament, reminding us that God is Everywhere, always Present.  This adaptation is from Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan Merrill.  (vs.1-14, 19-24)

O my Beloved, You have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my innermost thoughts.  You find me on the journey and guide my steps: You know my strengths and my weaknesses.

Even before words rise up in prayer, Lo, You have already heard my heart call. You encompass me with love where’re I go, and your strength is my shield. Such sensitivity is too wonderful for me; it is high; boundless gratitude is my soul’s response.

Where could I go from your Spirit?  Or how could I flee from your Presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there! 
If I make my bed in darkness, You are there!
If I soar on the wings of the morning or dwell in the deepest parts of the sea, Even there your Hand will lead me, and your Love will embrace me.

If I say, “Let only darkness cover me, and the light about me be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You, the night dazzles as with the sun; the darkness is as light with You.

For you formed my inward being, You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise You, for You are to be reverenced and adored.
O that You would vanquish my fears, Beloved; O that ignorance and suffering would depart from me,
My ego separates me from true abandonment, to surrendering myself into your Hands!

Yet are these not the very thorns that focus my thoughts upon You?
Will I always need reminders to turn my face to You?  I yearn to come to You in love, to learn of your mercy and wisdom!

Search me, O my Beloved, and know my heart!  Try me and discern my thoughts!
Help me to face the darkness within me; enlighten me, that I might radiate your Love and Light!

Pause:  If you can, pray Psalm 139 aloud.  What speaks to you, what enlightens you in this prayer?

O Great Love, thank you for living and loving us in and through us.  May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings.  In this time of trial and anxiety, when we don’t know what is happening today or tomorrow, be our Strength, our Foundation, our Source & Light, our Enough.

Join us our mid-week service (18 March 2020) of Holden Evening Prayer with a reflection on “Letting Go” by Pastoral Intern Rachel Johnson.