Lenten Prayer Toolbox

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Week of March 13

Petition: Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.| Preaching Text: Psalm 147:1-6 | Prayer Practice: The Examen | Prayer Tool: Nail

What does it look like for God’s will to be done on earth as in heaven? In his ministry, Jesus invites us to be part of building God’s kingdom of love, mercy and justice on earth, now. We can only do that because God’s Holy Spirit works in and through us. The prayer tool this week is the nail. Nails are essential for building. When we desire for God to use us in building his kingdom, we need to listen for God’s guidance. One way of listening is by praying The Examen.

The Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern God’s direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in and through our lives. You can learn more about The Examen here.

This week try a simplified version of The Examen by praying twice a day. In the morning, our prayer is for God’s Spirit to help us pay attention:

Show me today how I/we can help build up your Kingdom in me/us, around me/us and beyond me/us.
The evening is for reflection. Ask yourself: Which of my words and actions today helped to build others up? Which words and actions tore others down?

Write your responses down each day to help you notice any patterns. Offer a prayer of thanks for the moments of building up and ask God for forgiveness for the moments that tore others down.

Week of March 6 (Ash Wednesday)

Petition: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name | Preaching Text: Psalm 18:1-6 | Prayer Practice: Praying through the Word | Prayer Tool: Lettered Tile

Jesus starts the Lord’s Prayer by declaring that the name of our heavenly Father is holy. Jesus starts by celebrating who God is. We can use our own words to celebrate God’s character—the qualities that describe God and how God is for us. We also go into the Word of God in the Bible to discover a fuller picture of who God is. The Word gives us language to celebrate who God is and what God is up to in the world and in our lives.

Each day this week, choose a Bible passage to read. Try reading it out loud—to slow you down and help take in the words. Then answer the following questions:

  • What words or details stood out to you as you read?
  • What does this passage say about who God is?
  • What does this passage say about what God values?

The prayer tool this week is the lettered tile. It reminds us of God’s Word. Hold it in your hand or, if you’re praying in a group, place it in the center of the circle and offer a prayer of thanks to God, celebrating God’s character and the ways God cares for us. Speak simply and from your heart. Your words don’t have to be fancy.

You can choose whatever Bible passages you’d like. Below are some ideas:
Psalm 18:1-6 | Colossians 3:12-17 | Genesis 1:1-2:4 | John 1:1-18 | Galatians 5:22-26 | Luke 11:1-13 | Isaiah 43:1-7 | Matthew 6:25-34 | Psalm 139:1-18

Click here for the SPARK children’s devotional.