10 March 2019

Praying through Lent with
USPG (5): 10 March 2019

‘Jesus is aided by Simon’ … Station V in Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, Co Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Patrick Comerford

Today is the First Sunday in Lent [10 March 2019]. Later this morning, I am presiding and preaching at the Parish Eucharist in Castletown Church, Co Limerick (9.30 a.m.), and at Morning Prayer in Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale, Co Limerick (11.30 a.m.).

During Lent this year, I am using the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections.

USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential, and champion justice. It was founded in 1701.

This week (10-16 March), the USPG Prayer Diary is focussing on India.

This morning [10 March 2019], the diary publishes an article based on a report on the Institute of Pastoral Management (IPM) run by the Church of South India:

In India, pastors have many responsibilities and are trained to lead worship. However, many lack the leadership experience and practical skills that their congregation expect and need of them.

The Institute of Pastoral Management provides training on subjects such as legislation, administration, personal development and financial management. Many of these Pastors work in rural areas where literacy rates are low and there is a great need for them to share these skills with others in the community and give appropriate guidance.

One way in which these skills are taught is through Bible Studies where participants are helped to read the Bible passages from a management perspective. In this way, the Revd E. Prabhaker, a Pastor from Medak Diocese, has gained the confidence to run Bible Studies for rural youth and women.

Participants from the programme have expressed their increased confidence to serve their communities and to be able to deal with issues that arise, or change their administration practices so they are complying with the law.

Sunday 10 March 2019, The First Sunday in Lent :

Gracious God, when our world feels like a wilderness and we are tempted to bury our head in the sand, help us to know our weakness and your power to save, that we may turn our eyes to the light to discover fresh insights and new paths and be renewed by a change of heart.

Readings: Deuteronomy 26: 1-11; Psalm 91: 1-2, 9-16; Romans 10: 8b-13; Luke 4: 1-13.

The Collect:

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness,
and was tempted as we are, yet without sin:
Give us grace to discipline ourselves
in obedience to your Spirit;
and, as you know our weakness,
so may we know your power to save;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lenten Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Post Communion Prayer:

Lord God,
you renew us with the living bread from heaven.
Nourish our faith,
increase our hope,
strengthen our love,
and enable us to live by every word
that proceeds from out of your mouth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s Reflection

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