Prayers for Lent and Easter

Good Friday services

When using the Reproaches it is important to remember that Jesus’ words are to be understood as applying to the present Church, rather than to his own contemporaries.  Here, ‘Israel’ and ‘my people’ stand for the Church, and we are to hear the Reproaches as directed to our own hardness of heart and failure of discipleship.


A prayer for Shrove Tuesday

On this Shrove Tuesday, Lord help us to enjoy and give thanks to you for the bounty you provide for us and remind us to share your gifts with others. And as Lent begins tomorrow, prepare our hearts and minds to reflect upon the temptation of Jesus for 40 days and nights and what that means for us. Amen

As Christians use the Lent period to prepare themselves for God's great act of self-giving on Calvary, Dr Deidre Homer, a Methodist local preacher in training, reflects on the need for Christians to undertake their own self-giving - responding to God's activity in the world by acting on behalf of those around us.

These prayers are offered for private and public use, and as a stimulus to others prayers and reflections. Feel free to print these out for your use.

1. Call to action
2. Prayer of Confession
3. Prayers for others


Call to action

The Israelite prophet Micah said:
"What does the Lord require of you? Only to act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

God of mercy and source of justice,
pour on your people such love and compassion that

we cannot remain silent,
we cannot tolerate injustice and poverty.

As your grace fills our hearts
so may we be stirred into action
to demonstrate your love for all the world
and for all creatures that live and move on this earth.

Prayer of Confession

Forgive us Lord for our apathy,
for our lack of courage to speak out.
Forgive us when we walk past and don't offer help.
Forgive us when we get it wrong.

We confess that we are afraid -
we don't want to overcome our hidden doubts and prejudices
in order to be alongside those who are different from ourselves.
We ask that you would lead us into action:
give us strength to be a voice crying for justice and peace.
Help us to step into another person's shoes,
or if they have no shoes
then not to be afraid to take off our own,

peel off our preconceptions and assumptions,
uncurl and spread out our toes, and
tread in their footprints.

May we be a liberating presence
and offer love, compassion and whatever is needed
to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

Prayers for others

God of mercy and love let us serve you in our world
We pray for desert people,

who live in a dry, parched land
who lack water
who travel constantly

so that they might live.
Give them living water.
Let the deserts bloom into flower.
We pray that those who work on climate change
may find solutions so that the erosion of soil may be halted or reversed.
We pray that water and other vital supplies might not be used as a weapon of war
in countries where resources are scarce.

God of mercy and love let us serve you in our world

We pray for countries where justice seems far away,
where human rights are ignored.

Let us remind those in power that prisoners are not forgotten.

We pray that the dignity of life is respected
and remember those who have lost that dignity
through age or infirmity or neglect.
We pray for situations

where the sex of a baby may lead to abandonment,
where women are not offered the same opportunities,
or are actively demeaned or mutilated.

May we act to challenge injustice
and seek to affirm your love for all humankind.

God of mercy and love let us serve you in our world

We pray for those who have no peace -

for those who are troubled and torn apart by lack of self esteem
for those who torment and victimise the vulnerable.

We pray for men and women affected by violence in the home
and for those who live by violence.

We pray for those who are trafficked
and for those who organise and profit from selling other humans.

May they learn of your love
and somehow come to newness of life
even in the midst of despair.

God of mercy and love let us serve you in our world

Loving Lord let us not stand aside and tolerate

lack of basic human resources,
dehumanising practices,
or the use of violence to disempower your people.

Give us strength to act and challenge hatred,
and instead bring your justice and mercy.
In your name we humbly ask that we may be a channel for your peace and love.

Six short prayers for the Lenten period

Lord, as we enter Lent help us to draw near to you in praise, stripping away all that distracts us from worship. Amen

As Jesus resisted temptation by the devil in the wilderness, help us reflect on his faithfulness to God, his rejection of worldly values and hold these thoughts in our hearts throughout Lent and beyond. Amen

Jesus, you prayed and fasted. As your disciple teach me about spiritual discipline in my relationship with you. Amen

Lord may Lent be a time of inward searching that makes me more able to look with compassion at the needs of the world. Amen

Thank you Lord for desert experiences, when being confronted with myself makes me realise my need of you. Amen

Lord, you've guided us through the difficult days of Lent, encouraging us along the way. We pray as we move towards the darkest day, that you'll not forsake us but remind us of our Saviour's ultimate gift and promise of new, abundant, eternal life for all who believe and trust in him, your precious son, Jesus. Amen

Easter Prayer

This prayer has been written by the Revd Michaela Youngson.

You could use this in your small group, on your own, or in your church services during Easter.

When everything was dark
and it seemed that the sun would never shine again,
your love broke through.

Your love was too strong,
too wide,
too deep
for death to hold.

The sparks cast by your love
dance and spread
and burst forth
with resurrection light.

Gracious God,
We praise you for the light of new life
made possible through Jesus.
We praise you for the light of new life
that shone on the first witnesses of resurrection.
We praise you for the light of new life
that continues to shine in our hearts today.

We pray that the Easter light of life, hope and joy,
will live in us each day;
and that we will be bearers of that light
into the lives of others.

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