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Prayers and Reflections for Lent

We gathered for the Inspire Prayer Gathering to begin the season of Lent together. Sharing poetry, scripture and worship, we listened to the Lord together as we reflected on a number of questions. There was heart-felt sharing and the Lord was present in our prayers. We are so thankful for the communion of Saints that we are part of in this Inspire family.


Welcome dear feast of Lent: who loves not thee,
He loves not Temperance, or Authority,
But is compos’d of passion. 
The Scriptures bid us fast; the Church says, now:
Give to thy Mother, what thou wouldst allow
To ev’ry Corporation.

The humble soul compos’d of love and fear
Begins at home, and lays the burden there,
When doctrines disagree, 
He says, in things which use hath justly got,
I am a scandal to the Church, and not 
The Church is so to me.

True Christians should be glad of an occasion
To use their temperance, seeking no evasion,
When good is seasonable;
Unless Authority, which should increase
The obligation in us, make it less,
And Power itself disable.

Besides the cleanness of sweet abstinence,
Quick thoughts and motions at a small expense,
A face not fearing light: 
Whereas in fulness there are sluttish fumes,
Sour exhalations, and dishonest rheums,
Revenging the delight.

Then those same pendant profits, which the spring 
And Easter intimate, enlarge the thing,
And goodness of the deed. 
Neither ought other men’s abuse of Lent
Spoil the good use; lest by that argument
We forfeit all our Creed.

It’s true, we cannot reach Christ’s forti’eth day;
Yet to go part of that religious way,
Is better than to rest:
We cannot reach our Saviour’s purity;
Yet we are bid, ‘Be holy ev’n as he,
In both let’s do our best.

Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone,
Is much more sure to meet with him, than one
That travelleth by-ways: 
Perhaps my God, though he be far before,
May turn and take me by the hand, and more:
May strengthen my decays.

Yet Lord instruct us to improve our fast
By starving sin and taking such repast,
As may our faults control:
That ev’ry man may revel at his door,
Not in his parlour; banqueting the poor,
And among those his soul.

George Herbert 1621


1 JOHN 1

6 If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie & do not do what is true; 7 but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, & the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful & just will forgive us our sins & cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, & his word is not in us. NIRV

  • What failure are you holding on to? What fear is holding you back 
    • Who do you need to forgive for something they did or didn’t do to you?
    • What did you not support/take part in that you regret?
    • When could you have handled a situation/relationship better?
    • What task is causing you to doubt that the victory has already been gifted to us through Christ’s resurrection?



18 But the Lord looks with favour on those who respect him. He watches over those who put their hope in his faithful love. 19 He watches over them to save them from death. He wants to keep them alive when there is no food in the land. 20 We wait in hope for the Lord. He helps us. He is like a shield that keeps us safe. 21 Our hearts are full of joy because of him.  We trust in him, because he is holy. 22  Lord, may your faithful love be with us.  We put our hope in you. NRSV

  • What faith journey have you begun recently? What has God planned for you?
    • How has God shown you where & how your special gifts might be used for His kingdom in the next few months?
    • Where & when do you feel closest to God & how does He strengthen you in your tasks?
    • Who have you told about God’s leading? How might that have encouraged them to step out for the Kingdom?
    • If you were told you couldn’t fail what would you do to show how Missional Discipleship can impact your community? 


Pope Francis has said Lent is like the exodus from Egypt – a journey from slavery to freedom. He has recently used the analogy of a journey to encourage us to journey out of our comfort zones into the nitty gritty of life: “Do not settle for a desk theology. Let your place of reflection be the frontiers. […] Good theologians, like good pastors, also smell of the people and the street and, by their reflection, pour oil and wine on the wounds of men.” Motu Proprio Ad Theologiam Promovendam, November 2023

“Hope in gospel faith is not just a vague feeling that things will work out. Rather hope is the conviction, against a great deal of data, that God is tenacious and persistent in over-coming the deathliness of the world. God intends joy and peace.” W Brueggermann, A Gospel of Hope 

  • Where will you use Inspire to encourage others? How will you move out of you comfort zone? 
    • How has God blessed you in your Missional Discipleship? What commitment can you give to the School of Discipleship?
    • Who has encouraged you recently in your spiritual conversations & reading?
    • Where do you think God is leading your Inspire Band to witness?


Loving Lord, Help us to: –  
Fast from excess and feast on simplicity, 
Fast from negatives and feast on alternatives,
Fast from discontent and feast on gratitude, 
Fast from gossip and feast on silence,
Fast from self-concern and feast on compassion, 
Fast from anxiety and feast on faith.

Anglican Archbishop of Toronto, Terry Finlay,

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