All pray together:

Loving Lord of life; as we journey through this holy season of Lent, give us grace and strength to make the changes that are needed in our lives, and in so doing, may we be open to your leading. Keep us mindful that you are with us in every moment, offering us the strength and creativity to choose what is right. Amen.

Unison Confession:

God, this is a hard time. The focus of Lent is on the pain and suffering of Jesus and our own need for penitence. It is a time of gathering darkness. But we would rather skip this part and go straight to Easter. We would rather ignore the suffering—in you and in the world—and avoid the hard work of true self-examination. Forgive us for wanting this to be bright and painless and easy, when we know that Jesus did not take the easy way, but chose the path of the Cross. Teach us the true meaning of penitence, so that we use this Lenten season to humbly seek a clean heart and a renewed spirit. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayer (all pray together):

Accomplish in us, O God, the work of your salvation that we may show forth the transformative power of your love.

By the life and death and transformation of Jesus Christ, bring our minds and hearts to such a depth of understanding that we, too, accept the full promise and challenge of your love.  Amen.