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And save us when we fall

Thanks to Jason for posting this confession, which I utilized last night in our Ash Wednesday service (which went very well, I believe). A worth confession for many of us indeed.

Vision and mirage

Lord Jesus, you have faced temptation;
you know how difficult it can be
to distinguish between vision and mirage,
between truth and falsehood.

Lord, help us when we are tempted:
And save us when we fall.

Help us in the church:
when we confuse absence of conflict with the peace of God;
when we equate the shaping of ecclesiastical structures with serving you in the world;
when we imagine that our task is to preserve rather than to put at risk;
when we behave as though your presence in life were a past event rather than a contemporary encounter.

Lord, help us when we are tempted:
And save us when we fall.

Help us in the world:
when we use meaningless chatter to avoid real dialogue;
when we allow the image presented by the media to blind us to the substance that lies behind it;
when we confuse privilege with responsibility, and claim rights when we should acknowledge duties;
when we allow high-sounding reasons to cover evil actions.

Lord, help us when we are tempted:
And save us when we fall.

We pray for all who have been brought to the edge of their endurance;
for those whose pain is unending;
for those for whom the earth is a cruel desert and existence a constant struggle against overwhelming odds;
for those who suffer through their own folly or through the malice or folly of others.

Lord, help us when we are tempted:
And save us when we fall.

Lord Jesus, you have passed through the test of suffering,
and are able to help those who are meeting their test now.

Lord, help us when we are tempted:
And be with us to the end.

– Terry C. Falla, ed., Be Our Freedom Lord: Responsive Prayers and Readings for Contemporary Worship (Adelaide: OpenBook Publishers, 1994), 306–7.

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