God of us all, Source of Life, Creation and Beauty, we ask your blessing upon us as we begin our Lenten journey. We have a long way to go. The cross is so far ahead of us that we can barely see it on the horizon.
And yet, we know it will come into view soon enough. Sometimes we feel tempted to avoid the difficulties of this season of Lent. Sometimes it just seems too much to endure, and we would rather find an easier path to travel. God, stay with us, we pray. Remind us that the journey is as vital as the destination and that we are not alone - you are with us.
In praise and thanksgiving, we are thankful for the deep blessings we experience in this life and for the assurance of your abiding and eternal presence with us. Bless all who are in need of your love - the grieving, the lost, the lonely, and all who suffer in mind, body or spirit. God, place your healing hand upon our woundedness, and grant us your peace, for we ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.