Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Ash Wednesday *


Gracious God, today begins a period of inner reflection and examination. The days stretch before me and invite me inward to that silent, holy space that holds your Spirit. This special time beckons me to see my life through Christ's eyes and the truth and reality of your love incarnate. Give me the grace to enter the space of these days with anticipation of our meeting. And, when I open my soul to your presence, let your loving kindness flow over me and seep into my heart. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.


I will arise and go to Jesus, he will embrace me in his arms;
in the arms of my dear Saviour, O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, you sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus, ready, stands to save you, full of pity, love and power.

Come, you thirsty, come, and welcome, God’s free bounty glorify;
true belief and true repentance, every grace that brings you nigh.

Come, you weary, heavy laden, lost and ruined by the fall;
if you tarry till you’re better, you will never come at all.

View him prostrate in the garden; on the ground your maker lies.
on the bloody tree behold him; sinner, will this not suffice?

Lo! the incarnate God ascended, pleads the merit of his blood:
venture on him, venture wholly, let no other trust intrude.

Let not conscience make you linger, not of fitness fondly dream;
all the fitness he requires is to feel your need of him.

I will arise and go to Jesus, he will embrace me in his arms;
in the arms of my dear Saviour, O there are ten thousand charms.

( Joseph Hart )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Ash Wednesday: remembering our dust

Today is Ash Wednesday. For Christians living in the West, it marks the beginning of Lent, a season of penance and preparation before the great celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday.

This day takes its meaning from the story of the creation of Adam in the book of "Genesis."

"Genesis," chapter two, verse seven relates: “Then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.”

Later, as Adam and Eve are being expelled from the Garden of Eden after they sinned, God declares to Adam: “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

An echo of this lives on in the Church’s burial service, where, at the cemetery, we commend the body of the deceased to the ground with the words: “earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

And so, on Ash Wednesday, in solemn services full of church liturgy, or in simpler short services, or even on street corners, train stations, or parking lots, Christians come forward and receive ashes on their foreheads while they hear the words, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Followers of Christ understand the corrupting power of sin in and around us all. We intend to do what is right, but instead, we do what is wrong. There is a continual need for us to repent, to turn back to God, to change our ways. Lent offers the followers of Jesus a time and a way to come back to God when we have strayed, or to renew our discipleship with Jesus, as he moves closer and closer to his suffering and death.

Ash Wednesday helps us come to terms with our identity as sinners, and to remember that it was said of Jesus:”This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

May all who observe Lent, experience the close presence of the Lord, in the forgiveness of their sins.

Scripture. At the beginning of "Psalm Fifty-One," we find this prayer:

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.


Let us now call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father, have mercy upon us.
God the Son, have mercy upon us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy;
in the hour of death, and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins; and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy word.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
Make our hearts clean, O God; and renew a right spirit within us.

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.


From "The Word in the Wilderness" by Malcolm Guite:

Receive this cross of ash upon your brow
brought from the burning of Palm Sunday's cross;
the forests of the world are burning now
and you make late repentance for the loss.
But all the trees of God would clap their hands,
the very stones themselves would shout and sing,
if you could covenant to love these lands
and recognise in Christ their lord and king.
He sees the slow destruction of those trees,
he weeps to see the ancient places burn,
and still you make what purchases you please
and still to dust and ashes you return.
But hope could rise from ashes even now
beginning with this sign upon your brow.


Almighty and Everliving God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new and honest hearts, so that, truly repenting of our sins, we may receive from you, the God of all mercy, full pardon and forgiveness; through your son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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