Open the doors of mercy to us O God, as we come broken and dejected into your presence. Our rejected selves are always looking for mercy from you. We come naked to be clothed by your mercy, we come dressed to be stripped into being merciful. We are all sinners and yet there is the great possibility of being mercy givers. Help us God to rid ourselves of all that prevents us to love and become God bearers not by being holy but by being merciful. Amen.
Let us give thanks to God for having being created as we are, with all the gifts and creativity we have received. We thank you merciful God for our parents and siblings, our family members, partner, friends, colleagues, co-participants and all those who have put in small pieces of our puzzle so that we can live a smooth life. Every second dear God is a gift. We are thankful to you God for giving us this moment. Amen.
Confession (In unison)
We confess our shortcomings of looking back and looking beyond O God our creator and in the process forgetting the moment. We have rejected what we can do in the moment and have instead got stuck in the past and are fearful of our future. Forgive our sins of silence, ignorance, hurting others, being insensitive, defensive and using our temporary positions to hurt others. Amen.
Forgiving and receiving forgiveness is the most exciting and soothing experience one can have. God forgives us and in it God is pleased and happy. By being absolved of our sins we become free to move on and work for the benefit of God’s creation, more effective and more involved than before. May God forgive us all. Amen.
We pray gracious God for all those who are confused about their self. What is confusion for us is only the path chosen by them. May people choose the land they want to stay in, the occupation they want to do, the preferences they have, the food they want to eat and the life style they want to have. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray merciful God that all forms of violence are shunned in society and that people may never take recourse in violence as a solution to a perceived problem. May mob violence, genocide, hate crimes, state violence, war and struggles involving loss to innocent lives come to an end. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray loving God for preparation and patience to start the lent in the hope that we will experience the life and passion of Christ and be led to the experience of resurrection. May lent mean not just diet restrictions but whole hearted change of heart to accept each other as they are and as they want to be. May lent be a time to change ourselves and not others. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray for the retreat leader, for those who are attending the Quiet day retreat and those who haven’t been able to make it due to various reasons. May the soothing and comforting presence of the Holy Spirit be with us and guide us to being in fellowship with one another and may we be strengthened to do God’s work in whichever way we can. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Let us pray for our personal needs………….Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Affirmation of faith (All together)
We affirm that the creator God created us to live in peace and harmony and to be in dialogue with all. Differences are normal and dialogue is the only way to understand and accept what others are experiencing. Our mandate is to be in constant dialogue and we affirm that the absence of this creates tension and trouble and stands far from what God hopes for.
We affirm that the crucified Lord sought to speak even when remaining silent. Christ’s death on the cross was a reaching out to all who spoke the language of violence and hatred. By preaching Christ we have to also reach out to all within and outside. Our quest for dialogue should be inspired by the cross.
We affirm that the Holy Spirit moves people towards understanding and coming together. In the midst of diversity we understand that the Holy Spirit will move us to stand firm in our commitment to offer hope to the hopeless. Our faith in God transcends all tangible and intangible barriers of discontent from within.
We affirm that there cannot be hope without social justice and that the poor and marginalized have to experience hope first. Hope cannot be for a few but should be for all to feel and experience amidst the diverse contexts of injustice in our world. Hope for a few is no hope at all. Women and men together have to experience hope in its entirety.
We affirm that the communicator God inspires us to be prophetic voices of hope in society. Through strong voices we should accept our call to bring hope and change in our living contexts. The hope of resurrection was visually seen and understood by women who lived in unshakeable hope. They then passed it on to the men who had almost lost it. Amen.
Our God, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Violence and taking life is never a solution to anything. Let us pray that we never use violence of any form, through words, actions and inactions. May the love of Christ who overturned the violence of society and religion be with us. Be assured that those who leave violence will never die but always be alive just as Christ showed us. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all now and forever more. Amen.