Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
In my experience in praying with Scripture, sometime God’s Word whispers gently into the corners of my heart, drawing me in, and other times His Word roars passionately in a way that resonates with something deep within me. And today’s first reading from Isaiah is definitely a shout right into the depths of my heart kind of reading. I love so much about this passage and I honestly could (and have) spent hours praying with it, but the one thing that reaches out and grabs me the most is right at the very end where God tells us (through Isaiah): “I will never forget you.”
Wow, even as I type that something in my heart stirs. That’s ultimately what we want, isn’t it? To be remembered and chosen; to be important enough to someone that they will remain faithful to us always. And this is what God has promises us, his enduring love, his unfailing faithfulness.
But what makes this whole thing even more stark and awesome (note: here I mean awesome as in actually, legitimately awe-inspiring) is the fact that this Scripture verse comes to us in the middle of the season of Lent. In the middle of a time that is filled with fasting and dying to self and remembering Christ’s suffering and death. It is so incredibly telling of who our Father is that in the middle of a Liturgical season that is so focused on suffering and death, He chooses to remind us that we will never be forgotten. I mean how insane is it that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that he refuses to let us suffer without Him. I mean, just wow. Let that reality sink in.
Your Father loves you so much that even in suffering and death he longs to be by your side. But the question that rises to my heart is, do I let Him? My Father longs to be at my side, even in (and maybe more accurately, especially in) the pain and suffering, will I let Him? Will I let Him walk with me and love me in the trials? Or do I think I’m strong enough without Him? Do I fall into the trap of believing that the only one I can rely on is me? Today, let us ask our Heavenly Father for the grace to let ourselves be accompanied by Him on our very own road to Calvary. Amen.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Are you letting God in? Or are you trying to rely on your own strength?
Where have you seen the Lord walking by your side this Lent?
Who are you accompanying on the path to heaven?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"I will never forget you."
"You suffer with me."
"You are with me."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Let God in. Enter into the agony in the garden with our Lord and allow Him to suffer alongside you.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Lauren Wright, a Youth Minister in Rockford, IL.
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