Lent: Starting the Fast (Monday after Sexagesima)

Lord, you have created this world with all its abundance, and you daily and richly provide for me and all creatures.

You gave your Son Jesus as redeemer of us sinful humans–not out of obligation on your part or merit on ours, but solely on account of your love and gracious mercy.

I need not, and indeed cannot, atone for my sins. Jesus has done so perfectly, and gives me his full and complete righteousness.

I want to echo your love in my heart and life. Not out of obligation, and not to earn merit, I want for a time to turn my attention from satisfying my physical hunger. You graciously provide food for me along with all other things I need. I receive your gifts with thankfulness and gladness. Yet without discipline, abundance can lead to complacency and slothfulness.

I do not want to be ruled by the cravings of my body. I want to be ruled only by you. Continually receiving your grace, I want to meditate on your law and strive to better learn it and live it.

As you daily and richly provide, I can do no other than receive your providence. Though my fast may at first seem to be my sacrifice for you, I know that really it will prove to be an emptying out so that I will be able to receive even more wonderful and bountiful blessings from you. I can never stop receiving from you, even as you never stop giving. Let the seed that you sow in my life bear the fruit that you intend.

Bless me as I begin this Lenten fast. Preserve and increase my faith and health. Let me grow in humility and piety, to the end that I may know you better and serve you more faithfully. Support me daily to exercise my volition to intentionally strive to live as your redeemed prodigal son. Grant me wisdom so that I may know how best to do this.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

David Rueter 2/28/2022

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