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O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom you have given a fervent desire to pray, may, by your mighty aid, be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Look at this simple image.  What is the first thing you notice? Look again and focus on something that captures your attention.  Is it the obvious microphone attached to the podium?  Or perhaps the speaker’s notes? Or does your attention wander to the window through which you see the flowering plants.  Imagine who is speaking, the tone of voice, and what you hear.

Reflect.  So many of our prayers include the words “Lord, Hear Us.”  Those simple words or perhaps adorned with “graciously,” or “in your mercy.”  Today’s Collect reminds us of the Divine gift of prayer, that provides us with defense and comfort against all that is evil.  Consider times when you have wondered if the Lord has indeed heard your fervent prayers.  Times when your prayers were met with what seemed like silence or non-response. Times when you wanted to shout, or to have a microphone to amplify your voice.  What was that like?  Now think about the needs of the world, when so many are calling out to us, begging with the words, “Hear Us!”  What voices do you hear?

Act.  Focus on one voice.  One need. One person or one group that calls to you.  Give an indication that you have heard.  Respond.  Take a step.  What will that step be?

Thanks for taking part in New and Contrite Hearts. Your comments are very welcome—let others know what you saw and experienced. Until next time, may you have a most blessed Lent.

Music: “Ambient Sonata”  /Album:  Ambient Sonata  /Artist: Dee Yan-Key

Image:   “Mic ”   /Place: Baltimore, MD       /Photographer: Jon Shematek