Pray for the church

eep watch over your Church, O Lord, with your unfailing love; and, since it is grounded in human weakness and cannot maintain itself without your aid, protect it from all danger, and keep it in the way of salvation; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

We are seeing now in this third week in Lent petitions for protection as a regular theme. Whereas in the beginning of Lent our focus was more on Lenten disciplines about prayer and fasting and giving alms as well as repentance and humility, this week we are more and more appealing to God for protection. Who says Lent is always about abstinence or discipline? One of the main "goals" of Lent is for us to remember that we are completely dependent on God.

Today we especially pray for the Church and recognize it as a human institution and as such is as susceptible to going astray as are we the people. The Church also is completely dependent on God to keep the church focused on salvation. Just as we in our human frailty miss the mark, go down the wrong path, mistakenly pursue human goals and standards so does the Church. So we ask God to keep watch not only over us but over the Church and direct the Church just as God directs us. And in our praying also remind ourselves that the Church cannot maintain itself without God's help.

Pray for the church.