Litany for Defense

For those who are unfamiliar, the Lectionary is a schedule of scripture readings that covers a three year period. Each week there is a reading from the Hebrew scripture, the Epistles, the Psalms and one of the Gospels. The readings for each week will cover the major arcs of scripture over the three years.

For the past few months I have been following along each week with the Lectionary readings from the Gospel of Luke, providing a litany that is a companion to the text. The prayers I provide are intended as both petition and as a tool for spiritual formation. This week’s text is Luke 23:33-43, in which Jesus famously says "Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing." I follow the Revised Common Lectionary. I'm continually inspired by the Lectionary as it pertains to current events.


We are tempted over and over
To try to save ourselves,
Rather than put ourselves in your care.
Father, forgive us. We know not what we do.

We are tempted over and over
To use violence to further our cause,
Rather than consider mercy a victory.
Father forgive us. We know not what we do.

We are tempted over and over
To choose a savior other than Christ;
A soldier instead of a shepherd;
A political or religious leader instead of a lamb.

Keep us from temptation,
And rescue us from evil.
As Christ chose not to save himself from death by violent means,
But instead succumbed
Willingly and without defense.
So may we willingly go down into death
That we may arise as new creatures,
Awakened and alive to Christ’s kingdom.