ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The first part of the Collect Prayer for the 2nd Sunday in Lent speaks of our inability to help ourselves. This connects with the Collect Prayer for Lent that asks God to “create and make in us new and contrite hearts.” We need God’s help to protect us from all adversaries. This is especially true of adversaries that attack and undermine our faith in Jesus Christ. The primary point of attack is often with the premise of not having the power of ourselves to help ourselves. In our culture where we laud the virtues of self-defense and self-government, we can have the tendency to let these ideals seep into our approach to Holy Scripture and our life in Jesus Christ. The enemies of our souls will do all they can to exploit this area of vulnerability. It is freeing to admit we need help from God. It is empowering to ask for His help. In such honesty, we are ready to submit to His help, as we will discuss in the second part of the Collect Prayer for this week.