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Prayers of the people: First Sunday in Lent Year C, 10 March

28 February 2019

Introductory reflection

When we pray ‘Lead us not into temptation,’ it is not our petty vices that we seek freedom from. What is at stake is altogether of a different scale, as today’s gospel makes clear. In terms of salvation history, Jesus reverses the failure of his ancestral people to keep faith with God on their epic journey of liberation. In terms of the human condition, he exposes the demonic forces that lay claim to our hearts: the desire for power, autonomy and material security. Paradoxically, Jesus disarms the Tempter not by force but by surrender – to the saving power of God. In an age of aggressive self-assertion, it’s a timely example.

The week’s prayer focus          

For all who are tempted to use power abusively, that they will choose the path of service instead.

Sample intercessions

These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns.


Dear friends, alone and hungry and tempted to renounce his humanity, Jesus reaffirms his supreme trust in God. With faith like his, let us call on God to hear and heed our prayer.


  1. We pray for Pope Francis, bishops everywhere and all faith leaders. May they follow the example of Jesus who came not to be served but to serve. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  2. We pray for all who have suffered abuse from religious personnel. May their testimony bear fruit in a purified church in which all children are safe. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  3. We pray for the church in Australia at this time of weakness and shame. May our Lenten season of repentance lead us to a new and vibrant confession of faith. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  4. We pray for the village children of Zimbabwe with little access to clean water. May our contributions to Project Compassion light a beacon of hope for them. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  5. We pray for all who are in search of salvation. May they know in their hearts the mercy of God and come to praise God’s name in word and deed. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  6. We pray for the starving and dying people of Yemen, especially the children. May the warring parties allow desperately needed humanitarian aid to be delivered. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  7. We pray for the Indigenous peoples of Australia and the Torres Strait. May efforts to raise their healthcare outcomes to national levels gain the support and funding they need. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  8. We pray for local communities around the country. May they appreciate the beneficial role of neighbourhood parks, look after them well, and make good use of them. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  9. We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May they be led through the darkness of death to the light of life. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.


Saving God, in ancient times you led your people through wilderness to the promised land. Bless us now as we start our desert journey with Jesus, your beloved Son, who is Lord for ever and ever.


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