Kyrie Eleison (say it: Kyr-ee-ay E-lay-i- son)
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
A simple, yet profound prayer. A reminder of where to put our focus during this time of Lent—on the only One who can heal our brokenness. It is taken from the Greek language, and we read the phrase all through the Old (in Hebrew) and New Testaments when people are crying out to God in desperate need. The word “mercy” has both ideas of loving kindness, and soothing healing (it is the same root word as olive oil). When we pray, “Lord, have mercy,” we are cutting out all the peripheral “extras” and getting to the point of all our need—we are dust, we have nothing to offer; you, O Lord, have everything.
Sometimes, there is just too much going on. I often want to spend more time in prayer, more time reading God’s word, more time just walking and talking with my Creator, but realistically, when I pray, my words and thoughts sound more like, “Lord, thanks for who you are (how am I going to get everything done?), thanks for all you have given (oh, I forgot to drop off those forms), forgive me for my selfishness (do I need to leave a bit early—I think my tank is on empty again), heal our world (when do I pick up my kids today?), please comfort the friend who is hurting, the one who is sick, the one in prison, the one who is grieving (how can I even think about my plans and concerns when 21 brothers in Christ were just beheaded?). Lord, have mercy.
Through this journey of Lent, may this prayer be often on our lips, “Lord, have mercy.”
Mark 7:14 (NIV)
Luke 18:9-14 (NIV)
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Submitted by Heather Armour