Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
This prayer begins, as do all collects, by naming the God we are addressing. In this case, we are talking to God the Father, almighty, whose son was tempted, to God the Holy Spirit who took Jesus into the wilderness, to God the son who faced temptation. This triune God, experiencing the temptation of Jesus from these roles, is certainly a God who can understand whatever temptations we face.
On the very first Sunday in Lent – only a few days since Ash Wednesday – we ask God to come quickly. Already we want to break our fasting commitments. Already we are slow to follow through with developing new disciplines. We – as always – need God’s help quickly!
We confess that we are assaulted by many temptations and that we are weak. Each of us can individualize this part of the prayer, thinking of our own temptations, whether related to our Lenten commitments, or simply as part of our particular faults. But we can also recognize the corporate nature of “us who are assaulted,” that is, the temptations of the church as the people of God. We, as the church, are tempted to many things: gain, control, safety, power, relevancy, and so on.
The request ends with a plea that each of us would find God mighty to save. Amen to that! Let it be! We are weak, we are tempted. We need God’s quick help. We need God’s power to rescue us. May the triune God make it so in us and in the church. Amen.