SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:5-15. New Living Testament

Jesus said: "And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father. who knows all secrets, will reward you.

When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don't be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him.*

*Jesus was not condemning praying while standing up. (See Luke 18:9-14). Attitude was the issue.

Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,

may your name be honored.

May your Kingdom come soon.

May your will be done here on earth,

just as it is in heaven.

Give us our food for today,

and forgive us our sins,

just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.

And don't let us yield to temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

If you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgiver others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Jesus not only tells us how to pray/ AND how NOT to pray, He gives us a prayer we can pray every day. Some love to pray the Psalms.

Today, March 2, is Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent. Some Christians observe this festival, others not. Many decide to give up something they love, sweets or even social media. Others may decide to take up something, such as helping more at home or make an effort to be nicer. I also remember being in grade school when fellow classmates came to school with a cross on their forehead in honor of Lent. Pretty sure that is also why we had fish for our school lunches every Friday. I liked it.

During this time of 40 days, our thoughts are focused on the events leading up to the death of Christ whose life and teachings are the foundation of Christianity. Lent ends with Holy Week with the climax of Easter Sunday. That day marks the resurrection of Jesus after his death on a cross and is a celebration of his life.

Now, I'm still upset over the scenes in Ukraine. Many have left and when they crossed the border were met with kindness, food and warm blankets. It was also reported that the 40 mile line of tanks and heavy trucks contain all ages of soldiers who do not have enough supplies for their assigned undertaking. Neither do the people who stayed in Ukraine since the grocery supplies are scarce.

Are you upset? If we are upset with food and warmth . . how must those enduring many scarcities of comfort, not to mention being separated from their families . . how upset must they be?

PRAY! PRAY for this situation in Ukraine! GOD hears our prayers!!

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