Pastor’s Corner March 2017
This year Lent begins on March 1st, Ash Wednesday, one of the most solemn days of the year, when we remember our mortality and reflect on the depths of our need for God’s grace, forgiveness, and healing. A somber day that leads us into a season of reflection and prayer.
As I have challenged us to make 2017 a year of prayer, a year of deep prayer that takes into the depths of who we are and into the depths of the needs of our neighbors, I want to simply ask you to make this season of Lent a season in which you engage in daily prayer.
Pray every day, for a minute, an hour, whatever works for you. Once a day, three times a day, every chance you get, whatever works for you. Pray for yourself, for your family and friends, for whoever you know that needs prayer (though really, that’s everybody you know, plus everyone you don’t know).
Pray for healing, pray for forgiveness, pray for peace. Pray for love, pray for acceptance, pray for understanding. Pray for creation, pray for the nation, pray for leaders, pray for followers. Pray for friends, pray for enemies, pray for strangers.
The more I think about prayer, the more I have come to believe it is something we have to train ourselves to do. Prayer does not come naturally to most of us. We have to work at it, practice it, develop it, and grow into it. My hope this Lent is that you will take the time to do just that, work at it. Practice it, develop it, and grow into it. But as the old ad used to say, “just do it”.
The world needs our prayers. The people of the world need our prayers. The people of our neighborhoods and communities need our prayers. The people in our circle of friends need our prayers. The people in our families need our prayers. We all need each other’s prayers. I need your prayers and you need my prayers. So let us all pray. For one another. For ourselves. For big things and little things, and for what seems like nothing.
It can be as simple as saying, “God, please bless……”, knowing that God knows exactly the blessing each one of us needs. “God be with……”, trusting that God is already with them. “God help…….” , believing that God always helps. “Thank you God for…..”, because it is always right to give God thanks and praise. “God, I don’t know what to say, but…..”, confident that God knows what is in our hearts and minds before we even say it, even when we can’t say it.
Lent continues from March 1st until April 15th, the day before Easter Sunday. Pray every single one of these days. Make each new day a day for new prayer. And do one more thing – challenge your friends and family to join you in this season of prayer, whether they come to St. Luke’s, or attend another church, or don’t go to church at all. Invite all to pray, remembering what Martin Luther said so long ago: “By the grace of God, prayer upholds the world.” See you in church.