Today's Lectionary Text
“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6
A prominent man once said, “I never had a prayer go unanswered.” The people listening to him were skeptical. One challenged him by saying, “Can you prove that?”
“Perhaps not,” the man replied, “But nevertheless I am sure it is so.”
And then he explained that he prayed not only for his own needs and those of his family and friends. But he prayed always first that God would help those in more need than he or anyone he knew. Those in faraway places, those with extreme illness and little chance of getting well, those who had little faith or none at all. Those who had never had Christian opportunities.
By praying in this way, he explained, he always knew that God would answer his prayers, even if those who might benefit were half a globe away and unknown to him. This enabled this man to keep a strong faith. He knew that God would not immediately and directly lift his burdens as he prayed and he came to accept this. But his faith assured him that God hear each prayer and answered it in some way.
Lyndon UMC 1967 Lenten Devotional
*Previously published on 8/3/2019
Prayer for Reflection
Our Father, grant to each of us the reassurance that all things are possible through prayer. And the only limitation is our own faith. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
All things are possible through prayer!
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