This coming week, 1 March 2015, our theme in the worship series for Lent is about “responding to the Faith Journey with Prayer.” Knowing that no one much improves on Jesus, I thought we would give him the word today in this blog post. Hear what the Lord says about piety, alms, and our spiritual discipline of the week, prayer, to his followers.
"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,
hallowed be your name (Matthew 6:1-9).
This is a reminder of a word we need to hear for our spiritual journey during Lent!