In this is love: not that we have loved God,
but that He loved us and sent His Son
as expiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10
Powerful Ash Wednesday Prayer – Matthew 6
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret – Matthew 6:6
When was the last time you went into your room, closed the door, and prayed to your Heavenly Father? A real, silent, reverent and single-minded prayer in a dedicated space, for a dedicated reason, in a dedicated way? Chances are, it has been a while. Life is demanding and time is precious. Solitude is almost nonexistent these days. And yet, here we are at the very beginning of Lent being told to do just that … to go into our rooms and make time and space for God. We are called to be intentional and focused in our prayers, to worry not about appearances but about what lies at the heart of the matter, even if no one else knows what we are doing or why we are doing it — especially during Lent. This season is a time to reflect, “take stock,” do penance, sacrifice and start anew.
As we stand today on the brink of forty days in the proverbial desert, we know that we are on the cusp of possibility, a new spring season, another chance to get it right once and for all. The question is: How badly do we want that? Do we want God enough to step outside of our routine and make sacrifices? Can we finally begin to pray and fast like our life depended on it? Because in truth, it does.
Powerful Ash Wednesday Prayer – Matthew 6 Meditation
Imagine that this Lent comes with a fresh, blank slate. You have the ability to create around you whatever your spirit most desires. Ask yourself, how will you fill this new space? Will you waste it on spiritual junk food — platitudes and pleasantries that look impressive but hardly scratch the very surface of your soul? Or will you dive deep this season, urged forward by that innate desire to draw closer to God; to carve a new path through the weeds of worldliness that so often choke out God’s love, light and goodness? This path, the holy path of salvation, is not easy — but it is a sure way forward. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Today you have the opportunity to begin anew, one step at time. And that step starts right now…
Ash Wednesday Prayer
God, we cannot see You through the dense fog of the daily demands that clamor for our attention, but we sense Your presence swirling ever so lovingly around us. We humbly ask for the grace and wisdom to seek Your face first, always, even as the world continuously bangs on our door demanding more than we have to give. In this moment, we want to remain with You, away from the world’s view, and locked in Your holy gaze. Loving Father, may our Lenten Season overflow with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving — all performed in holy hiddenness. Sanctify and strengthen the hidden things in us that cry out for You. Amen.
Today’s suggested penance
*Offer your Ash Wednesday fasting for all who are currently ensnared by sin and lost in all things temporal.
“You [Lord] are good and all-powerful, caring for each one of us as though [we are] the only ones in Your care” – Saint Augustine.