Dear First Pres,

   Consider this a Lent check-in. How is Lent going for you? Did you choose to fast from anything? Did you choose to add any spiritual disciplines? Have you been using the Seek God for the City prayer guide? How have you experienced the Lord in this special season? What is God doing in you?

   For me, the Lord seems to be drawing me often to one part of the Lord's prayer: lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. I'm sure that's in some way connected with the reality of taking on a partial fast. When I am fasting, I seem to be more aware of the things that are temptations in my life. But I believe it is also the result of being more aware this Lent of the spiritual battle that is constantly being waged in our congregation. Paul says, "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." That's why Jesus taught us to pray that God would deliver us from evil (can also be translated "the evil one"). If you're not sure what to pray this Lenten season, spend time meditating on the Lord's Prayer.

   I also continue to find Seek God for the City to be a wonderful tool to aid and direct my prayer life. This week we're praying for God's glory in evangelizing all peoples. Each day there has been a different aspect of that to lift up to the Lord - like yesterday's focus: "Seek God to be recognized and honored by leaders" or today's: "Seek God for every people group to hear the gospel." We're also praying this week for the continent of Africa as the guide lists specific countries to pray over each day (the bonus of which is a wonderful geography lesson for the household).

   I have noticed that we have more Seek God for the City booklets in the Sanctuary entry. If you haven't picked one up, I really encourage you to do so. It's a helpful prayer tool, but even more, there is great power when the Church prays together with united hearts.

   And, if you haven't really done much around Lent this year, I hope and pray that this little note is used by God to call you into some sort of Lenten observance: a partial fast or a new spiritual discipline.


   P.S. Don't forget to read ahead for our Judges sermon series. This week's reading is Judges 4:1 - 5:31.