By: Bethany Apelquist
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Reflection – v.5 ‘whenever you pray’

If you have ever visited Mercy during prayer time, you have probably felt the presence of the Spirit and felt the warmth of community. You may have sensed some peace in the bustle of a busy city. As we all squeeze into the small basement church, always making room for one more person to join, there is a sense that this thing we do together— gathering to pray—is important, even sacred. I think that this is the kind of prayer that Matthew is talking about. I don’t think Matthew is arguing that praying together or in front of others is wrong. Rather, he believes that prayer is a holy moment, a moment in which we stand just a bit closer to God–a moment of refuge in the midst of the hardships of our lives. Prayer isn’t about one person being the center of attention. Prayer is about the community holding each person as equally important to God and holding God’s presence in the center of our lives together. Prayer is a moment that makes room for one more person to join. Prayer is a moment in which together we hold the joys and the concerns of our community in our hearts, knowing that God is close to us, that God cares for the things we care about. So this Lent may we make room for prayer in our lives. May we remember that God is present with us, and may we remember that we aren’t called to do this alone, but that we are called to do this in beloved community.

Prayer Thank you God for being present with us and for the joys of community.

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