NB: Just one resolution for Great Lent. Fasting and prayer

Many people make some sort of resolution when they enter Great Lent. Usually it is something we have not done before, or perhaps done poorly. The one who has fasted poorly in the past may decide to keep the fast better – to not eat any meat or animal products, and some may even be zealous to keep the fast from oil and wine and fish. The one who keeps the fasts may be zealous to not eat anything at all for the first three days of Great Lent, or eat only one meal a day, which, according to the strict typikon, is “after the ninth hour” (about 3 in the afternoon).

In my pastoral experience, most people make some sort of fasting related resolution. I applaud their intentions, but sometimes their emphasis on fasting obscures for them the real purpose of the fast (it is not fasting!), and trying something that is beyond their spiritual and physical capabilities sets them up for failure, and sometimes, despair. Even if they succeed in their fasting goal, they miss out on improving themselves in more important ways. Remember: Nobody is saved because of fasting (but those who are being saved fast).

There is only ONE important resolution to make for the Great Fast. It is mentioned (in so many words and images) constantly in our services. We will mention that one in a little bit. …

Christian Life Skills: Praying for others. Praying for enemies. The Jesus Prayer.

A critical “Christian Life Skill” is to pray for others. This is an expression of love. We must also especially pray for our enemies or those who have wronged us, to root out any vestiges of bitterness. Here are simple, practical ideas to add prayer for others to your way of life, cutting through excuses, lack of time, confusion, fatigue, and distraction