Good morning, Father.

During 2017 help me to be faithful in my prayer walk. It is most important that we who serve preschoolers remember to pray for the next generation. Teach me how to pray blessings for these children and their families.

March 1 is Ash Wednesday. It is the beginning of the church season of Lent, a 40-day period (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. Lent is a somber time in the church when we reflect on the great sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf because of His love.

In biblical times, people who mourned would often put on “sack clothes of ashes.” These were symbols of sorrow. A reminder that we were formed from the dust of the earth and it is to the dust of the earth we will return. Jesus died to save us from the consequences of our sin.

During the Lenten season, we have much to ponder and reflect upon. Below are 40 things you might consider giving up for Lent not only this year, but for the rest of your life.
(By Phil Ressler, 2015 Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.)

1. Fear of Failure–You don’t succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fail forward.
2. Your Comfort Zone–It’s outside your comfort zone where new discoveries are made.
3. Feelings of Unworthiness–You are fearfully and wonderfully made by your Creator.
4. Impatience–God’s timing is perfect timing.
5. Retirement–As long as you are breathing, you are here for a reason.
6. People Pleasing–Don’t try to please everyone. There is only One you need to strive to please.
7. Comparison–You have your own unique contribution to make. There is no one else like you.
8. Blame–Don’t pass the buck. Take responsibility.
9. Guilt–You are loved by Jesus and He has forgiven your sins.
10. Overcommitment–Do less better and accomplish more.
11. Lack of Counsel–Wise decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.
12. Impurity–Live your life pure and without blemish.
13. Entitlement–Neither the world nor God owes you anything. Live in humility and grace.
14. Apathy–Life is too short not to care.
15. Hatred–Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
16. Negativity–Put the best construction on everything when it comes to other people.
17. The Spirit of Poverty–Believe that with God there is always more than enough and never a lack.
18. Going Through the Motions–The more you invest yourself, the more you will get back.
19. Complaint–Instead of contributing to the problem, be the solution.
20. The Pursuit of Happiness–God wants for you something greater and more lasting than happiness; it is called joy.
21. Bitterness–The only person you are hurting by holding on to something is yourself.
22. Distraction–Life is filled with distractions that will take your eyes off the prize.
23. Giving Up–God never gives up on you.
24. Mediocrity–If you are going to do something, then give it all you’ve got.
25. Destructive Speech–Encourage others.
26. Busyness–Being busy is a badge of honor. But that does not always translate to abundance.
27. Loneliness–With Jesus you are never alone. He is with you wherever you go.
28. Disunity–Where two or three are gathered in His name, the Heavenly Father is there among them.
29. The Quick Fix–Rarely does true transformation happen over night.
30. Worry–God is in control and worry will not help.
31. Idolizing–Don’t assign anyone a standard they cannot live up to.
32. Resistance to Change–Change is certain. It is not if you will change, but how you will change.
33. Pride–Blessed are the humble.
34. Small View of God–Don’t tell God how big your problem is; tell your problem how big your God is.
35. Envy–Value is not found in possessions but in a relationship with the Heavenly Father.
36. Ungratefulness–You have been blessed in a way greater than you realize.
37. Selfish Ambition–God has a mission for you that is bigger than you.
38. Self-Sufficiency–Jesus is your strength. You can do all things through Him.
39. Sorrow–Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
40. Your Life–Whoever loves his life loses it and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

In the powerful name of Jesus, our atonement sacrifice,
Janet Waters, Preschool Sunday School Teacher/BBC Prayer Room Ministry

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