The Lenten Season is one of the most important seasons in the Christian faith. It is a period of 40 days, starting with Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter Sunday. During this period, Christians around the world participate in a season of penitence, prayers, fasting and self-denial, just as Jesus did when he spent 40 days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-25 and Luke 4:1-13).
Many believers pray and fast during the 40 days of Lent. Others pray, meditate and give up daily rituals, such as soda, candy or coffee. Lenten fasts normally do not include Sundays. Prayer and fasting prepare us for a spiritual awakening.
The 40 days of Lent can be one of the most powerful and awesome times in the Christian year. Imagine a congregation of believers united for a season of spiritual enrichment. Practice of spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting will strengthen a believer's spiritual walk. Consider challenging your congregation to a season of prayer and fasting. Create a special prayer list of concerns and issues for the church, community, nation, and world -- just to mention a few areas.
Encourage members to give up their lunch time, and substitute it for a time of prayer, meditation, or study. Further, encourage them to place the funds they would have normally spent on lunch in a weekly offering. This will serve as a symbolic sacrificial gift, a reminder of Christ's sacrifice for us.
Possible Prayer List
- Church: Mission, Vision and Ministry Opportunities
- Community: Local Issues and Mission Field
- Nation: Economic Recovery
- World: Peace, Unity, and Poverty
- Personal: Personal Concerns, Challenges, and Hopes
This season of the year has unlimited possibilities for a group of committed believers who are praying, fasting, and presenting weekly sacrificial offerings during the season of Lent. James 5:16 says that the prayer of the righteous is "powerful and effective."
Prayerfully, consider this churchwide spiritual exercise in remembrance of Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness. This exercise will strengthen and empower the congregation. Believers will be blessed individually and collectively as members of the body of Christ.