Posts Tagged ‘#jesusprayer’

Lent, from a Latin word, meaning forty, can imitate Jesus forty days of prayer and fasting in the desert, as some celebrate lenten practise six days a week (not on Sundays) up to Thursday night celebration of the last supper (Maundy Thursday) and others do so every day straight through to Easter Sunday.

There is nothing magical or mandatory about the practise of Lent. It is, quite simply, an opportunity to prepare, focus and share in sacrifice as we await the season of Easter.

I practised lent a number of years ago, giving up cream in my coffee. It was such a little thing, but I missed it so much. Because morning coffee is how my day begins, I missed it … and, in missing something so regular, I was reminded daily of the (so much greater) sacrifice of Christ, for me.

This year I felt a tug to celebrate the lenten season again. This time, though, I did not feel compelled to give up, but take in.

A wise man, James R Dennis recently wrote, of lent,

“If all we do during Lent is give up chocolate, that’s not a Lenten discipline, that’s a diet. And that’s fine, but that’s not the life we’re called into. We are called during that Holy Season to abandon anything that gets between us and God, to lay down our burdens and begin again.” James R Dennis

ahhh … to begin again!

If giving up chocolate (or any other thing) is done so as a sacrifice that will bring us closer to God, that will remind us of his sacrifice, then do it. Let me tell you, I had no idea how important cream in my coffee was to me, until I gave it up for Lent. But I wanted something out of the lenten season that would not just remind me of his sacrifice, but also fill me with his life.

So, my lenten practise will be reading from the book of John, from the death of Lazarus, in chapter 11, to the prayers of Jesus (before his arrest), in chapter 17. I will read this passage every day, from my Bible, not a screen version. During the week preceding Easter weekend, I will then read John 18-20, from his arrest to the empty tomb. In addition to this, I have committed to speak what is called the Jesus Prayer or The Prayer (in the image) daily, to remind me that the mercy I have received has come, at great cost, from Christ.

How about you? I’d love to know if and how you include lenten practise in this season.


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