We are now a full week into the Lenten Season. A period of 40 days before Easter when we take time to reflect on Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. Growing up in a traditional Baptist church, I really didn’t know what the Lenten Season was all about until I was in college. Lent is growing in its observance, though, in many churches, as are all the seasons in the Liturgical year.
Often, we are encouraged during Lent to give something up. Some folks fast one day each week during Lent. Some people forgo eating or drinking certain things during the season. Other folks may work diligently at breaking a bad habit. These are all wonderful things, as long as they fulfill the greater idea of bringing us closer to God and focusing on Him during this time.
I decided this year during Lent that rather than “giving something up” for Lent, I would “pick something up” instead. Our church has been sending out a daily email focusing on something to pray for each day during Lent. All of these prayers are focused on our church and the ministries we do together. The emails have given me a few moments to reflect and pray for the different ministries. It has inspired me to spend concentrated time each day really praying for the ministries of my church, my church family and our ministerial staff. I am also focusing on prayer for our Pastor Search Committee as they go through the process of finding the next Senior Pastor for our Congregation. I am realizing that as I pray for my church, my own troubles and burdens seem to lift from my shoulders, too. I understand that God is hearing not just my spoken prayers, but the deepest prayers of my heart. Taking the focus away from my own wants and needs in my prayer time has actually given me a peace about many of those longings in my heart. It has certainly given new meaning to the scripture in Romans, “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;”
I want to encourage you, my friends, to use this Lenten Season to find a place closer to God. To allow His spirit and presence to flood your heart and life, knowing that He loves you with a love that cannot let go. Allow His resurrection to be YOUR resurrection and a path to new life in Him.