Today is the first day in the Lent season. My facebook feed is filled with what people are giving up during this time before Easter. It sounds wonderful and like a great endeavor to give up something and put your focus on growing in your faith. I have never understood what Lent is and why it is celebrated or why people would give up something for it. So today I looked up what Lent is, where it came from, and the purpose for it. The gist is, Lent is a time for reflection, a time to pause and the reason we all tend to give up something is so that our minds are turned back to why we are participating in Lent to begin with. Lent was started to remember Christ and His 40 days in the wilderness as talked about in the gospel of Matthew. (Matthew 4) Christ was 40 days without food and was led there by the Spirit. It is a good lesson to see how the devil can twist scripture for his own purpose and how Christ, the LORD was still in the flesh on earth and was “ministered by angels.” (Matthew 4:11)
I have a really hard time with giving up something during this time. Certain things are habits of ours and I would want to take whatever it is I am giving up, very seriously but its habit. I can see giving up coffee and in a tired state of confusion in the morning making a cup of coffee and being halfway through it before realizing that I was giving it up for a time. It’s my personal preference not to make a commitment that I know I am likely to fail to keep. I think instead I am going to adopt the verse that says;
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
I am going to pray. Sounds simple enough right? But it’s actually hard for me. I am a “think and ponder in my heart” kind of gal. Prayer isn’t easy. For me, I know and have a personal relationship with Christ because of what HE has done on the cross but it has never left my heart that I serve THE LORD. The Creator of all. The God of the Old Testament (have you ever really read the covenants of the Lord and the consequences therein?) As Isaiah says, The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever but it is because of Christ’s blood that we are forgiven but knowing that doesn’t create that relationship I crave. I have to act. Doesn’t make it right, I know, I am really working on it because I do know what the New Testament has told us, how God is LOVE (1 John 4:19 and 1 Corinthians 13: defines that for us)
So that is my “goal”, if you want to call it that, for Lent, to be more intentional in my prayer life.
Dictionary.com tells us the definition for prayer is;
“· A reverent petition made to God, a god, or another object of worship.”
So tonight as I attend Ash Wednesday service, I will pray that I will grow in truth. And isn’t that what the spirit of Lent is? To honor the One who made the ultimate sacrifice for us just a few short weeks later?
Have you ever gotten creative with how you honored the spirit of Lent? Will this be your first year? Please share in the comments below. I love to hear your thoughts.