Preparing your heart for Lent
Updated: Feb 24
Lent is a season of slowing down, to walk with Christ, and truly reflect on the sacrifice He made for us. It is a moving and introspective season of the church year. Worship during this season is remarkably different and the hope that comes from Jesus' resurrection on Easter is is experienced even more joyously when we engage in Lenten practice.
"The 40 days leading up to Easter can be some of the most life-giving, perspective-changing, hope-filled days of the entire year—not just for me, but for you." -Margaret Feinberg
What is Lent?*
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts forty full days, but those days do not include Sundays - those are Feast Days, in which you are to “break” your fast. The final week of Lent is the most powerful - Holy Week.
The Church year revolves around two “cycles,” one for Christmas and one for Easter.
The Christmas cycle begins with a season of preparation: Advent.
The Easter cycle begins with a season of preparation: Lent.
Because Lent lasts for forty days it recalls Christ’s fasting during his temptation/testing in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11).
*Borrowed in part from Lent: A Rookie Anglican Guide
What do you do during Lent?
Lent is a season of prayer, fasting and giving in preparation for Easter. There are traditionally 3 pillars of Lenten practice: Prayer, Fasting and Giving.
Prayer - spending time with God in prayer, bible devotions, reading a spiritual book, attending Wednesdays at Church for our Lenten study series
Fasting - many find it fulfilling to give up something for Lent to allow yourself to develop a deeper relationship with God. Fasting can be food related or can focus on other distractions in your life (fasting from noise, gossip, social media, busyness etc.).
Giving - or Almsgiving. During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on giving. Donating not only our money, but our time and talents.
Why practice Lent?
During the year, we need a reset and Lent can provide that opportunity. Imagine if you spent the next few weeks really focusing on growing your relationship with the Lord, how would your faith change?
How to get started?
Create a plan to prepare your heart and mind for Lent. Find a quiet space, perhaps with something to write with and jot down thoughts you have during this time. Pray and ask God what obstacle in your life is keeping you from growing in your faith, and what step can you take over the coming Lenten season. What practice of prayer, fasting and giving should you implement to help you grow in your faith journey.
How will you practice Lent this season? Let us know in the comments.
For all of our Lent Resources, Devotionals and information about our Ash Wednesday services visit stmtts.org/lent