40 Days of Prayer
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For thousands of years, the church has observed different annual seasons to focus our attention on Jesus and what he has done for us. One of these seasons is the 40 day period leading up to the celebration of Easter called Lent. Traditionally, Lent is observed by giving up something of value for those 40 days. People give up everything from caffeine to sugar to social media, all in the hopes that these sacrifices challenge the dependencies of their heart. This reminds us of the One on whom we truly depend for everything.
This year, Lent is from Wednesday, February 26 through Saturday, April 11. We are going to observe these 40 days — Mondays through Saturdays — and then on Sundays we will gather together, in many locations, as a church family via our live stream service. Our goal for this season is to cultivate a rich culture of prayer in the life of our church.
Our prayer life should reflect how dependent we are on God — everything we have is his! We want to turn to God first and we want to turn to him often. We want to start our days with him, and we want to place our joys and struggles always in his hands.
But a prayer life like this takes practice.
It takes discipline.
It takes accountability.
It takes joy.
The prayers written in this guide gives us space to reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for us. Each prayer also has pieces and promises taken from Paul’s letter to the Philippian church. We believe by the end of the 40 days, you will be praying more, whether you have set out to or not!
Choosing something to give up for Lent:
Sacrifice during Lent makes the sweetness of the resurrection more deeply felt. If you choose to give something up during these 40 days, as a coupling to daily prayer, here are some questions to ask God about as you make that choice.
—Lord, what things in my life do I depend on a little too much?
—Lord, what do I turn to for comfort before I turn to you?
—Lord, what good thing have I let become too important to me?
If you take these questions to him, the Holy Spirit, in his gentleness, will help you recognize what thing or habit you can give up in order to depend even more on him for your daily bread.