Lenten Prayer Guide
Some Christians don’t pay much attention to things like Lent. As one of the Seasons of the Christian Calendar, like Advent and Christmas, it seems too High-Church for them (my favorite Season of the Calendar is called “Ordinary Time” from May to November because it sounds so...ordinary!) But most Christians over the millennia, and certainly since the council of Nicea in 325 A.D., have found benefit in the structure of annually revisiting the key themes of the gospel before Easter.
This year Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 2, and will end on Easter, April 17. This tradition of focusing our lives during the days before Easter derives from the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness before he began his ministry. You’ll notice that Lent actually has 46 days because Sundays don’t count. Don’t ask me why.
Lent is traditionally thought of as a penitential season, a season of self-denial and solemn reflection. It is common to choose some form of fast during Lent. We’ve known people to stop eating chocolate, to stop watching TV, things like that. We will respect the serious nature of Lent, but something that ends with Easter can’t be all sad! You’ll see there’s good news in these 40 days.
Typically, a Lenten Prayer Guide would be based on one of the four gospels. But this year we thought we would explore how the Psalms guide us through these forty days. You may recall that Jesus pointed us in that direction when, after his resurrection, he said “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:44). We have prayed that our minds might be opened, and our hearts warmed through these times of reflection and prayer.
As we do, remember, it all leads, it all points, it all culminates in the life, death and resurrection of our coming Lord, Jesus the Messiah. We will maintain a true course toward Him.
David & Yvonne Roller