During Lent, the days leading up to Easter, Christians have a season of quiet reflection, a time to review their lives as they prepare for the greatest act of sacrificial love ever given to humanity Jesus’ death on the cross.
Lent, a season of soul-searching and repentance, is a time for reflection and taking stock. It is a time when we can take a good, hard look at how we’re living and seek the Lord for guidance.
One of the ways that we can do this is to put our prayer and devotional time back to a prominent spot in our lives. This takes a lot less time than one would think during the day.
In fact, one of the best ways I have found over the years is called “Seven Minutes With God,” a small booklet published by The Navigators (www.navigators.org) and available from Nav Press. The booklet lays out a simple plan to spend the first minute or so quietly preparing to talk with God by confessing any sins or other things that have come between you and the Lord. Then spend the next four minutes reading from the Bible and letting God speak to you through his Word. For the final two minutes, you can spend time thanking God for all that he has done for you and for any insights that were gained from hearing him speak to you from the Bible.
Another way that can help you get closer to God during Lent (or anytime for that matter) is to read a devotional at a set time each day. Many churches give these out freely to help Christians in their daily walk with the Lord. They are also available online for free. Two sites that I recommend are Lutheran Hour Ministries (www.LHM.org) and the Portals of Prayer daily devotional (available online at www.cph.org/Portals.aspx).
Lutheran Hour Ministries offers this advice for praying the Lord’s Prayer during Lent. Pray one of the seven parts of the Lord’s Prayer each day of the week: Sunday, that we keep our great God’s Name holy; Monday, that we give thanks for the Kingdom, and pray for its coming; Tuesday, that we faithfully do God’s will as it is done in heaven; Wednesday, that we recognize and give thanks for life’s bounty; Thursday, that we forgive as we are forgiven; Friday, that we be tempted to no sin, great or small; and Saturday, that nothing separate us from God
Lent starts out with ashes and ends with a painful, vivid image of the crucified Savior on Good Friday. Yet, we know that Satan did not win in his attempt to destroy the Son of God; instead, he was an unwitting participant as Jesus paid the price demanded for mankind’s rebellion against God. And, because Jesus went through the horrors of the crucifixion, humanity no longer has to fear paying the price for their own sins.
Jesus said it best while talking to Nicodemus late one evening; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17).
As you spend time seeking God this Lenten season, remember that Lent gives way to the exhilaration and joy of the resurrection of Jesus. There is nothing you can do that can keep God’s love from you. His one and only Son has done everything necessary for you to find hope, forgiveness, and a place in heaven with Jesus.
May your time this Lent lead you to the joy of Easter morning.