This 40-day season of Lent isn’t one I always acknowledged, much less appreciated. (No shame if that’s you, too!) It’s only been recently, as I’ve come to see the beauty and richness that come from intentionality in my faith, that I’ve chosen to focus my attention and energy on engaging fully in this Lenten season.
You might first think that Lent is just about giving up junk food or vowing yet again to create healthy habits in your life, but I’ve come to discover a much deeper (and more powerful) purpose behind this weeks leading up to Easter. I invite you to read on, and see if the Lord might be stirring in your own heart as this Lenten season begins. Perhaps this prayer will echo the own prayers on your heart, and perhaps this season will be one you come to appreciate in new ways, too.
I opened the devotional Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter this morning and read a quote that struck me:
“Lent is the season in which we ought to be surprised by joy. Our self-sacrifices serve no purpose unless, by laying aside this or that desire, we are able to focus on our heart’s deepest longing: unity with Christ. In him– in his suffering and death, his resurrection and triumph, we find our truest joy.”
That, to me, is what Lent is all about. Being surprised by joy. Sacrificing our selves as we focus on greater intimacy and unity with Christ. Finding our truest joy in Jesus alone.
SEE ALSO: What is Lent: Honoring the Sacrifice of Jesus
Join me in prayer for this season of Lent:
Thank you for the gift of this season. Thank you for knowing our hearts and our need for rhythms in our lives, and for drawing us into a deeper communion with you throughout the coming 40 days.
Lord, it can be disheartening to read on Ash Wednesday that all come from dust, and to dust all return (Ecclesiastes 3:20), yet we know that there is more to our stories. We know that you created man and woman from the dust at the very beginning of time (Genesis 2:7) and that you breathed life into them to transform them into living creatures. We know that you are in the business of resurrection– your very Son went to the cross to show us that no death is final and that ultimate transformation comes through your gift of salvation. Though we were made from dust, and our bodies will return to dust again, we can live in eternal glory with you through the blood of your Son.
May we remember the gift of salvation in this season.
SEE ALSO: Lent: What Are You Giving Up, Giving Away Or Going Through?
May these weeks leading up to the tragedy of Good Friday and the glory of Resurrection Sunday remind us of who you are, how you love us, and who you have created us to be as your followers.
May we walk through this season intentionally, removing distractions that take our gaze away from your glory. May we quiet the noise that pulls us from adoration of you and puts our attention on lesser things. May we simplify where we have been stressed, may we surrender what has been burdensome, may we repent of what has been sinful, Lord Jesus.
May we see your goodness and your glory in new ways throughout this season of Lent. May we know the depths of your love for us more fully. May we feel the pain you endured for our sake, Jesus, and may we rejoice that you conquered every bit of evil when you rose to life again.
Draw us closer to your heart, that we might know you better and understand you more completely. We pray that we would not only give things up for Lent, but that we would give you glory through Lent, Lord. May our actions reflect our hearts, and may we worship you through all that we say and do throughout the weeks to come.
SEE ALSO: Why I Was Wrong about Lent
Jesus, the journey you took to the cross was full of betrayal, grief, torture, and darkness, yet your love for us, your people, propelled you onward. Help us to comprehend just how powerful that love is, that you would suffer such a cruel death to make a way for us to be with you in glory forever. What a gift, Jesus. What a gift.
May our praise never cease in this season. May our worship be unending. May our love for you find new depths. May this season bring new hope and new healing. May we journey toward the cross prayerfully and purposefully, even through the pain, our doubt, our questions, and our searching.
May we find resurrection life springing up from this old dusty ground, and may we be surprised by joy in all of it. May Easter be a day of complete celebration as we rejoice in our risen Savior and praise our gracious Father.
In you, we find the truest joy, Jesus.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. We praise you in all of it.
Hallelujah and amen.
Rachel Dawson is the design editor for Crosswalk.com.