Today marks the beginning of the Lent season. It is the challenge for us to give up – personally sacrifice – self in order to focus on our relationship with God, our God Himself, and to confess those sins that bind us from walking in freedom with God. It is an intentional preparation for 40 days for the believer leading up to Easter. For the most part of my upbringing, Lent was just never really recognized. No one really focused on it in the Baptist church. It may have been mentioned, but no challenge to fast and pray was really ever given.
Today, I find myself very challenged to focus these next 40 days on prayer. It all seems like what God has already been doing in my life to challenge me to live expectantly falls right in line with focusing on prayer. For me, prayer is one of the hardest things to do intentionally. I pray all throughout the day – while I clean, in the car driving, falling asleep at night, sending my kids off to school. The aspect of prayer I miss is the intentional focus on praying expectantly for a movement of God, a return to Him by the people, a daily sacrifice to follow Him.
For the last 10-15 days, I’ve been a part of a group on Facebook called “40 Days of Prayer for our Husbands”. I have spent those days intentionally focusing on God filling up my husband, using him, guiding him as he leads our family, etc. It has been refreshing, to say the least, but more than that, it has been a front seat to watching God’s power in my man’s life.
Prayer changes things.
So, I know that if prayer is making a difference in this area of my life, how much more would it mean to have it overflow into every area. For me, personally sacrificing my time, my wants, my desires to do this quite literally stress me out. I get in these routines, and whether good or bad, there are a lot of bad routines I’m in that comfort me…you know, it’s my thing, it’s what I do, it’s just part of my day so I do it. I don’t change it because, well, it’s just what I do everyday, so why change anything up.
Let me pause here and say I’m getting very uncomfortable. Writing how you feel in your heart and knowing it’s going to really lead somewhere is making me highly nervous!
I am not going to let this season of Lent pass me by. I know God is calling me to sacrifice my time – especially that big chunk that I waste everyday doing trivial things – and replace that time with Him. I have tears in my eyes at the prospect of it all…somewhat because of fear; somewhat because of the power it can bring; a lot because of how it will take me out of my comfort zone; a double lot because I know He’s calling me to sacrifice, but really not knowing exactly how that will flesh itself out.
I read this today and I found myself saying, “Wow, how great for you.” I was challenged, but not that challenged to do something personally, until I tried to move on to the next thing and found God saying, “What about you, Amy?” That’s just it! What about me?
God has got me on the verge of a lot of neat stuff happening in my life. I see it being ten times greater bathed in the power of prayer – in the personal sacrifice. So, over the next 40 days, I pray that I will return here to tell you of the incredible things God has done in that time period. I’m still not sure what all of this means, but I do know that I have to turn some attention off of me and return it to Him. A year from now, I pray that this time of Lent will not be forgotten, but it will only increase my awareness of daily sacrificing my life for Him.
So, what do you do for Lent? Has God personally challenged you to sacrifice a specific thing over these 40 days, or a combination of things? Where do you find your heart as you prepare for celebrating the resurrection of our Lord?