Today starts the Lent. It is the 40 days period dedicated to preparing for the celebration of death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – Easter. The Lent begins on the Ashes Day and lasts forty days. Every Sunday is dedicated to the resurrection of Christ, so it is not a time of repentance or fasting. For this reason, to preserve the fortieth day period, the Lent was commenced on Ash Wednesday before the first Lent on Sunday. The most important practices during the Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. As Pope Francis said of Lent prayers, fasting, and almsgiving: “All three exclude the need for appearances: what counts is not appearances: the value of life does not depend on the approval of others or success, but on what we have inside us.”
So Lent gives us a possibility to change ourselves by restricting ourselves and giving more to God and other people. So let’s look closer what is the meaning of the Lent, what it’s biblical references and what special prayers and practices are associated with the Lent. Also, we will give you some idea about Lent prayers.
What is the meaning of the Lent?
Lent is the time of the concentration and penitence. During this period the faithful are called to concentrate on the passion of Christ. They are asked to prepare for the resurrection of Christ by purifying their hearts, overviewing their Christian life. During the Lent, we realize how small we are, acknowledge our failures and sins and seeking God’s help to grow. All this helps us to give ourselves closer to God.
During the Lent, believers are urged to fast, especially on the Day of Ashes and every Friday. They also should refrain from any amusements and from anything that harms or distorts relationship with God and other people. The purpose of the penitence is to redress in itself what attracts sin and to promote what leads to goodness. Thus, the Lent is a great time to think about your relationship with God. To ask the questions who am I to God and who is God to me? Do I really live in the Spirit of Good News given by Christ? During the Lent, the Church encourages believers to confess. Also, it is advised to stop for a few minute each day for reading and meditating Bible and praying.
What are the biblical references of the Lent?
The Lent lasting 40 days and this idea could be found in the Bible. Jesus was fasting for forty days and nights in the wilderness where he was tempted (Matthew 4:2). Also, some other 40 days’ periods are mentioned in Bible as well. The great flood lasted forty days and nights (Genesis 7:4). Moses spent on the Mount Sinai forty days and nights (Exodus 24:18). The prophet Elijah forty days and forty nights went up to the hill of God at Horeb (1 Corinthians 19: 8). The exploration of the promised land lasted forty days (Numbers 14:34). Also, number 40 most often expresses the age of one generation of people. Forty years the Hebrew people wandered in the desert while traveling to the Promised Land (Numbers 14:34), forty years of the reign of David (2 Samuel 5:4).
All the mentioned periods in the Bible are the time of expectation and at the same time a challenge and a struggle. From here comes Lent idea- a time of expectation of Jesus resurrection and the same time struggle and challenge. Challenge for yourself to change your usual life, to give more than receiving.
Why is Lent prayer practice important?
Prayer is a conversation with God. In prayer, we talk to God, and He speaks to us. This communication can take many forms and as said in 1 Thessalonians 5:1: “Pray without ceasing.” For some people, it may sound like a hard challenge, but prayer as any other activity requires some discipline and efforts. As already was said, Lent is the period of challenging yourself and giving more. So Lent is one of the best periods to promise for yourself to pray consistently and make Lent prayers a priority during the 40 days’ period. You can make some Lent prayers plan when and what prayers you will say.
The most important thing is that your prayers shouldn’t be formal, but goes from the bottom of your heart. By praying you must seek the Lord and beg for His grace. And it doesn’t matter in what form you will say Lent prayers. Some people choose to pray daily devotionals during the Lent. Catholics do have a tradition to pray during the Lent The Stations of the Cross. They are traditionally prayed on the Fridays of the Lent.
You may ask for God your daily Lent prayers for changes in your life aspects, which you want to change the most. So say this short Lent prayer before starting your chosen everyday conversation with God.
Daily Lent prayers during 40 days: faithful praying, fasting, almsgiving 2018
Lord, be with me during the all my Lent prayers journey. Let me be honest with myself, let me see everything that is wrong with my soul and my heart and admit my shortcomings and sins. Lord, show me what I should change in my life and please fill my heart with patience, gratitude, and peace. Please teach me to accept others and show my love to them.
Lord, please guide me to the path which leads closer to you. The only thing I pray is to reconcile with you and live in the light of your grace. Heavenly Father, please give me the strength to keep my promises and to get closer to you through my Lent prayers and good works. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
As Jesus said in Mark 1:15, “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” These words summarize the main idea of the Lent period. The Promised Land, the Kingdom of God, is here, right next door, but your efforts are needed to enter it. So let’s make a small step towards our Lord who stretched out his arms on the cross to save us and who still waits for us with open arms and heart. Let’s Lent prayers will be our small gift to Lord, other people and ourselves.
Also read: ULTIMATE PRAYER GUIDE