Christians around the world set aside the six weeks before Easter to prepare for Christ’s death and resurrection. This season of surrender begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Silent Saturday – About forty days of remembering, fasting, and giving (there are actually 46 days during Lent, but Sundays are not prescribed).
Why Observe Lent?
The forty days represents the time Jesus endured Satan’s tempting in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Observing Lent affords us the opportunity to focus on our relationship with God as we allow ourselves to sacrifice and stand firm just as Christ did. Through Lent, we humbly explore the depths of our sin, reflect on the sincerity of our faith and submission, remember our own mortality, and prepare for the glorious resurrection of Jesus after a season of deprivation.
Many choose to give something up, while others add a spiritual discipline or opportunity to draw closer to God. Some focus on volunteering, donating or giving as a way to sacrifice themselves for others. All can be acts of surrender when done with a humble and prayerful disposition.
Ideas for Surrender
- Add daily reading of Scripture and prayer to your Lent practice.There are many ways to engage with scripture: You can study it, read it, memorize it, meditate on it, pray it… Arise team-member Sarah Bulkley has created a resource to help you focus on Scripture every day for the 40 days of Lent. Click here to join our 40 Days of Prayer and Scripture text community. You’ll receive a curated passage delivered via text message each morning, along with a responsive prayer. Simply let us know that you’d like to join and follow the prompts to sign up. You can also text us directly at (360)227-5073 to get started.
- Memorize Scripture. Cultivate a rhythm of reflection and gratitude by memorizing a new passage each week of Lent. We want to help by offering these Scripture memorization cards created by artist Anna DeRoos of @sheletterstruthco. Each of these passages are foundational to our faith and propel us to to live in ways that honor Christ’s sacrifice. They correlate with the 40 Days of Prayer and Scripture project available through text over the Lent season and are a simple and beautiful way to incorporate the Word into your Lent journey this year. They’re the perfect size to frame (4×6), post on a refrigerator, tuck into your Bible, or mail in a note to a friend. Commit to reading them, meditating on them, and memorizing them on your own, with your family, or alongside other women.
- Search your heart, abstain, simplify. Prayerfully consider fasting from types of food, technology, or sources of entertainment you spend a lot of time on and/or crave. Focus on Christ each time you think of that from which you’re abstaining.
- Live frugally for the duration of Lent. Consider buying only necessary items and donating what you would have spent on “luxuries” to a cause, person, or family.
- Give sacrificially – Tithe above and beyond your normal giving, or research an organization together as a family or group. Give simply because you can, and with no expectation in return. In sacrificing funds and goods, may you know the joy of Jesus who gave himself fully.
- Keep a Confession Journal. Spend the six weeks before Easter asking the Lord to reveal sin in your life. Pray Psalm 139:23-24 out loud and truly listen for the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Carry a pocket notebook with you and make note of the way you’ve offended God and others. Repent and ask Him (and others) for forgiveness.
As you participate in a holy Lent and sacrifice for God’s glory, may this season of repentance, generosity, and beginning again yield sweet communion with Christ. And remember —Easter is coming!
With great expectation –
About the Author – Lisa Da Silva
Lisa is a wife, mom of two teenagers, and advocate for women to love God with their heart, soul and mind as they engage in responsible study of His Word. She writes, speaks, and teaches the Bible to anyone who will read or listen.
Lisa is a teacher by trade and passion, recovering striver, and lover of simplicity. She enjoys thrift store shopping and often has to convince people she’s an introvert. Just a loud one.
Loving Jesus and making Him known really is her everything.
About Sarah Bulkley – Creator of “40 Days of Prayer & Scripture”
Sarah is a wife, dog mom, and pediatric dental assistant. She loves spending her free time meditating on scripture, listening to old sermons, practicing yoga, and antique shopping.
Sarah fell in love with Jesus at a young age, but her passion for women’s ministries and Bible Study really began when she joined her first Bible Study group in 2010. She loves encouraging women to know and love the Bible.
About Anna of She Letters Truth Co. – Creator of our “Beginning Again” Scripture Memorization Cards
Anna is a visual artist and high school Junior living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She loves creating for God’s glory, and finds joy in all things pretty. You can find more of Anna’s printable scripture cards for Arise by checking out our Resources tab or clicking HERE . Visit She Letters Truth Co. on Etsy to find more of Anna’s creations.