Would you give up a few things that you enjoy to cultivate your relationship with the person you love the most?
That’s the idea behind a season of fasting and prayer called Lent.
Lent is the 40-day period of fasting and prayer leading up to Easter that helps us focus our attention on God. Fasting, quite simply, is removing something from your normal routine and replacing that time with prayer and reflection toward God.
I highly recommend some sort of a fast multiple times per year. The spiritual and physical benefits are well-documented. People mistakenly assume that fasting is simply going without food.
You can fast anything that will draw your attention to God consistently. One of the most effective fasts that I have seen in recent memory was a friend of mine fasted social media for Lent. He made the comment, “I never realized how compulsively I checked social media updates until I took that away from my normal routine.” The inclination to check his messages was replaced by a reminder to pray, meditate, or fix his attention on God.
Dara and I are doing a Daniel fast (click here to see recipes). We will incorporate 40 days of clean eating, prayer, and exercising our spiritual disciplines. There are books by Henri Nouwen, Walter Brueggemann, CS Lewis, and more that can be found by searching for “Lent devotionals” online.
Lent begins on Wednesday, February 17 and ends on April 1. We prepare our hearts to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus on Easter weekend. If you have never participated in an intentional season of fasting and prayer, join us as we move into this season of Lent.
Additionally, remember that this is not a spiritual requirement. You don’t get bad grades on anything if you slip up or have a moment of weakness. This is your choice and it can be started or stopped at any time. Our life of faith is not about rules. Our life of faith is about relationship with Jesus. We choose to fast and pray. We are not required to fast and pray. Changing your perspective on the practice of fasting and prayer changes your motivation and experience in the process.
I hope you’ll join Dara and I as we prepare our hearts to remember the death and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021!