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Why We Should Practice Lent

Resources for Lent 2024

As we approach the season of Lent, here are three things that Lent invites us into as part of the global church:

1. To join with other Christians around the world

2. To draw closer to God

3. To reflect on the Easter story 

1. To join with other Christians around the world

It is easy to get swept up in what is happening in our own lives and even our own individual churches but the Lenten season reminds us we are part of a global and historical movement of Christians and ultimately part of God’s story. Lent has been practised in some form by Christians from as early as the 4th Century and today Christians from all around the world and across many denominations mark this significant time in the Church calendar. 

2. To draw closer to God

The disciplines of prayer and fasting that we focus on during Lent are primarily intended to draw us closer to God and build our relationship with him. In Lent, we remember Jesus’ period of 40 days in the wilderness where he prayed and fasted. There’s an opportunity to journey with Jesus by joining in what he did and mark this period by praying intentionally and fasting over 40 days. Fasting provides an opportunity to remove a key distraction in our lives (whether it be food, alcohol, social media etc.) and give that time and attention to God.

Lent is also traditionally a time of penitence; recognising where we have made mistakes, bringing that to God and asking for forgiveness. Especially if this is not a part of your regular prayer life, and even if it is, Lent is a useful reminder to come before God in humble repentance.

The prayer and fasting that takes place during Lent does not need to be a legalistic activity but can be a chance to refocus on Jesus, not simply following a set of rules but taking part in practices which will draw us to God. 

3. To Reflect on the Easter Story

Lent gives us the opportunity to reflect on the Easter story, Jesus’ journey to the cross and sacrifice for us all. It’s been noted that fasting or ‘giving something up’ for lent as a small form of sacrifice can give more meaning to Jesus’ sacrifice for us on Good Friday.

Particularly during Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter Sunday), it can be helpful to reflect on the events that took place, focusing on changing mood as we go through the different days of the week. The week begins with the remarkable moment of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, then on Maundy Thursday we see Jesus’ poignant last supper with his disciples, followed by Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday, then the day of waiting while Jesus is in the tomb and finally his triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday. Following the story in real time can bring even more significance to arguably the most important week in the Christian year. 

When is Lent?

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which this year is 14th February. 

To help you journey through lent this year, take a look at some of the resources below.

Devotionals/Bible Plans

Lent Devotional by Tearfund

The devotional is available as set of reflection cards which can be ordered online, or as weekly emails sent straight to your inbox.  Their theme this year is ‘Following Jesus for a World Restored’: ‘explore what it means to join God’s work of restoration in a world longing for hope and justice’.

Lent for everyone, daily devotionals by NT Wright

For each day of Lent, there is a reading chosen from the Gospel of Matthew, plus a reflection by NT Wright. These readings have grown out of a project encouraging Lent reading in Northern England, based on the Revised Common Lectionary of the Church of England.

Journey to the Cross, 7 day Bible reading plan by Pete Greig

Pause and pray as you prepare your heart for Easter. Be guided by Pete Greig, as you join Jesus on His journey to the cross, through the tomb, and into resurrection life.

Dreaming the Impossible Bible Plans

DTI have released two Bible plans, aimed at young people aged 12-18.

Psalms to Make You Think

How to Thrive in Teenagehood

Digital Resources

Lectio 365 (from 24-7 Prayer)

Free daily devotional resource that helps you pray the Bible every day, inspired by Lectio Divina, a way of meditating on the Bible that’s been used by Christians for centuries. Lectio 365 marks special seasons like Lent with relevant Bible passages and reflections.

Lectio for Families (from 24-7 Prayer)

Free devotional app that helps families read the Bible and explore faith together.

Inner Room (from 24-7 Prayer)

A Lent prayer series, available through the Inner Room App. The app has morning, afternoon, and evening prayers designed to bring you back into the presence of God for a few minutes throughout your day. This year their theme is ‘what’s shaping you?’, with an invitation to choose to be shaped by God this Lent.

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