I observed Lent for the first time a few years ago, and loved the intentionality of it. Once Easter arrived, I felt my heart was much more prepared to celebrate the significance of Jesus coming to earth, dying for each of our sins, and then conquering death.
Since then I’ve observed Lent every year, and each year it seems more special. I’ve also started becoming more intentional with my 40 days of fasting and prayer. Below is a list of things I’ve enjoyed over the last few years as I’ve learned to focus and anticipate the meaning of Jesus’s resurrection during Lent.
Four Tips for Fasting During Lent
1. Have a specific person or circumstance to pray for each day
The first year I observed Lent, I had just read this book and it had so many insights on prayer through reading the Psalms throughout the day. Anytime I fast, I always do the patterns described in the book. She talks about continually returning to God through prayer throughout the day, specifically through the Psalms. When I have a person or circumstance I’m dedicated to pray for throughout the day, it makes the prayer time much more intentional and takes all focus off of the fast.
2. Have a set time each day to pray
My husband has a great morning routine of waking up very early to pray and read the Bible before the day starts. I’ve recently started consistently joining him. I’m not a morning person, so some days he has to come bring me coffee while I’m still in bed as a little motivation. Having this set time in the mornings was very difficult at first, but it has become my favorite part of the day. Once a routine and habit are formed, it makes it easier to find even more rhythms of prayer throughout the day.
3. Record or journal your prayers during the 40 days
One thing I love most is looking back on journals full of prayers. When I look back at prayers from years past, I’m reminded how small those problems seem now. When we journal our thoughts, we can go back and see how God was in control for certain circumstances, and be reminded He is in control of whatever we might be facing today as well.
4. Read through one of the four gospel accounts of Jesus’s life (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John)
Reading through the life and death of Jesus and during Lent is one of my favorite traditions. We live in a world full of noise, busy-ness, and wondering wanting the next best thing. Jesus’s life overflows humility, sacrifice, and generosity.
Are you planning to observe Lent this year? We would love to know any tips you have in the comment section below!