40 Devotions For The Season of Lent

Prayer   &   Fasting

March 6 - April 21

  Journey to the Cross - A 40 Day Devotional

Congratulations! You did it!

At the start of Lent, together we started a fasting challenge that included understanding biblical fasting and diving into the Word daily with “Give me Your Heart - 40 Devotions for the Season of Lent” reading plan! Our prayer was that this time spent with the Lord in prayer, fasting, and scripture would encourage a daily habit of surrender and joy for you and those around you. In the end, the Word of God should not just convict, challenge, and teach you, but above all, it should transform you.

Again, Congratulations

                      How to use this book:

    This Book is a devotional guide for the season of Lent. Each day Consists of Scripture readings, meditation, reflection questions and prayers - all aimed toward directing your heart to god and deepening your understanding of the events that led to Easter. Each week of the devotional is focused on a different theme: repentance, humility, suffering, lament, sacrifice, and death. Although not exclusive to Lent, these themes capture the content and tone of the season. They point us to Jesus, and to put it simple, Lent is about Jesus. Our aim is to reflect meaningfully on his journey to the cross, so that we might take up our cross and follow him.  

Ash Wednesday       

      Mar. 6 - Day 1:  Today I rip from my heart selfishness and bind my heart to Jesus: Ps. 139:24-24

      Mar. 7 - Day 2:  Today I will concentrate more on the internal realities that give depth and                                                          meaning to my actions; like humility.    Matthew 6:16-18

      Mar. 8 - Day 3:  I understand it’s not what I’m giving up today but to seek to replace it with                                                        devotion to Christ.   Isaiah 40:3-8

      Mar. 9 - Day 4:  My goal today is to totally embrace the rhythms of Lent.Hebrews 12:1-2

    Mar. 10 - Day 5:  To see repentance as God’s invitation to fellowship.  Joel 2:13

    Mar. 12 - Day 6:  I repent for the times when materialism had its way with me.

                                                                                                                                               Mark 9:30-37

    Mar. 13 - Day 7:  Search me, O God! Every damaged crack and dark corner; every hidden space                                                  and hard spot.   Colossians 2:2

    Mar. 14 - Day 8:  I am determined to center my entire life on God and find my sense of worth,                                                    purpose, and joy in Him.    Psalm 62: 5-8

    Mar. 15 - Day 9:  I thank God for welcoming sinners like me by loving me in-spite of me.

                                                                                         Psalm 32:8-11

                 

   Mar. 16 - Day 10:  Why would Jesus give up His seat in glory at the right hand of the Father to sit at                                              the table with sinners?        Mark 10:45 & 2 Cor. 8:9

   Mar. 18 - Day 11:  I want to be a man of humility.Philippians 2:3-4

   Mar. 19 - Day 12:  When will it STOP? Philippians 3:14

   Mar. 20 - Day 13:  On the journey to the cross, we are being liberated from the solitary                                                                    confinement of self-concern.Hebrews 11:13

   Mar. 21 - Day 14:  Forgive me when I let the Fruit of the Spirit be choked by the Weeds of the                                                        World.   Mark 10:35-45

   Mar. 22 - Day 15:  SEIZE THE DAY!!!  Proverbs 27:1

   Mar. 23 - Day 16   Live your life as if God is present in EVERYTHING.  Jeremiah 29:11-14

   Mar. 24 - Day 17:  I remind myself that I fast and pray to remember the suffering Jesus endured,                                                  and draw attention to the sufficiency of God’s grace in my life.  Rom. 3:23-26

   Mar. 26 - Day 18:  Father, please help me to see suffering as an orientation to Your agenda, which                                               is to form in me the character of Christ.   James 1:2-4

   Mar. 27 - Day 19:  God will provide whatever we need to keep His children from utter                                                                      destruction.God can use many things to get our attention.  Jonah 1:17

      God will provide whatever we need to keep His

   Mar. 28 - Day 20:  Lord, you continue to forgive and help us, now please help us to forgive and                                                   help others.   Psalm 19:7-11

   Mar. 29 - Day 21:  Today I bow before the King of glory!  Psalm 24

   Mar. 30 - Day 22:  Practice of honesty is more important than practice of holiness. Psalm 25:21

   Mar. 31 - Day 23:  Today I refuse to complain. Instead I’ll lament.  Psalm 142:1-2

   Apr. 2 -    Day 24:  Lord, I need You to help me in the “How Long?” season of my life.      Psalm 13

   Apr. 3  -   Day 25:  It is good that I should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lam.3:26

   Apr. 4 -    Day 26:  Please mold me to the ways of Jesus whose life I honor. Jeremiah 18:1-10

   Apr. 5 -    Day 27:  God I take refuge in Your strength.  Psalm 46

   Apr. 7 -    Day 28:  

   Apr. 8-     Day 29:  Thank You God for a mouth to praise You, feet to walk in Your ways, and a heart                                                to love and worship You.  Isaiah 61:10

   Apr. 9 -    Day 30:  Day 30 - Brokenness Luke 22:19

 Apr. 10 -    Day 31:  Eternal God, whose covenant with me is never broken, forgive me for breaking                                                 my covenant with You more times than I can count.   2 Cor. 1:19-22

 Apr. 11 -    Day 32:  God, if I am to spend time in Gethsemane as Your Son and my Savior did, help                                                 me to trust You for strength to endure the pain, loneliness, and frustration.

                                                                                                                                                          Mark 14:32-42

 Apr. 12 -    Day 33:  Thank you God that I can come clean with You. No excuses, just full disclosure.                                                 No rituals, just sincere prayer. No promises, just a broken, contrite spirit.

                                            Hebrews 10:1-7

 Apr. 13 -    Day 34:  God, You have taught me to worship because all the glory belongs to You!

                                                      Psalm 50:1-6

 Apr. 15 -    Day 35:   Lord Jesus, please forgive me for betraying You like Judas; denying You like                                                        Peter; and forsaking You like the other disciples.    Mark 14:66-72

  Apr. 15 -    Day 36:  Conquering the fear of RISK.     Hebrews 13:6

  Apr. 15 -    Day 37:  Thank You Lord for knowing me from the inside out and the outside in; yet You                                                  love me unconditionally.  Isaiah 53:5

  Apr. 15 -    Day 38:  Jesus His laid down His body and gave up His blood for me.Matthew 26:26-28

 

  Apr. 15 -    Day 39: That Friday You had me in mind. Psalm 116:1-8;12-14

  Apr. 15 -    Day 40:

Daily Tips for Fasting

Distract yourself. Fasting can lead to fantasies of large banquet tables laden with silver platters full of all the food you can't eat. Daydreaming will only increase your cravings, so find ways to get your mind on something besides ice cream and hamburgers.

  • Spending time with a friend or a family member doing something unrelated to eating is a great distraction, as long as he or she knows not to suggest that you go out to dinner afterward.

  • Exercising is normally a good way to distract yourself from eating, but in this case it might make you hungrier. Go for a light walk or plan an excursion that doesn't require burning too many calories.

  • Don't watch too much TV, since the commercials may tempt you with images of food and people eating. Try reading a book or working on a craft project instead.

  • Sleep as much as you want. Sleeping time counts as fasting time, so if you're doing a multi-day fast, getting plenty of rest can help you get through the hunger pangs.

 

If you’re like me, you’ve no doubt had thoughts of quitting by now. The thought may be fleeting, but it does cross your mind now and then. You’ve likely felt so bad that you’ve not had the desire or energy to pray. You’ve struggled with others’ opinions of your fast. You’ve battled discouragement and doubt as to whether your fast is accomplishing anything (other than making you miserable).

We’re human. When we fast, we’re going to struggle with one or two of these things, if not all of them. Some fasts are worse for me; some better. But when I stop and remember these six things, I hear a coach on the sidelines cheering me on! Giving me guidance! Giving me the tools and perspective necessary to persevere and fast effectively. I hear reminders that actually take some pressure off of my “performance” and enable me to enjoy what God is doing through my fast!  You know these things, but it’s so helpful to hear them again:

1. If you mess up, get back up and keep going.

Did you mess up on your fast? Did you eat something you weren’t going to? Just get up and keep going. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Get up and head to the finish line! The race isn’t over because you fell. Don’t quit or let the enemy get you discouraged. You can start fresh and leave the condemnation behind.Yes, get up and continue on, but don’t start counting at day one again. There is no cause for a complete “do-over.” Pick up with where you were (day five, day ten, etc) and persevere to the finish line!

2. Don’t let others be your Holy Spirit.

Don’t let others be your fasting police. Don’t let their expectations, approval, or disapproval determine what you do or don’t abstain from during your fast. Fasting is not a legalistic effort. It’s something between you and God. We fast to please God – not others…and not even ourselves. Let the Holy Spirit of God guide you in what to abstain from.  The choice of what you abstain from can only be made between you and God.  If we’re not careful, the fast itself becomes our focus and not God. There will be times  when you can be so focused on what you are drinking or not drinking that you was basically putting my confidence in the fast itself, not in God. You can get so preoccupied with the menu that you miss the most important part – prayer!

3. Combine fasting with prayer and the Word.

Otherwise it’s just a diet! Make sure that food consumption, or lack thereof, isn’t taking precedence over your conversation with God. When you skip a meal in order to fast, spend that time in prayer. Make time for reading God’s word! Internalize it.  

  • “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12)

4. Don’t expect all results to be immediate.

Don’t get discouraged if you haven’t experienced immediate results. There are some immediate results, such as discovering what bottom line desires have been controlling you, but there are also long term results. When you invest in your retirement, you know the investment has accrued at the bank, but you can’t feel, see or touch it now. However, you know pay day is coming.

It’s the same with fasting. Know that if you are fasting with a pure heart and the right motives, you have an investment that is accruing during these twenty-one days. You can’t feel it, see it, or touch it, but pay day is coming! Remember that victory often comes after the fast. Jesus returned in the power of the spirit after his fast. Many men and women in the Bible experienced results after a period of fasting.

5. Don’t judge your results based on how you feel.

These first few days might have been rough for you. If so, it’s a sign that your fast is working! You might have had a headache — especially if you normally drink caffeine daily and stopped for the fast. The headaches usually go away after three days, but if you still have one, keep persevering! It will get better! Yes, keep persevering and drink lots of water. This will help flush toxins out. (If you’re on a full fast, it is imperative that you drink a lot of water.) A good goal would be to drink one gallon of water a day.

6. When you fast, expect resistance!

Expect it. Be prepared. The enemy will try to send things that will get you discouraged and get you to stop. He’ll try to get you focused on how you feel. Or, if you’ve felt too weak and sick with a headache to sense God’s presence extra-super-gloriously these first few days, the enemy will try to get you focused on that — he’ll try to get you to conclude fasting is hopeless and give up.

Don’t be surprised when spiritual forces of darkness go on the offensive because of your fast. Fasting sets spiritual forces in motion.

 

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