40 Days of Fasting & Prayer

Lent 2021          FEB 17-APR 3

In our culture, it's so easy to get caught up in the fun part of Easter and miss out on the meaning. Lent is the six-week season leading up to Easter that reminds us the resurrection only occurred because the crucifixion came first. We can prepare ourselves for the joy of Resurrection Sunday by entering into the sorrow and pain which preceded it. We do this through fasting, self-examination and repentance.

On the Christian calendar, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends the day before Easter. Although the season is marked by daily fasting, Sundays are excluded, bringing the total number of days to 40—a biblically significant number representing trial, testing and preparation.

Fasting reminds us that Christian discipleship means saying “no” to our selfish desires in the ongoing battle against sin. When we humble ourselves in fasting and prayer, it is not to earn God's blessing. Instead, we rejoice in the assurance that we already stand in favor with a God who exalts those who humble themselves. How great is our God!

We will be using the Cross & Crown Lent Devotional from Sojourn with daily Scripture readings, prayers and reflection questions. This material will be available by email and on our mobile app, or you can download a copy of the devotional guide by clicking below. Our goal is to reflect meaningfully on the death and resurrection of Christ, and on our union with Him, while pursuing the holiness that He calls us to and makes possible in us.

You may or may not think of yourself as a prayer warrior, but please challenge yourself to participate.  We are the body of Christ; we all are called to be people of prayer. With all the many challenges of our day, it's time to get into God's presence and get his perspective, his grace and his healing . . . for his glory.

Fasting Focuses

Pastors Tom and Tim are encouraging our church family to fast for the 40 days of Lent. We'll be doing it together, with everyone fasting the same kind of thing on the same days. We're also doing it individually; within that general fasting focus is latitude for you to decide (with the Lord's direction) the specifics of what and how you will fast.

Feb 17-27: Food (for example, caffeine, sugar, lunch, all meals for a number of days)
Mar 1-11: Media (for example, social media, Internet, hosted news shows, all news)
Mar 12-23: Entertainment (for example, video games, TV, movies, sports, fiction, shopping for non-essentials)
Mar 24-Apr 3: Sleep (consider adjusting your sleep schedule to incorporate more prayer and/or time in the Word)

It might look like the days are not counted correctly, since we're saying four periods of 10 days each. But Sundays are not included in the 40 days of Lent; traditionally they have been considered feast days.

Please note that while fasting does include a denial of self, that is not the end goal. The goal is to decrease distractions in order to increase our focus on the Lord.

Prayer & Worship Times

A major goal for the 40 days is for everyone to increase their individual time with the Lord. We also want to encourage participation in our corporate prayer times (with masking and social distancing). Thursday is the day! We're gathering every Thursday at noon for an hour of prayer, and then again in the evening. See the schedule below and join us as often as you can!

All Thursdays | Feb 18-Apr 1 | 12-1 pm | Room 207
1st Thursdays | Worship Nights | Mar 4, Apr 1 | 7-8:30 pm | Sanctuary
2nd-5th Thursdays | MORE | Feb 18, 25; Mar 11, 18, 25 | 6-7 pm | Room 207