February 23, 2010

Thoughts for Lent Part 1

My hope is that this can become a place for you to find Scripture passages to study, prayers to read and thoughts to think about during this season of Lent. If, along the way, you have questions or comments you want to share about something in particular or a thought in general, please feel free to share.

Almighty God, by the power of your Holy Spirit open our eyes, ears, hearts, and very lips to your presence so that today we may worship and serve you in faithfulness, be blessing and healing reminders of your love to all whose lives we touch. We offer our prayers in the name of Christ. Amen.

-Matthew 3:11-4:11 (In what ways are you preparing your heart to experience God through Lent? Each day?)
-John 13:1-17 (What does Jesus' example of service mean for you?)
-2 Peter 1:1-11 (Which things are you adding to your faith? Which things do you need to add? How do you plan on making that happen?)
-Luke 10:1-12 (Are you living out your faith with a sense of urgency?)


We have fallen into the temptation of separating ministry from spirituality, service from prayer. Our demon says: "We are too busy to pray; we have too many needs to attend to, too many people to respond to, to many wounds to heal. Prayer is a luxury, something to do during a free hour, a day away from work or on a retreat." But to think this way is harmful. Service and prayer can never be separated.

~From The Living Reminder by Henri J. M. Nouwen

It must be realized that the true sign of spiritual endeavor and the price of success in it is suffering. One who proceeds without suffering will bear no fruit. Pain of the heart and physical striving bring to light the gift of the Holy Spirit, bestowed in holy baptism upon every believer, buried in passions through our negligence in fulfilling the commandments, and brought once more to life by repentance, through the ineffable mercy of God. Do not, because of the suffering that accompanies them, cease to make painstaking efforts, lest you be condemned for fruitlessness and hear the words, 'Take the talent from him' (Matthew xxv. 28).

~Theophan the Recluse
Other Resources
-"2 Stories": A daily devotional from Asbury Theological Seminary