A Prayer for Lent: Deepening Your Connection with God

5 min read

Every year, Christians around the world slow down and create space to seek a deeper intimacy with God. Our world is full of demands and distractions. Time seems to slip through our fingers, and each day brings fresh challenges. It has long been the practice of the church to pause and remember not only who we are, but whose we are.

Lent gives us that opportunity.

What is Lent?

Traditionally, Christians would eat only one meal a day after 3pm. This meal could not include meat, fish, or dairy, and the fast lasted for 40 days! It did not, however, include Sundays. On Sundays, anything could be eaten, as a reminder of the celebration to come. Today, we celebrate Lent differently. Many of us give up a particular food or a practice, but the purpose remains the same. By denying our physical appetites, we seek to strengthen our spiritual resolve.

The reasoning behind this is simple. Time spent on these physical appetites, whether that is eating or scrolling social media, can instead be spent on prayer, reflection, and reading scripture. Growing up, I was taught that whenever I felt like eating something I had given up for Lent, I now had the opportunity to spend that time in prayer. It wasn’t in a ┬álegalistic sense. Rather, I was learning the importance of intentionally creating space and training my mind to value prayer as much as it values a sugar rush. That was quite a lesson to learn as a kid!

Why Lent?

You may have your own practices for Lent, or you may be discovering them for the first time. Wherever you are, I invite you to consider the opportunity to deepen your connection with God. Once a year, we intentionally create space for reflection and prayer as a community. In a world that is so busy, this is like a fresh breeze to the soul. Intentionality breeds progress, and through the period of Lent, we can progress in our pursuit of becoming more like Christ by denying what our flesh desires. This is following the example he set when he spent forty days in the desert. Hungry and alone, Jesus resisted three great temptations that represent the struggles we still face: hunger, fame, and power.

We need God’s help

What we quickly learn is that discipline is hard work. It’s so hard that we need help, and God is available to give us strength. The real beauty of Lent is that it reminds us of the empowerment we have through the Holy Spirit every day. Following Jesus is not easy, and we all face a daily battle with the appetites of our flesh. We desire things that are not good for us or our faith. These forty days help us remember that God is with us and help us overcome daily temptations.

Lent is connection

There’s a real sense, then, that Lent is really about connection. It’s about us recognising the closeness of God and the availability of His Spirit. It’s about intentionally fostering the relationship we have with him and drawing near to him. His promise in Jeremiah 29:13 is that when we seek him with all our heart, we will find him. James 4:8 tells us to “draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” While it is true that God is always with us, our willingness to deliberately make space for him and seek him can greatly improve how we experience that relationship.

So I want to help you deepen that connection this Lent. This can be done through worship or reading scripture. It can also be done through prayer, which is when we communicate with our Father. I have written a prayer for you this Lent, which I hope will help focus your mind as you reflect on who he is and what he accomplished for us.

A Prayer for lent

Heavenly Father, Creator of all things,

I know that you are good and full of grace,

through Your Son Jesus Christ, You have made a way where there was no way,

in Him You are making all things new, and I know that includes me.

Because of Jesus I am able to come before You as Your child,

secure and confident in the knowledge that You know and love me.

I want to follow You and live my life in a way that brings You glory,

but I also know there is so much that distracts and tempts me.

I am sorry for the times I have allowed my flesh to lead me,

and I ask that You remind me that I am completely forgiven.

I want to surrender to Your will and Your way,

to live as You would have me live,

but I need Your help to be disciplined and resist temptation.

Give me Your strength to fight the good fight of faith,

and to resist the things of this world that try to draw me away from you.

Renew my mind and teach me the discipline of a disciple,

so that I can live a life that pleases you.

As I resist the appetites of my flesh,

I ask You to place in me the desires of Your own heart.

Strengthen me through Your Holy Spirit,

and keep me connected to You who is the Way, the Truth and the Life,

today and for all the days that are to come.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Enjoying Lent

I hope that prayer helps you to focus on the reason for this Lenten period. It can be easy for this time of year to feel like a burden or religious duty, but the truth is, we can enjoy it! By keeping our connection with God at the centre of Lent, we can all experience a deeper relationship with Him. In this way, we become not who we wish we could be, but who we have been created to be. I pray you find joy and hope this Lent!

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