For years my mother-in-law gave up sweets for Lent. It still is a common tradition today for some to give up, or sacrifice, a particular food or drink or an activity such as TV, during Lent in order to highlight Christ’s time of fasting and sacrifice.

As we move toward Easter, let’s look inside our hearts rather than at our physical bodies. Let’s pause to prepare our own hearts to celebrate the risen Lord! It is the power of his Spirit in us that enables us to turn away from sin. We can invite his Spirit to cleanse our hearts and remind us that through Jesus' death we are forgiven.

It can be difficult and even a sacrifice to let go of things in our lives. Often we feel justified in hanging on to them. Let Jesus’ resurrection remind us that we serve a living Savior. His power is at work within us today and making us more like him. Amazing!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your great sacrifice and your power! Please help me to prepare my heart as I move toward Easter and our celebration of the risen Christ! Please help me to prepare my heart as I intentionally choose to let you clean me up on the inside. Lord God, I give up the resentment I find simmering in my mind and ask you to help me become more forgiving. Help me to give up complaining and become more grateful. To give up pessimism and become more hopeful; To give up worrying and become more trusting.
Help me to give up anger and become more patient;
To give up pettiness and be more noble.
Help me to give up gloom and become more joyful.
Lord, I want to give up doubt and turn to you with my heart filled with faith.
In your name we pray, Amen.
(Adapted from a prayer handout from the Next Community Church).

Today's challenge: Invite the Holy Spirit to help you examine your heart in preparation for Easter. Are you living in the power of God's forgiveness? What are you holding onto that he wants you to surrender?

Tags: sacrifice Psalm 139 Easter
Photo Credit: Samuel Martins on Unsplash