As of today, we are in the season of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. 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.

This year as we move toward Easter, let’s consider together the things we want to give up — but let’s look inside our hearts rather than at our physical bodies. Let’s pause to ponder the preparation of our own hearts to celebrate the risen Lord! It is the power of His Spirit in us that enables us to move forward in choosing to give up and clean up our hearts as we prepare to let His death remind us that we are forgiven.

It is often difficult and even a sacrifice to let these things go in our hearts. Often we feel justified in hanging on to them. Let Jesus’ resurrection remind us that we serve a living Savior and His power is at work within us today! Amazing!

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the season of Lent that reminds us of 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).

Go deeper — Choose one thing that has settled into your heart that drags you down. Ask the Lord to help you give it up and replace it with the opposite attribute. Is Lent a new concept to you? Watch the short explainer video — Lent 101.

Tags: sacrifice Psalm 139
Photo Credit: Elaine Casap