Today is Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent. I got saved in a non-denominational churches and I am part of one now so practicing Lent has never been something I have done with any kind of intentionality. The closest I’ve ever come to really recognizing it is, a few times in the past, I’ve given something up for Lent or tried to read some daily readings I had found. Non-denominational means non-traditional but in the last couple of years I have found myself drawn to traditional ways of expressing my faith. This year I wanted to be intentional about recognizing Lent. It is meant to be a time of preparing our hearts for Easter. The common practice of giving something up for Lent is to help draw our hearts closer to His. We sacrifice, in anticipation of remembering the ultimate sacrifice made by Christ on Calvary.
In a teaching about Lent that I listened to yesterday, the speaker shared about the transformation that happened to both Moses and Jesus as they spent time with the Father. Moses when he received The Ten Commandments and the Law; Jesus when He was on the Mount of Transfiguration. The speaker made the point that when we get closer to God, when we spend time with Him something changes in us and we are transformed. As I listened to him, I realized that, this year for Lent the Father is inviting me to spend time with Him. I have known for a few weeks that He wanted me to spend these 40 Days of Lent praying and I am going to be doing the 40 Day Prayer Challenge from this book. I had been trying to find out what God wanted me to pray about during these 40 Days and I realized last night that it is less about what I pray about and more about the time I spend with Him.
The Father and I had a rough year last year, well it really started at the end of 2011 but either way it was a hard time. My faith was shaken at a level I had never experienced before and at one point, God and I were not on speaking terms at all. I wasn’t sure if I would come through it with my faith intact. Thankfully I did and my relationship with the Father is better now. It took a toll on me though; it took a toll on my connection with Him. I don’t think I fully realized just how much until I set out to find out what He wanted me to pray about. As I felt His whispers in my heart I realized I didn’t have the faith to pray for the things He wanted me to pray for because I wasn’t sure I could trust that He would answer me. As I listened to that speaker last night, I knew that what the Father was looking for most from me was simply time with me; time to reconnect my heart, my faith and my trust back to Him. So while I am still doing the Prayer Challenge, I am most looking forward to seeing the transformation that will come in me as a result of the time I will spend with Him.