40 Days of Prayer
Our 40-day prayer campaign Prayer in the Life of Jesus is grounded in the conviction that through Christ, we have bold and confident access to God (Ephesians 3:12). This confidence is strengthened by the knowledge that our prayers, aligned with His will, are heard (1 John 5:14-15), and the assurance of Hebrews 4:16 that drawing near to the throne of grace will result in receiving the mercy and grace required in our time of need. Through this collective and intentional season of prayer, we seek to deepen our relationship with God, align our hearts with His will, and experience the transformative power of His mercy and grace in our lives and in the life of our church community.
What is Lent?
Lent is our modern derivative of the Old English word for spring, lengten, but the word also has Latin roots, stemming from the Latin term quadragesima, which means "fortieth." The period of Lent commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent praying and fasting in the wilderness, preparing for and leading up to his crucifixion—reminiscent of how the Jewish High Priests would prepare for the Day of Atonement. Lent is observed by Christians around the world as a time of reflection, repentance, and preparation for Easter. It is a season of hopeful anticipation for the victory of Christ over sin and death through his own death and resurrection.
Where is Lent in the Bible?
While the observance of Lent isn’t specifically commanded in the Bible, the practices of Lent—including that of prayer and fasting—are, and they were exemplified by Jesus Christ directly, quite notably when Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1). These spiritual practices, ordinary to the Christian life, when given more attention during Lent sharpen our focus on Christ, mirroring Jesus’ special activity leading up to His sacrificial death on the cross. It’s a special way to prepare our hearts for the remembrance of Good Friday and Easter Sunday by casting off distractions, especially sin, and helps us to look more clearly to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Why Pray During Lent?
Not only is prayer during Lent a way to conform to the likeness of Christ, but by prayerfully reflecting on the historical reality of Jesus' death and resurrection, we find that Easter holds profound implications. As Romans 4:25 states, Jesus was delivered for our trespasses and raised for our justification. In the words of 1 Corinthians 15:17, if Christ has not been raised, our gospel is in vain. John Piper calls Easter “the galactic hinge, transforming not only our personal lives but the entire created order,” because the resurrection vindicates Good Friday, assuring the forgiveness of sins. That is the truth we look forward to and remember during the season of Lent. And what better way to acknowledge that profound truth than to pray daily?