40 Days of Lent – Reflections #1, A Series

Last Wednesday, February 26, 2020, Ash Wednesday began the Lenten season for Christians. This blog, The Prayer Journals extended an invitation to join a 6-week spiritual awakening through daily fasting, prayer and reflecting on posting Bible verses and prayer journal prompts. These Bible verses and reflection, prayer journal prompts are posted daily on The Prayer Journals Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PrayerPrompts/. Even though this 6-week spiritual awakening journey has begun, I invite you to join this event today.

Reflections #1

Each week I will be posting excerpts from my prayer journal reflections. I invite you to share your prayer journal reflections here on the blog or over on The Prayer Journals Facebook page. My sharing of my personal prayer reflections on this spiritual journey towards Easter is intended to show how journal writing can help each one of us draw closer to God.

Drawing Closer to God

In drawing closer to God, we can express our personal, heartfelt desires, failures and needs. The back page of my prayer journal lists the names of people I pray for daily. When the page is full, I add names on the previous page and so on. When prayers have been fulfilled, like a successful surgery or an answer to a job interview, I note a prayer of thanksgiving next to the person’s name and date. Why a date? It is a reflection that not all prayers are answered instantly, but according to God’s Will and perfect timing for that person.

Find that quiet space to draw closer to God. Allow yourself to write as much as you are led to write from your heart. It may only be just one paragraph, or it may be several pages. God wants to hear from you. I ask God daily to help me see Him throughout the day, to hear Him, and to help me feel His presence. God never fails to answer that request.

Daily Bible Verse and Personal Reflection

While the focus of the daily personal reflection is on one Bible verse, it is an opportunity to read that verse in the Bible in its’ full context with the beginning of the chapter in which the verse appears. The God’s Word translation is primarily used in The Prayer Journals blog and for the purpose of this Lenten series.

1 DAY- 40 DAYS OF LENT

Day 1 – “Self-Improvement”

As I read Luke, Chapter 6, the meaning of verse 24 becomes into focus in verse 37 on the topic of judging others.

Here is an excerpt from my personal prayer journal:

“As I pray today’s verse from Your Word, I diligently pray for my own self-improvement in mind, body and spirit. As I begin to fast from 3 daily meals, I pray that my hunger is not from food but a hunger to know You better. A hunger to reflect Your Goodness and deny myself any position that would make another person feel less than deserving of Your love, grace and mercy than me. I look to Your ways to help me to stop judging, to stop condemning and to forgive others. Lord, may I see not see their faults, but the highest possibilities in them. Help me to be the well-trained teacher that leads with Your compassion.”

2 DAY - 40 DAYS OF LENT
Day 2 – “To Devote Myself to God”

My prayer journal excerpt from the day:

“Dear Lord, I give you all the praise and glory. Many times, over the course of my life I relied on the wealth of this world instead of You. As I continue to fast, I peer into the deep well of my incompleteness and I have seen where I have limited or impoverished the ministry of Jesus because I have not been fully been devoted to You. I ask for forgiveness. I devote to drawing from Jesus’ well of quietness and comfort, and not the sadness and bitterness of my own, or what the world promises.”

3 DAY - 40 DAYS OF LENT
Day 3 – “To Carry Other’s Cross”

My prayer journal excerpt from the day:

“Dear Lord, not all of us have the same life experiences, but our experiences have familial roots. I pray that whether I can grasp the unique personal challenges of others that I am able accept and affirm them as Your child. As I help them carry their cross, may they see Your light in my actions and words. Lord, I am grateful to those whose names are on endless list that have done the same for me.”

4 DAY - 40 DAYS OF LENT
Day 4 – “To Cultivate Silence”

My prayer journal excerpt from the day:

“Lord, I know when something or someone disturbs me, I can make a disturbance to others. It is often something out of my control or something I cannot handle myself. So, what am I to do? I pray I will seek if not a physical place of quiet reflection, but a cultivate a place of silence within my heart so that I may feel Your calming presence. There is so much division, strife and heartache in this world, Lord, and I pray I do not add to it. Help me to hear Your whispering voice.”

5 DAY 40 DAYS OF LENT
Day 5 – “To Do God’s Will”

My prayer journal excerpt from the day:

“Dear Lord, I pray that I will not fall asleep. It is so easy to do under the weight of the today’s worldly pressures; but I pray that you will take my cup of temptation away and fill it with Christ’s living water.

I pray that I would resist using my own weapons in my own moral-resisting power; but use the spiritual weapon of implicit trust in You, a simple relationship with Jesus Christ. I know Lord that my love for You is not realized by intellectual discernment; it is a spiritual revelation.”

When I pray

I encourage you to periodically refer back to the initial invitation for this 6-week Lenten series, 40 Days of Lent – An Invitation for further journal writing guidance for the daily prayer journal prompts for the reflection topic. Please know that I am praying for you in this spiritual awakening journey toward the Easter celebration. You may reach out to me by email at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

Getting to know God

I have been writing in a journal since I was a young girl. In the last ten years I have kept a prayer journal to draw closer to God. Are you waiting for answers? Draw closer to God.
I hope you will join me on The Prayer Journals Facebook page during the Lenten season (and beyond) for spiritual growth.

May I also ask that you share this blog post on your Facebook page and other social media, as well as, the daily Prayer Journals Facebook posts?

I appreciate your participation and value your prayers.

I am praying for you!

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts. If you have a specific prayer request, please email me in confidence at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

God’s Blessings to You,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved

40 Days of Lent – An Invitation

Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020. It begins a six-week period leading up to Easter on Sunday, April 12th. The Prayer Journals blog is inviting you to participate in a spiritual journey of fasting and prayer for the next 6 weeks. I will be posting a daily Bible verse and a prayer prompt for personal reflection on The Prayer Journal Facebook page. I will also be posting periodically here on The Prayer Journals blog, but I hope you will join every day on Facebook (click this link: https://www.facebook.com/PrayerPrompts/).

40 Days of Lent – Daily Prayer with Prayer Journal Prompts

The Lenten season is a time for personal reflection on God’s work on our behalf through the telling of Christ’s passion. We devote ourselves to seeking God in our prayers and reading Scripture through the practice of self-control through fasting. We remember with awe and humility God’s sacrifice to win us back to Himself through his son, Jesus Christ, so that we may have everlasting life through faith in Christ. I, personally, will be fasting from food in which I will primarily eat only one to two meals a day with intermittent fasting a minimum of 18 hours. Others may choose a different form of fasting such as fasting from alcohol, television, or abstaining from any activity or habit that may inhibit personal prayer and reflection.

What God has done through Christ

“God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. His Son paid the price to free us, which means that our sins are forgiven.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. He created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Whether they are kings or lords, rulers or powers— everything has been created through him and for him.  He existed before everything and holds everything together. He is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, the first to come back to life so that he would have first place in everything. God was pleased to have all of himself live in Christ.  God was also pleased to bring everything on earth and in heaven back to himself through Christ. He did this by making peace through Christ’s blood sacrificed on the cross.

Once you were separated from God. The evil things you did showed your hostile attitude.  But now Christ has brought you back to God by dying in his physical body. He did this so that you could come into God’s presence without sin, fault, or blame. This is on the condition that you continue in faith without being moved from the solid foundation of the hope that the Good News contains. You’ve heard this Good News of which I, Paul, became a servant. It has been spread throughout all creation under heaven.”  Colossians 1:13-23 GW

When I pray

When I reflect on the Bible verse selected for the day and the prayer prompt, I will be asking myself questions that will help me draw closer to God and journaling my responses for reflection not only throughout the day but continued prayer throughout the Lenten season.

God who made the choice of my beginning and who will make the choice of my ending has been and continues to be in the middle of all my choices during my times of distress and during times of my joy. He understands my limits, and may I come to understand His limitless power of grace and mercy through Christ’s passion and resurrection.

When I pray, am I prepared to be intensely focused on God’s point of view?

“Make the most of your opportunities because these are evil days. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord wants.” Ephesians 5:16-17 GW

Am I prepared for God to perform with me everything in which He separated me?

“If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them.” James 1:5 GW

After He has done his work with me, am I then prepared to separate myself from God just as Jesus did?

“ “I am the A and the Z,” says the Lord God, the one who is, the one who was, and the one who is coming, the Almighty.” Revelations 1:8 GW

Have I made myself one with Jesus so that what controls Christ controls me too?

“So we must make every effort to enter that place of rest. Then no one will be lost by following the example of those who refused to obey.

God’s word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God’s word judges a person’s thoughts and intentions. No creature can hide from God. Everything is uncovered and exposed for him to see. We must answer to him.” Hebrews 4:11-13 GW

Am I prepared for what this will cost me?

“We need to hold on to our declaration of faith: We have a superior chief priest who has gone through the heavens. That person is Jesus, the Son of God.  We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn’t sin. So we can go confidently to the throne of God’s kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time.” Hebrews 4:14-16 GW

Am I prepared to set myself apart from the Holy Spirit’s work in me?

“God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. In other words, God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn’t hold people’s faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 GW

My Prayer Journal – Praying for Spiritual Growth

I begin a new prayer journal for The Prayer Journals Lenten 6-week event of fasting, prayer and personal reflection. In preparation, on the first page of this new journal, I will write out the following Bible verses (GW) with how to pray for spiritual growth.

Ephesians 3:16-19

“ I’m asking God to give you a gift from the wealth of his glory. I pray that he would give you inner strength and power through his Spirit. Then Christ will live in you through faith. I also pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation. This way, with all of God’s people you will be able to understand how wide, long, high, and deep his love is.  You will know Christ’s love, which goes far beyond any knowledge. I am praying this so that you may be completely filled with God.”

Hebrews 13:21

“May this God of peace prepare you to do every good thing he wants. May he work in us through Jesus Christ to do what is pleasing to him. Glory belongs to Jesus Christ forever. Amen.”

Romans 15:13

“May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in him. Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Thessalonians 3:5

“May the Lord direct your lives as you show God’s love and Christ’s endurance.”

Invitation - 40 DAYS OF LENT

My Prayer

Lord, bring me close to Your cross that I might know how You loved me and gave Yourself to me. Lord, may I keep Lent in a way that is pleasing to You. As I follow You from the garden to the Cross, do not let me follow from afar that I would deny You. Help me to watch and pray with You that I may not fall into temptation. Enlighten me that I may see by faith that You knelt in Prayer for me, that You, the Holy One, were judged a criminal by whiplashes of angry sinners as my sinless Savior, that You stumbled under the cross as our Suffering Servant, that you died as the Lamb of God in my stead and for my sake.

Lord Jesus, through it all help me hear in Your Prayer the single purpose for which You endured pain and death: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Amen

(Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Prayer)

Getting to know God

I have been writing in a journal since I was a young girl. In the last ten years I have kept a prayer journal to draw closer to God. Are you waiting for answers? Draw closer to God.

I hope you will join me on The Prayer Journals Facebook page during the Lenten season (and beyond) for spiritual growth. May I also ask that you share this blog post on your Facebook page and other social media, as well as, the daily Prayer Journals Facebook posts? I appreciate your participation and value your prayers.

I am praying for you!

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts. If you have a specific prayer request, please email me in confidence at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

God’s Blessings to You,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

 

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved