Resetting Our Prayer Lives During Lent
In last month’s blog I wrote about Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills football player and his miraculous healing, and the power of prayer. When faced with such a traumatic event, it seemed easier to pray because the prayer was focused on a particular person and event. But what about the times when we can’t find the words to pray?
Lent is often a time we focus on resetting our spiritual lives in preparation for Easter. It is a time of reflection and repentance. Prayer is our opportunity to reflect and repent and spend time with God, and while all of these things are essential, we sometimes struggle to put prayer into our daily lives. During this season of Lent, if you would like to make prayer a priority, here are a few suggestions on how to make prayer a part of your day.
*Pray with scripture: the psalms, the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-15, or any passage of scripture can be used prayerfully.
*Journal your prayers: prayer journals are a way to keep track of specific requests and answers to prayer, but they can also be places to write out our prayers. Journals help focus our thoughts during prayer.
*Pray with your imagination: read a passage of scripture and put yourself there. For example, the account of the bleeding woman in Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8—imagine yourself in the scene. Are you one of the disciples, an onlooker in the crowd, or the woman seeking healing from Jesus? Imagine what it would have been like to be there. Would you speak directly to Jesus—what would you say? How would He respond?
*Pray with your breath: this prayer is simple and brief, usually just a short phrase to say while slowly inhaling and exhaling. Some examples of breath prayers are, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” or “Jesus, I trust you,” or simply repeating the name of Jesus. You can also use a favorite Bible verse as a breath prayer.
*Prayer of daily examen: this is a type of prayer that helps you notice God working in your daily life. As you review the events of the day, you’ll notice the moments when you felt closest to God and the ones when you felt furthest away. As you pray, express gratitude for the blessings, ask for forgiveness for the sins, and ask God for wisdom for tomorrow.
As we continue this season of Lent and prepare for Christ’s resurrection at Easter, I pray that our prayer lives be renewed, and our relationship with Christ be strengthened. ‘Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.’ James 5:16