Preparing for Easter

I grew up in the church, but as a kid who grew up in non-denominational and non-traditional churches, there’s a lot that I didn’t experience that others who grew up in church did. Many traditions have a liturgical calendar that includes celebrating seasons of the Christian Year. One of those is Lent. So I’m a day late (Lent technically started yesterday with Ash Wednesday) with this post, but better late than never for this non-traditional guy!

Lent is a 40-day period of focus for the believer leading up to Easter. It receives it’s meaning from the 40 days of Jesus in the wilderness as told in Matthew 4:1-11. It is common for Christians during Lent to either give something up or add a spiritual focus to prepare their hearts for Easter.

I’ve decided to add a particular prayer emphasis in the days leading to Easter based on what is called the Lord’s Prayer (found in Matthew 6:9-13). Here’s some info on what I’ll do. Maybe you will want to join me and others who will spend some extra focused attention on the work God is doing between now and Easter? You could try this or something you personally feel challenged to do.

For what it’s worth, here’s an idea on praying the Lord’s Prayer:

I have found that using “The Lord’s Prayer” here as a template for my own prayers has been richly rewarding over the years. By “template” I mean, not to simply repeat this word-for-word, but instead to use it as an outline for my own prayer. Here’s a way to summarize the prayer outline Jesus gave:

  • Praise of the Father: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name”
  • Purpose of the Father: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”
  • Provision of the Father: “Give us our daily bread”
  • Pardon: “Forgive us our debts (trespasses, sins)…”
  • Pilotage: “Lead us not into temptation…”
  • Protection: “but deliver us from evil”
I’ll start with praise. Then pray for God’s purposes in areas of my life, my family, ministry, etc. I’ll turn to God’s provision, asking for what is needed today, casting off any anxiety on Him. I’ll ask for forgiveness (pardon), and ask Him to reveal any areas of unforgiveness in my heart. I’ll thank him for his leadership (pilotage…I know this was a stretch to get a ‘P’ word for leadership) and ask for direction to know his will and obey it. Along those lines I’ll ask him to keep me from falling into temptation to sin , and to turn over to him areas in my heart that I know I tend to be a source for temptation (protection).

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