Common worship and prayer has always been a part of the life of the people of God. The most basic form of this, for us, is on Sunday afternoon, when believers gather together to sing common songs, pray common prayers, eat the same Lord’s Supper, hear the same Word preached, and celebrate the same holy seasons and days. Yet, for most strands of Christendom, other times of weekly and daily worship and prayer have been seen as vital and necessary for living a life of discipleship.
During the season of Lent, Christians prepare for Christ’s resurrection at Easter by setting out on a somber journey of spiritual preparation and renewal, marked especially by prayer and repentance, reflecting on Christ’s temptation for 40 days in the wilderness, his last days of ministry, and ultimately his death on the cross for our sins. Our culture is one which is pain-averse and shrinks away from any form of suffering. The season of Lent stands apart, in that it invites us to willingly identify with Christ’s sufferings.
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Often, Christians will give something up for Lent, but we would like to encourage you to rather take something up during this season. City Church of Richmond will join together three times each week from Ash Wednesday (March 1st) to Good Friday (April 14th) for corporate prayer:
- Monday evenings from 7:45 to 8:30pm
- Wednesday afternoons from 12 to 12:45pm
- Friday mornings from 6:45 to 7:30am
During that time, we will be using this booklet as our guide to prayer. We'll also post the guide for each day of prayer in this space on the church website. We invite you to join with us during one of those times and to use this prayer guide on your own or with your family throughout the rest of the week. This year we have been asking the question and focusing on the theme of “What does it mean to grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ?” Cultivating a habit of prayer is one part of that growth.
We have created 20 guides for prayer. And while there are 40 days in Lent, we wanted to give you room to continue other spiritual disciplines as well as ease into a new habit of spiritual formation. Each day’s prayer includes an invitation, times of quiet reflection, a psalm, readings from the Bible, as well as prompts for prayer, and common affirmations of faith and blessing. These guides are a tool to be used in order to promote your growth in grace through the Holy Spirit, so please use it however you see fit. Read all or only a portion, use the prayer prompts or pray on your own, feel free to journal your prayers, get together with others, or express your conversation with God in any number of ways.
For families, you might benefit from reading only the Scripture portion of each daily prayer and asking the questions especially designed for use with children.
This Lenten prayer guide does not exist in a vacuum, and we are indebted to brothers and sisters in Christ from Redeemer PCA in Winston-Salem, NC, as well as the publishers of Seeking God’s Face and God For Us. Many of the readings are taken from these resources or the Revised Common Lectionary used by churches around the globe. The cover art featured in the PDF version is by Makoto Fujimura and is entitled Sacrificial Grace.