Repentance itself is nothing else but a kind of circling: to turn to the One by repentance from whom, by sin, we have turned away.
First, then, there is a turn in which we look forward to God and with our whole heart resolve to turn to God. Then there is a turn again in which we look backward to our sins in which we have turned from God; and with beholding them our very heart must break. There is one turn resolving to amend that which is to come; another reflecting and sorrowing for that which is past; one turn declining from evil to be done hereafter, another sentencing itself for evil done before.
To turn is a counsel given to those are out of the right way, for going on still and turning are opposite motions, both of them with reference to a way. It the way is good, we are to hold on; if otherwise, to turn and take another.
– excerpt from Lancelot Andrewes’ Ash Wednesday sermon 1619
Lent Prayer Challenge 2015 – 40 daily prayers for missionaries serving among the least-reached people groupsFebruary 18, 2015
The evangelical mission agency Christar has put together a very nice list of prayer suggestions for use in Lent 2015 – key prayer requests, one per day, for missionaries serving among unreached / least-reached people groups around the world, including those in “creative access” countries where traditional missions work is not allowed, and where risk of persecution is high.
If you know any missionaries, it would make a great Lenten discipline to use this list to shape your prayers for them during Lent.
Throughout Lent, we will routinely Tweet about people groups and countries needing prayer, the persecuted church, and issues of religous freedom.
I like Twitter, but I’m not a master of communicating powerful truth in 144 characters! Ann Voskamp is, and she has been tweeting a lot of great Scripture verses and powerful prayers on the theme of repentance.
quiet Ash Wednesday prayer of repentance: “Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit with us.” #Pray703
#AshWednesday: “Repent&Return, so that your sins may be wiped away,in order Refreshing may come from presence of the Lord” Acts3:19 #Pray703
Isa30:15 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “In Repentance & Rest is your salvation, in quietness & trust is your strength”
Martin Luther: “When our Lord said “Repent,” he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.” #Pray703
If you come daily to God to honestly confess sinfulness, it’s honestly hard to wear any fake mask of holiness or perfectness. #AshWednesday
Today’s first entry in the Lent 2015 devotional series by Trinity School for Ministry is very solid – a simple, but important reminder on the danger of trusting in our own efforts to please God through our penitence, fasting, or other spiritual disciplines. Here’s a quote I found very helpful, as well as the closing prayer
Repentance is the foundation of our joy. Our penitence is not for God’s sake. He doesn’t need it; we do. We do it to be reminded who we really are: sinners, undeserving of God’s mercy, yet – mysteriously and wonderfully – the recipients of it!
Let us pray that God would give us a good and fruitful Lent, making known to us, in deeper and richer ways, the inexhaustible mystery of his mercy.
Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust for power and idle chatter. Rather grant to me, your servant, the Spirit of integrity, humility, patience, and love. Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own sins and not judge my brothers and sisters; for you are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. (St. Ephrem of Edessa)
This post is sticky. Look below for new entries.
- Here is a handy one-page listing of all the Lent daily office Scripture readings for 2015 according to the Book of Common Prayer
- Bible Gateway – Lent Devotional* – (*3X per week, M/W/F) Scripture, prayer & Lenten-themed quote. Very worth bookmarking and reading. You can find more Bible Gateway devotional series here. Several good options include 40 days with Bonhoeffer (note the calendar dates are for 2013, but you can still follow the days sequentially), or the NIV 365 day devotional
- Biola University’s Lent Project site. So good. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Meaty reflections on Scripture, accompanied by visual art and music. It’s such a treat, and really good “soul food.”
- Barnstorming blog. YAY! Emily Polis Gibson is once again posting Lent reflections. Her photos and poetry and reflections make this a great site for spiritual encouragement. One of my favorite blogs year round, but especially during Advent & Lent.
This year’s 40 Days for Life campaign commences today.
Matthew 5:43-44 (ESV)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Our Father in heaven,
We bless the abortionists in the United States. You know their needs far better than we. Bless them inside and out, upside and down, in every dimension and every realm, seen and unseen. Amen.