DAY 1: ASH WEDNESDAY
MEDITATE: 1 Peter 5:6
PRAY: Lord, I am not my own. I am a sinner and I have fallen short of your glory, yet you became a man to die on a cross in my place. Thank you for loving me that much, Jesus! In this season, may I be crucified with Christ so I can truly live.
READ: We are Not Our Own: The Counter-Cultural Season of Lent by John Stonestreet
REFLECT: How am I conforming to culture? What would it look like to follow the way of Jesus instead?
MEDITATE: Psalm 118:25-26
PRAY: Lord, help me to dive into this season of Lent with intentionality and purpose. I want to know you better, love you more fully, and accept your grace more readily. Draw me closer to you, day by day.
READ: Evangelicals Remember Lent by Whitney Hopler
REFLECT: What has been the most meaningful part of this Lenten season for you? What will you remember?
MEDITATE: 1 Samuel 15:22
PRAY: Lord, I pray that I wouldn’t make Lent about myself this year, but instead about your great love for me through your sacrifice of Jesus. May I focus on your love above all else-- thank you, Jesus, for giving your life for mine.
READ: Should I Give Up Something for Lent? by Denise K. Loock
REFLECT: Where am I focusing my attention?
MEDITATE: Matthew 4:1-2
PRAY: Jesus, help me to set aside time for worship and reflection in this season of Lent. Help me draw nearer to you and understand you more deeply. May I receive the overwhelming graces you have to offer me, today and everyday.
READ: What is Lent: Honoring the Sacrifice of Jesus by Sarah Phillips
REFLECT: How can I honor the sacrifice of Jesus through my life?
DAY 5: SUNDAY - GRACE DAY
MEDITATE: Mark 1:12-13
PRAY: Jesus, focus my heart and my mind on what you endured for me. Everything you did, you did for the salvation of all mankind-- I am eternally grateful. I am in awe of you, Lord. Thank you for the cross.
READ: Why I Was Wrong about Lent by Jennifer Kostick
REFLECT: How can I be more cognizant of the cross today?
MEDITATE: Matthew 6:1
PRAY: Lord, may I be gracious toward all who choose to observe Lent, and all those who don’t. May I be cautious in how I share about my Lenten practices this month, avoiding hypocrisy and choosing love for me neighbors above all else.
READ: (Hopefully) Non-Self-Righteous Thoughts on the Observance of Lent by Aaron Armstrong
REFLECT: Why am I sharing this thought or desire in this season of Lent?
MEDITATE: Philippians 3:10-11
PRAY: Lord, in these next 40 days, help me to focus on you above all else. Show me how I can be your hands and feet in my community-- may I live out my faith in this season in new ways that give you glory.
READ: The Legacy of Lent: Don’t Give Up Something, Do Something by Dr. Gary Scott Smith
REFLECT: What can I do this Lenten season to focus on Christ?
MEDITATE: Luke 13:3
PRAY: God, thank you for not expecting perfection from me. You know I make mistakes, and that’s why you sent Jesus to save me from all of my skins. Here I am, Lord, trying again, despite all the times I have fallen short. Thank you for your grace.
READ: How to Have an Imperfect Lent by Theresa Ceniccola
REFLECT: When and why have I been tempted to “give up” on Lent? How can I try again?
MEDITATE: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
PRAY: I’m sorry Jesus. I let you down. It was the least I could do to give up a menial thing like sweet treats and I failed. But, today I feel a renewed sense of grace that’s been missing from my heart for a while. Thank you, Lord...
READ: I Failed at Lent by Sarah Martin
REFLECT: How can I renew my commitment today to daily approach the throne of grace and humbly receive forgiveness, awareness, assurance, and words of encouragement and direction?
MEDITATE: Psalm 35:13
PRAY: Lord, as I fast over these few weeks, may it be less about selfish gain and more about selfless worship. Help me to shift my focus away from myself and more toward you, Jesus.
READ: What Evangelicals Need to Know about Fasting for Lent by Ryan Duncan
REFLECT: What are you choosing to fast from? How is fasting helping you focus on Jesus?
DAY 12: SUNDAY - GRACE DAY
MEDITATE: Psalm 42:1
PRAY: God, shine a light on the areas of my life where I have selfish motives that draw my attention away from you. Strengthen me as I fast from those things and instead prioritize you.
READ: 5 Valuable Lessons I Learned from a 40 Day Fast by Jennifer Heeren
REFLECT: Do you need a fresh infusion of grace? Do you want to realize more of God’s Spirit? Do you want to feel more joy?
MEDITATE: Colossians 3:1-5a
PRAY: Lord, help me to fight against my sin with your strength. I know that I have already been accepted in Christ, and that one day I will be fully conformed to your glorious image once and for all. Thank you that real change is possible today in you.
READ: How to Fight the 7 Deadly Sins with Confidence by Brian Hedges
REFLECT: In what areas of my life am I most tempted to sin? How can I actively fight against those temptations?
MEDITATE: 2 Corinthians 5:17
PRAY: Lord, do your resurrection work in me. Transform my heart and my life into one that gives you glory and praise in every way. Pull me deeper and bring me closer to your heart.
READ: Let God Change You During Lent by Whitney Hopler
REFLECT: Why is it important for you to observe Lent rather than just go straight to celebrating Easter?
MEDITATE: Mark 7:7-9
PRAY: Lord, open my eyes to new ways that I can remove distractions from my life in order to see and know you better. Help me to be creative in the choices I make, as I seek to discover more of who you are without anything in the way.
READ: 7 Unusual Ideas to Shake Things Up for Lent by Theresa Ceniccola
REFLECT: What unusual ways could you consider to shake things up in your faith?
MEDITATE: Matthew 6:16
PRAY: Lord, remind me of my frailty and continual need for grace. I rejoice that my appetite for sin has been forgiven and will one day be erased! I want to focus on you through all fasting in this season and beyond.
READ: Why Has Lent Become Cool with Evangelicals? by Doug Ponder
REFLECT: How can you give God glory in this season, whether you eat or fast?
MEDITATE: Colossians 1:27
PRAY: Lord, I pray that focusing on contentment with who you designed me to be for forty days would help me to relish in the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection more. He died so that I could have a full an abundant life, not so that I could hide and cower. I pray that I realize more than I do now that Jesus is in the Father, I am in Christ, and Christ is in me.
READ: Finding Contentment During Lent by Jennifer Heeren
REFLECT: How are you finding contentment in Christ in this season?
DAY 19: SUNDAY - GRACE DAY
MEDITATE: John 20:17
PRAY: Lord, help me to have a world view that is big enough to include all that the resurrection means, for me, for the church, and for mankind everywhere, for all time. Thank you that the resurrection is not just a personal reality, but a cosmic reality.
READ: Consider the Meaning of Lent and the Coming Resurrection of Christ by John Stonestreet
REFLECT: How do you see the resurrection playing our in your life and on a broader scale?
MEDITATE: Acts 10:2
PRAY: Lord, I want to celebrate this season with my whole family. Show me ways we can draw near to you together this year in worship and adoration, as well as celebration and joy.
READ: 3 Thoughtful Ways to Celebrate Lent and Easter with Your Kids by Lori Hatcher
REFLECT: How can we celebrate this season as a family? How can I engage my family members in new ways this year?
MEDITATE: Romans 5:8
PRAY: Redeemer, Lamb of God, he is worthy. Thank you for the Cross, Lord.
READ: What is the Meaning of the Cross? by Sarah Coleman
REFLECT: How does the cross affect your life, your hurt, your sin, your debt?
MEDITATE: John 3:16
PRAY: Lord, you are true to your word. You have always been faithful and you will continue to be faithful. Thank you for fulfilling every promise you made. You are trustworthy and good.
READ: 10 Powerful Prophecies That Were Fulfilled by Christ by Debbie McDaniel
REFLECT: What does it mean for us today that these prophecies were fulfilled by Christ?
MEDITATE: Mark 15:3
PRAY: Jesus, you were scorned, beaten, mocked, and crucified for our sake. We cannot thank you enough for enduring such cruelty for the sake of our salvation. You are God’s one and only Son, the greatest sacrifice, our Savior and Redeemer. We praise you and thank you with all we are.
READ: Why Jesus Was Hated and Put to Death by Randy Alcorn
REFLECT: Think about what it means for you that Jesus is the Son of God.
MEDITATE: Psalm 110:1, Daniel 7:13
PRAY: Jesus, we pray that you would open our hearts and minds to understand more of the cultural and historical contexts of your life, your death, and your resurrection. Help us to gain greater understanding as we look at what it all meant for the world then and now.
READ: Who Killed Jesus: The Historical Context of Jesus’ Crucifixion by Dr. Mark Strauss
REFLECT: Consider the ways Jesus was challenging the leaders of the time. Consider the political and social consequences of his claims, and consider how his death and resurrection changed the world forever.
DAY 26: SUNDAY - GRACE DAY
MEDITATE: Romans 10:6-7
PRAY: Jesus, help me to not fear death, for I know that you have gone ahead and made a way for me into eternal life. I choose today to accept again your great gift of life eternal in heaven with you, and pray that you would give me confidence for every step of my journey until then.
READ: Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell? by Wayne Grudem
REFLECT: What does the death and resurrection of Jesus mean for your own eternity?
MEDITATE: Micah 7:8
PRAY: Lord, in the dark seasons of my life, shine your light. When I am doubting, remind me of who you are. When I am weary, bring me peace. When I am restless, may I find my rest in you. You are the victory-- hallelujah!
READ: Overcoming Darkness Like Jesus Did by Sarah Coleman
REFLECT: How have you seen Christ meet you in your dark days?
MEDITATE: Acts 4:33
PRAY: Jesus, I don’t want to forget about Easter once the calendar changes. Help me to keep the cross in mind daily -- it changes everything and I never want to forget the life-changing and beautiful imapct of salvation in my life and in our world.
READ: Easter Deserves More than Just One Day -- 3 Ways to Keep Celebrating by Rachel Dawson
REFLECT: Brainstorm ways you can keep celebrating the spirit of Easter after Resurrection Sunday.
PRAY: Jesus, I believe you are the one true Savior. I believe you conquered death to bring us into eternal life with you. In the times when I am tempted to doubt that you truly died and rose again, remind me of your truth.
READ: Did Christ Really Rise from the Dead? 4 Confirmations That We Serve a Risen Lord by Veronica Neffinger
REFLECT: What confirms for you that Christ is the Risen Lord?
MEDITATE: John 20:11-18
PRAY: Jesus, your resurrection power is more mighty than we could ever imagine. I am so thankful that resurrection changes everything about the world around me-- you are with us now and forevermore.
READ: 3 Ways Resurrection Power Can Completely Transform Lives by John D. Barry
REFLECT: How does the resurrection change your outlook on your circumstances?
MEDITATE: John 13
PRAY: Lord, I want to follow you. I want to do what you did, love like you loved. Help me to see opportunities to love the people around me well, to serve other, and to be gracious unto them.
READ: What Was So Important about Jesus Washing the Disciples’ Feet? by Denise Larson Cooper
REFLECT: How do others around you know that you are a follower of Christ?
DAY 33: SUNDAY - GRACE DAY
MEDITATE: Zechariah 9:9
PRAY: Lord, thank you for the deeper meaning of this day. Thank you that bunnies and colorful eggs are not all that this Easter is about-- thank you that it’s all about so much more. Help us to shift our eyes from what the world says to celebrate, to what you have done for us.
READ: 5 Ways to Celebrate Easter Without the Easter Bunny by Jennifer Waddle
REFLECT: How have you made Easter about worldly things? How can you turn your focus back to Christ?
MEDITATE: 1 Corinthians 11:24
PRAY: Jesus, thank you for going on a rescue mission to save me. Thank you for bring me back to life so sin and death are not the end of my story. In this season, I’m reminded of my need for you-- thank you, Jesus.
READ: How to Prepare Your Family for Easter by Danielle Ayers Jones
REFLECT: How can you carve out time and space for remembrance, repentance, and resurrection in this season?
MEDITATE: Luke 22-24
PRAY: Father, help me see the Easter story through fresh eyes. Reveal yourself to me in new ways. Show me how I can be a bold, courageous, faithful disciple who loves and serves you well. In Jesus’ name I ask, Amen.
READ: 5 Characters of the Easter Story You’re Probably Forgetting by Lori Hatcher
REFLECT: Take time to read the Easter story with an eye for the marginalized and obscure.
MEDITATE: 1 Peter 5:7
PRAY: Lord, sometimes I admit I feel far from you and disconnected from your heart. In this season, remind me of what is true. Speak louder than the lies. I want to celebrate that you are risen, powerful, and in control of all things.
READ: When You Feel Far from God at Easter by Alicia Michelle
REFLECT: Ask a friend to pray for you and with you in this season.
MEDITATE: Matthew 26:17-30
PRAY: Jesus, we, like your disciples, have denied and betrayed you. We have doubted you and deserted you. We have failed to live perfectly like you showed us, yet you love us anyway. Thank you, Jesus. We are undeserving of your grace and your sacrifice.
READ: How the Disciples’ Failures Give Us Hope for Today by Dr. Roger Barrier
REFLECT: How has the Lord transformed you?
MEDITATE: Mark 14-16
PRAY: Lord Jesus, you are the only one who is truly holy. As this Holy Week begins, still our hearts and our minds and allow us to enter into your presence. We want to wholly reflect on you this week as we follow your journey to the cross.
READ: Remembering Holy Week by Shawna at DaySpring.com
REFLECT: Prayerfully think on the events described in this passage and their deep and life-changing meaning for each of us.
DAY 40: PALM SUNDAY
MEDITATE: Matthew 21:1-11, Psalm 118:1-2, Psalm 119:19-29
PRAY: Lord God,
I give you thanks, for you are good, and your mercy is endless.
Here I stand, at the start of this holy week,
This week in which your church remembers Jesus’ passion and death,
And I am distracted by many things.
Turn my eyes now to the One who comes in your name
The one who opens the gates of righteousness
The one who answers when we call.
I bless you, Lord, for shining your light upon me,
And for sending your son to us, in human frailty.
To walk the road we walk.
Open my eyes that I may see him coming,
And may praise him with a pure heart.
And may walk in the way of his suffering,
And share also in his resurrection.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
MEDITATE: Matthew 21:10-17, John 12:1-8
PRAY: Lord God,
Six days before his death, your son sat with Lazarus,
Whom he had raised from the dead,
And ate dinner with his friends.
Once again, your gospel tells us, Martha served,
And Mary knelt at Jesus’ feet
To anoint them with costly perfume.
The disciple who was about to betray him
Said that it was a waste.
He didn’t care about the poor, really –
He just wanted to fill his own pockets
And make Mary feel ashamed.
Often we cannot discern what is best:
When to pour out costly perfume for your sake,
Even if the world thinks it a waste.
When to be busy serving,
Or when to rest at your Son’s feet and learn.
Give us ears to hear you and eyes to see.
For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ.
MEDITATE: Matthew 26:36-46, Hebrews 5:7-9
PRAY: Lord God,
The message of the cross is difficult to take.
How can death give way to life? How can weakness be strength?
Yet your word says that Jesus, being God,
Took on human flesh
And suffered the worst kind of death.
How can this be?
This message is indeed difficult to take.
But your foolishness is wiser than our wisdom.
Your weakness is greater than our strength.
Help us to know that none of us can boast before you.
It is only in Christ Jesus that we can boast.
In his name, we ask you to help our unbelief.
That we may love you, and walk in the way Jesus taught us.
In his name,
MEDITATE: Matthew 26:27-56, 1 Corinthians 1:18
PRAY: Lord God,
We tremble to think
That it was one of Jesus’ own friends who betrayed him.
One who sat by him, who broke bread with him.
Give us strength, we pray,
To walk faithfully with Jesus,
Even when the road we walk is rocky
Even when the message of the cross seems like foolishness
And even when we feel betrayed.
You, Lord, are always faithful.
We stumble, we become lost,
But you are steady and sure.
Give us the grace to endure our troubles,
And reveal to us the glory of your kingdom,
Through your son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit.
DAY 44: MAUNDY THURSDAY
MEDITATE: John 13:1-17, John 13:34-35
PRAY: Lord God,
You sent your Son into the world,
And before his hour had come,
He washed his disciples’ feet.
You had given all things into his hands.
He had come from you, and was going to you,
And what did he do?
He knelt down on the floor,
And washed his friends’ feet.
He was their teacher and their Lord,
Yet he washed their feet.
Lord God, help us learn from his example;
Help us to do as he has done for us.
The world will know we are his disciples
If we love one another.
Strengthen our hands and our wills for love
And for service.
Keep before our eyes the image of your Son,
Who, being God, became a Servant for our sake.
All glory be to him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever.
DAY 45: GOOD FRIDAY
MEDITATE: John 18:1-40, John 19:1-42, Isaiah 52:13-15, Isaiah 53:1-12, Hebrews 10:16-25, Psalm 22
PRAY: Lord God,
Jesus cried out to you on the cross,
“Why have you forsaken me?”
You seemed so far from his cry
And from his distress.
Those who stood at the foot of the cross
Wondered where you were,
As they saw Jesus mocked and shamed and killed.
Where were you then?
We, too, ask where you are,
When there is trouble and suffering and death,
And we cry out to you for help.
Be near to us, and save us
So that we may praise you for your deliverance.
We wait, on Friday, for the resurrection of Sunday
And sometimes our lives seem a succession of Fridays
And we cannot see what is “Good.”
Teach us to call your name
As Jesus did.
Make us to trust in you like little children.
In Jesus’ name,
DAY 46: HOLY SATURDAY
MEDITATE: Matthew 17:1-6, Lamentations 3:1-9. Lamentations 3:19-24
PRAY: Lord God,
On the Sabbath,
He was in the grave.
He had finished his work.
To most people’s eyes,
It looked as if it were all over.
He was dead and buried.
But only as a seed dies when it is planted in the earth,
Not to decay, but to spring to new life.
Teach us to take refuge in you when we are afraid
Teach us that death is not our end
Teach us to hope always in you
And in the resurrection, the making of all things
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
DAY 47: EASTER SUNDAY
MEDITATE: Matthew 28, Revelation 5:11-14, Psalm 118:1-2, Psalm 118:14-24
PRAY: Lord God,
You loved this world so much,
That you gave your one and only Son,
That we might be called your children too.
Lord, help us to live in the gladness and grace
Of Easter Sunday, everyday.
Let us have hearts of thankfulness
For your sacrifice.
Let us have eyes that look upon
Your grace and rejoice in our salvation.
Help us to walk in that mighty grace
And tell your good news to the world.
All for your glory do we pray, Lord,