We Fast, Others Feast

Redemption AZ / February 12, 2018
Lent

During this Lenten season, we will be collecting items for the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic. They are currently in need of:

Receiving blankets
Diapers (any size)
Baby wipes

Bring your items every Sunday until Easter to the collection shelf in the lobby.


Lent is the season in which we look forward to celebrating the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The following prayers and activities are ways we can prepare our hearts for the next six weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.


Week One

Prayer

We confess, Lord God, that you are King and we are not.

As it is written, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”

Book of Common Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing that you have made and you forgive the sins of all who come humbly before you in repentance. Create and make in us new and humble hearts, that we who acknowledge our sinfulness and our sin may obtain from you, God of all mercy, complete forgiveness and cleansing of our sin through Jesus Christ our Lord. Praise be to you our Glorious God, to the Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns at your right hand, and to the Holy Spirit who is the seal of our inheritance, the blessed three in one, forever and ever, amen.

This Lent season we remember that God Almighty, King of Kings, humbled himself to become a man and endured scorn and shame, submitting to the will of God, that he would save us. He died the shameful, painful death of a thief.

For prayer with your family, RC, or alone

Thank the Lord for who He is, for His greatness, and that He is King. Thank the Lord for some of the many blessings He has blessed you with. Be specific! There is no blessing too large and no blessing too small to be thankful for.

Accompanying Scripture

Psalm 95
Psalm 96

Lent Challenge

Fast a lunch this week and use the time of fasting to pray through the above prayer.

Click here to download a PDF of Week One.


Week Two

Prayer

We confess that whether we live in wealth or in poverty, we are all impoverished in our souls from sin.

For you tell us, “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Book of Common Prayer

Gracious Father, you sent your son Jesus Christ to come down and be the true bread which gives life to the world. Give us this bread, that Christ may live in us and we in him. Praise be to you our Glorious God, to the Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns at your right hand, and to the Holy Spirit who is the seal of our inheritance, the blessed three in one, forever and ever, amen.

This Lent season we remember that we are all impoverished in our souls from sin, and that Jesus is the only bread that fills our stomachs and the only water that satisfies our thirst. Our wealth, our education, our family, the things that we own or are trying to own – none of these save us or give us any favor with God.

For prayer with your family, RC, or alone

Though we are blessed with wealth, education, family, etc., these blessings are meant to be stewarded and used to bless others. Pray for your neighbors by name. If you don’t know your neighbors, invite one of them over for dinner this week and get to know them so you can pray for them.

Accompanying Scripture

John 6:25-59

Lent Challenge

Choose one non-essential purchase this week to forego and instead use that money to purchase an unexpected gift for or donation to a neighbor.

Click here to download a PDF of Week Two.


Week Three

Prayer

We confess, Lord Jesus, that we would often rather protect ourselves than do the hard work of loving our enemies.

But you tell us, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Book of Common Prayer

Glorious God, you are always merciful. Please be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways and give them repentant, humble hearts and steadfast faith that they may embrace and cling to the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ. Praise be to you our glorious God, to the Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns at your right hand, and to the Holy Spirit who is the seal of our inheritance, the blessed three in one, forever and ever, amen.

This Lent season we remember that God sent Jesus at the fullness of time to become a man and give his life as a ransom for many. When we were enemies of God and hated Him, actively spewing insults against Him and the things He created, that’s when He saved us. Our God is a loving God who intimately cares for each of us and knows each one of us.

For prayer with your family, RC, or alone

Who is your enemy? Who do you avoid at work, at school, at church? Who is mean toward you or who do you find it hard to be kind to? Are there certain types of people that you don’t like – religious groups, political groups, those who live in different parts of the United States or the world, those in different wealth or education brackets? Pray for all of these that come to mind, pray that God would bless them, and that He might use you to bless them.

Accompanying Scripture

Matthew 5:43-48

Lent Challenge

Take 30 minutes you would normally spend on social media and call or text an encouragement to a friend or family member instead.

Click here to download a PDF of Week Three.


Week Four

Prayer

We confess that we love comfort in a way that betrays your call to suffering.

As it is written, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Book of Common Prayer

Almighty God, whose blessed son Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted in the desert by Satan, we ask that you quickly help your children, some of whom are our brothers and sisters in Christ, who are assaulted by temptations and the scheming of our true enemy Satan. You are a God that cares deeply for all and you know what is needed. Show your power and salvation that your children may glorify you! Praise be to you our glorious God, to the Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns at your right hand, and to the Holy Spirit who is the seal of our inheritance, the blessed three in one, forever and ever, amen.

This Lent season we remember that Jesus was the suffering servant, who did not count equality with God something to be grasped. Instead, he humbled himself to the point of death on a cross.

For prayer with your family, RC, or alone

Let us remember in prayer our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering for their faith. Jesus says, “blessed are those who are persecuted for my name’s sake.” Let us give thanks and bless those who are suffering, but also pray for deliverance and peace. Pray for the gospel to explode in these countries and for God to save millions.

Here are the top five persecuted nations and some statistics. All of the Christians in this country experience massive violence:

North Korea: Estimates suggest there may be 300,000 Christians (~1% of the population). Most Christians are imprisoned in labor camps or they are executed, often publicly.

Afghanistan: There are an unknown number of Christians, estimated to be in the thousands. If someone converts to Christianity, they will be heavily pressured by their family and may be beaten or killed. They lose their citizenship and may lose their house and business.

Somalia: There may be less than 1,000 Christians in Somalia. The Catholic bishop has said is it “not possible to be a Christian” in Somalia. Islamic militants actively hunt Christians to execute them. If someone becomes a Christian, their family (even if they don’t believe) may be threatened, harassed, and killed.

Sudan: There are estimated to be about two million Christians in Sudan (~4% of the population). The government actively demolishes churches. Little rule of law leads most Christians to flee to South Sudan. Christians are regularly labeled as spies and arrested or killed.

Pakistan: There are about four million Christians living in Pakistan (~2% of the population). Christians (and other non-Muslims) sit on death row for blasphemy. Many churches are regular targets for bombings, and state-sponsored education encourages violence against Christians.

Information gathered here.

Accompanying Scripture

Matthew 5:2-11

Lent Challenge

Turn off the radio in your car during your commute one morning or evening and use the time to pray for your city.

Click here to download a PDF of Week Four.


Week Five

Prayer

We confess, Holy Spirit, that our hope is often more in our retirement than in the resurrection.

For you remind us of our hope when you write, “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Book of Common Prayer

Almighty God, you alone can change the evil hearts and sinful affections of people. Help your people to love like you command, and to desire the things you promise. The world may change and bring fear, but let your children’s hearts be fixed where true joy is found. Praise be to you our glorious God, to the Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns at your right hand, and to the Holy Spirit who is the seal of our inheritance, the blessed three in one, forever and ever, amen.

This Lent season we remember that because Jesus suffered, died, and rose again, we have a great hope. The resurrection is what gives us hope! Because we have an eternal hope, we can forgive and seek reconciliation, we can endure suffering and shame, we can eagerly await the day when Jesus comes back again to make all things new!

For prayer with your family, RC, or alone

Think about something that you find hope or peace in; something that you run to when you find yourself stressed. Confess before God and others where you find your hope. Pray for Redemption Arcadia to be a people unified in our hope of the resurrection and the promise of new life.

Accompanying Scripture

Romans 5:12-21

Lent Challenge

If you choose to go out to eat, go to an immigrant or refugee owned restaurant and pray for them to flourish in the city as you eat there.

Click here to download a PDF of Week Five.


Week Six

Prayer

We confess that this world is not the way it was meant to be, and we are complicit in its brokenness.

We lament and long with creation. As it is written, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.”

Book of Common Prayer

Almighty God, we confess that we have no power to fix ourselves or our world. Grant us power through the filling of your Holy Spirit that we may care for the bodies and the souls of our neighbors. Protect our own bodies and our own souls through Jesus Christ as we show love to our neighbors. Praise be to you our glorious God, to the Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns at your right hand, and to the Holy Spirit who is the seal of our inheritance, the blessed three in one, forever and ever, amen.

This Lent season we remember that we have no way to save ourselves and that God loved us so much that He intervened and saved us by His own hand.

For prayer with your family, RC, or alone

Write down and pray for some of the biggest, most impossible things you can think of. Maybe you want God to save a family member or friend who hates God. Maybe you want God to heal a terminal illness. Or maybe you want God to remove poverty from the earth.

This world is not the way it was meant to be, and though we cannot save anyone, our God can. Pray for increased faith in God, and keep praying for big, impossible things.

Accompanying Scripture

Mark 9:14-29
Revelation 21 & 22

As a church, we long for the day in which you will make all things new.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Click here to download a PDF of Week Six.


Click the links below to download each week separately to easily use with your family, RC, or alone:
WEEK ONE   WEEK TWO   WEEK THREE
WEEK FOUR   WEEK FIVE   WEEK SIX
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