For some of you the tradition of Lent is a burden, a hurdle, a mystery, and yes to some, a joy. This is not a discussion of Lent theologically or biblically. If you would like to learn more about Lent, click here. As a Protestant, I do not believe that a Christian has to make penance (that you must do something to receive forgiveness, aside from having faith in Christ), but I do believe the practices of self-denial and prayer are necessary for growth in the faith. At our church, Peace Reformed Church, we are promoting and partaking in 40 days of prayer and fasting (not just from food!). I would like to encourage you to do the same, starting this Wednesday. You can click here to read more about the church’s program on this practice.
One aspect of this 40 days of prayer that I think is vital, and exciting, is what our pastor calls the 5-5-5 plan. In this plan you write down 5 people who are spiritually disconnected from the Lord, you pray for them 5 days a week, for 5 minutes a day. It sounds simple, but it is a discipline nonetheless. I encourage you to join us in this prayer movement. Take a 3×5 note card and write 5 names on it and then place it somewhere you will not forget…like in your Bible so you can begin daily readings with prayer or end with prayer…or on top of your tv remote so you can pray before the evening shows come on…or by the coffee pot as you wait for your morning breakfast to brew. Be creative, but commit.
The goals of this practice have been written by our pastor and I will quote him here:
“My prayer is that these 40 days will accomplish two mighty things in our midst:
First, I believe the Lord wants to ignite a deeper passion in our hearts for reaching out to lost people. Imagine what could happen if every person in our church was regularly praying for
five lost or spiritually disconnected people? I believe our lives would be moved by deeper compassion and love. Our focus would become sharper, and our courage to witness would increase.
Second, I believe that the Lord wants us to gain a deeper hope for the Holy Spirit to move in our midst, saving, delivering and healing. Are you willing to pray and believe in faith that
God can send his Spirit to touch lives, work in marriages, even heal bodies? Of course, the Holy Spirit has been doing this already. But can we gain faith for even more? Let us pray together for this. Let us pray for revived hearts and increased faith, a faith to believe God’s promises in Scripture.”
Please, take time to pray with us for the next 40 days for the lost. It is my belief that a true Christian is outward-focused, we are merely beggars showing other beggars where the food is. I am not sure about you, but the thought of loved ones being separated from God for an eternity in hell motivates me to action, and this is one way we can act. Some people get nervous because they do not know what to say to an unbeliever. Come to the Lord with your insecurity and begin this prayer journey with us. Pray that the lost would have hearts of stone turned to hearts of flesh, pray that they will flee the darkness and dive headfirst into the light, pray that they come to know Jesus. We have hope for great things.