Lent: Season of Fasting & Prayer 2021
February 22 to resurrection sunday, april 4th
The 40+ days leading up to Easter-Resurrection Sunday- are an exceptional time to focus our Christian lives on fasting and prayer. Fasting disciplines us to deny ourselves and do without something we enjoy, so we can focus on and depend more on God. Prayer deepens our relationship with God, and prompts us to feel a deeper sense of compassion to those in need. 40 days is an important number in the Bible: it is associated with God's judgment, or testing.
- It rained for 40 days and 40 nights with Noah (Genesis 7:12)
- The Israelite spies took 40 days to explore the land of Canaan (Numbers 12:25)
- The Israelites' wandered through the desert for 40 years (Joshua 5:6)
- Goliath taunted the Israeli army for 40 days until David showed up (1 Samuel 17:16)
- Jesus fasted and was tempted by the devil for 40 days (Matthew 4:2)
- There were 40 days between Jesus' resurrection and his ascension into heaven (Acts 1:3)
Call to action!
Each person decides what they are going to fast- do without - during these 40 days leading up to Easter. It might be a meal. It might be a certain food, like chocolate or sweets. It might be an activity, like television (or a max number of hours). This is your commitment on the fasting side.
On the prayer side, it is your commitment to increase your spiritual discipline and formation with the Lord. You might devote so many minutes of Bible reading each day. You may have a prayer list, and pray for each person or ministry, each day. You might choose to read the four Gospels in 40 days! The whole idea is to grow closer to God, in your daily relationship with Him.
Each day beginning on February 22 to April 4th we will post a scripture and a prayer below. Please feel free to follow along with us!
What spiritual commitment will you make during these 40+ days of fasting and prayer? Write it down, and consecrate yourself to God.
Some Christians also read through the Gospels during this 40+ day time period. Since there are 89 chapters in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you can read two chapters a day, and three on Sundays, and you will do it!
Day 41 - April 3, 2021
“So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day…’Take a guard,’ Pilate answered. ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” Matthew 27:64-65 (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that there is nothing man can ultimately do to thwart your plan of salvation in Christ. The grave—even a sealed and guarded tomb—cannot hold you from raising from the dead! Help me to live daily in the sure hope of the Resurrection.
Day 40 - April 2, 2021
“Why? What crime has he committed? asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, ‘Crucify him’!” Mark 15:14 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today as I reflect on the pain and anguish of you suffering for me, let me break out in gratitude for such an astonishing act of love and self-sacrifice.
Day 39 - April 1, 2021
“…As high priest that year he [Caiaphas] prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.” John 11:51-52 (NIV)
Prayer: Today, Lord, I will meditate on Christ’s tremendous sacrifice of love for all of us. Help me to understand the meaning of your death and resurrection.
Day 38 - March 31, 2021
“And in that place many believed in Jesus.” John 10:42 (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, today I pray for those who do not know you, nor believe in Christ. Help them to come to believe in the Lord Jesus, and be saved.
Day 37 - March 30, 2021
“I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled. Then the angel left her.” Luke 1:38 (NIV)
Prayer: Gracious Father, today I humble myself and ask you to have the humility of Mary, and to trust you and your plan for my life with all my heart.
Day 36 - March 29, 2021
“If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31b-32 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I choose to adhere to your teachings. I ask you to help me study and remember them, and have wisdom to apply them at the right time.
Day 35 - March 28, 2021
“Then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” John 8:28 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I ask you to guard my mouth and what I speak. Please help me tame my tongue. May my words be only what you want me to say.
Day 34 - March 27, 2021
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 (NIV)
Prayer: Gracious Father, help me to realize that I am a guilty sinner too, but that in Christ I am forgiven and justified. Today, help me not to judge or condemn others, becoming more like Christ.
Day 33 - March 26, 2021
“When he said this, Jesus called out in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen…” John 11:43-44 (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that you have the ultimate victory over sin and death. Help me to walk confidently in that victory today.
Day 32 - March 25, 2021
“On hearing his words, some of the people said, ‘Surely this man is a prophet.’ Others said, ‘He is the Messiah.” John 7:40-41a (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me a fresh revelation of who you really are: the Messiah, the one who saves the world, and anyone who comes to get living water from you.
Day 31 - March 24, 2021
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 (NIV)
Prayer: Holy Father, today I ask you for a fresh revelation of my Savior Jesus. You came to save me from my sins.
Day 30 - March 23, 2021
“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me.” John 5:36 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I give you thanks and praise, for your miraculous works show that truly you are the Son of God, the Messiah.
Day 29 - March 22, 2021
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24 (NIV)
Prayer: Dear God, help me to deepen my faith by reading, listening, and studying your word, so that I can better follow Jesus.
Day 28 - March 21, 2021
“Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” John 5:8 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today let me look beyond my own problems and reach out to someone who needs help. Help me to be patient with them.
Day 27 - March 20, 2021
“Go”, Jesus replied. “Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed.” John 4:50 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I choose to take you at your word. Help me come to the aid of someone who is ill and suffering.
Day 26 - March 19, 2021
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, today I thank you and praise you that I have eternal life in Christ. Help me to share that good news with others, so they too can have eternal life.
Day 25 - March 18, 2021
“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:14 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today help me to put away my pride, and to humble myself in your sight. Have mercy on me, a sinner.
Day 24 - March 17, 2021
“The second [command] is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31 (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to honor you today, as I do a kind deed for a neighbor.
Day 23 - March 16, 2021
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Luke 11:23 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me courageously to stand up and identify with you, no matter what others say. I will acknowledge you before men as my Savior and Lord.
Day 22 - March 15, 2021
“Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17 (NIV)
Prayer: Dear God, your Word stands forever. Today, help me to live my life according to your teachings, loving you, and loving my neighbor.
Day 21 - March 14, 2021
“Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Matthew 18:21 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I will share the immeasurable gift of forgiveness. Help me to no longer bear grudges or try to punish someone for hurting me.
Day 20 - March 13, 2021
“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “No prophet is accepted in his hometown.” Luke 4:24 (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Lord , when I feel anger in my heart toward rejection, today let your Spirit guide me to respond with grace and truth.
Day 19 - March 12, 2021
“After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.” John 2:22 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today let me recall all the times I have seen you work and be thankful for your faithful love.
Day 18 - March 11, 2021
“But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” Luke 15:32 (NIV)
Prayer: Dear God, today I ask you to help me to welcome anyone who has drifted apart from you. Help me to love them and point them back to you.
Day 17 - March 10, 2021
“Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes”?
Matthew 21:42 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I choose to make you the foundation of my life. Help me to understand your teachings and follow your way of life.
Day 16 - March 9, 2021
“At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table.” Luke 16:20 (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Father, help me to count my blessings today, and share my blessings with someone in need.
Day 15 - March 8, 2021
“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your ultimate sacrifice so I could be forgiven. Today, help me to serve and help others in your name.
Day 14 - March 7, 2021
“The greatest among you will be your servant.” Matthew 23:11 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me become more like you, and pick up a “towel and basin” and serve others today.
Day 13 - March 6, 2021
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36 (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, when I am tempted to fault someone and condemn them, help me remember your mercy toward me, and show mercy to them.
Day 12 - March 5, 2021
“Then…a voice came from the cloud: This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Mark 9:7 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I choose to reflect on your teaching, and rely on your guidance. Help me to block out other competing voices for my loyalty.
Day 11 - March 4, 2021
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44 (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to identify an enemy in my life, and pray for them, to know you better, and to offer them love, no matter how they treat me.
Day 10 - March 3, 2021
“Leave your gift there in front of the altar: First go and be reconciled to them [your brother or sister]; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:24 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord, today let me humble myself and reach out to someone I have wronged. Bring forgiveness and healing to us both.
Day 9 - March 2, 2021
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” Matthew 7:12 (NIV)
Prayer: Holy Father, today let me focus less on my desires, and more on hearing & responding to the cries and needs of others.
Day 8 - March 1, 2021
“For the [men of Nineveh] repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.” Luke 11:32 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to understand how great you are and how I need to turn away from lesser things, and follow you wholeheartedly.
Day 7 - February 28, 2021
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me today to forgive others when they sin against me. Pour out your mercy and forgiveness on me today.
Day 6 - February 27, 2021
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, let my love for today overflow in generosity toward my neighbor.
Day 5 - February 26, 2021
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15 (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, today I turn from my sin and ask you to forgive me. I believe, Lord Jesus, that you are the Christ, the son of the living God.
Day 4 - February 25, 2021
“Why do you eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:30-31 (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, today let me share your love with the broken-hearted, and spend time with people who know they are far from you.
Day 3 - February 24, 2021
“The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” Matthew 9:15 (NIV)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I will seek to grow closer to you through fasting and prayer.
Day 2 - February 23, 2021
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” Luke 9:25 (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to follow you, by turning away from selfish pursuits and living my life to please you.
Day 1 - February 22, 2021
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.” Matthew 6:1 (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, let me put Jesus’ words into practice today by doing an anonymous act of kindness for someone.