Minister Rev Tom Parker
Lent is a time when we re-examine our relationship with food and leisure. A time when we prioritise our time and action to make space for God, His word and prayer. Even as our Lord went through a very difficult time in His earthly ministry, preparing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, we remember this time in appreciation and practical action.
A few days ago I received a hand-written letter from an elderly Christian lady reminding me that it will be Lent soon. In her letter, she lists some of the chapters in the Bible she will be studying during Lent; she was excited to tell me that she had marked all the significant dates on her calendar so she doesn’t miss anything. She mentioned some of the things she would be giving up for Lent. Most important, her letter was primarily to ask me if I had anything that I would like her to pray for during her fervent prayers in Lent. Her letter gave me cause to pause and think.
For a start, I thought about the fact that her letter was hand written which makes me realise that in this modern times there are still some people who hand-write a letter, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, go to the post office, stand in the queue and post it. Thinking she may have done all or most of these to get the letter to me; that got me thinking, smiling and feeling humbled.
I also reflected on the fact that there are indeed Christians who are keen to use the time of Lent for renewal and recommitment to Christian life, examining their lives in light of the One we are supposed to follow: Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, I was intrigued by her list of things she will be giving up for Lent. I won’t mention them here but I am not quite sure those sort of things will be on my list.
Most important in her letter, was her desire to collect enough prayer requests so she could use the time she will save to pray. Indeed, there are Christians who still believe in the power of prayer and fasting. I was really blessed, inspired and encouraged by this lady’s handwritten letter.
Therefore, I encourage my readers to first make a list of the things you want to give up, especially those habits you have been fighting to stop for a long time now. Then, make time to pray as you ask the Lord to strengthen you to give up what so ever is on your list this Lent. Remember, the time spent in prayer is never wasted. Prayer is the key. Like this elderly Christian lady, let us please use this period of Lent to pray fervently.
We are assured by the Scriptures which encourage us to ‘pray without ceasing’.