What is Lent? - Lent set to begin this Wednesday, February 22.

Lent set to begin this Wednesday, February 22.

What is Lent? 

Is it an official Christian holiday? Was it instituted in the Bible? What does it mean to observe Lent, and are Christians “required” to do so? For the interested, we’ll try to answer those questions here.
Lent is the span of time in the church calendar that starts with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday commemorates the beginning of Jesus’ 40-day fasting and temptation in the desert, and Easter Sunday commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from the grave after his crucifixion.
Lent, then, is generally observed as a time for Christians to reflect, repent, and pray as a way of preparing their hearts for Easter. It is commonly observed by many Christian denominations—Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and others—although not every Christian church or denomination does so. Because Lent is not officially instituted in Scripture, observing it isn’t in any way a “requirement” of Christianity. However, Christians from many different theological persuasions choose to observe it as a way of focusing their thoughts on Jesus Christ during the Easter season.

How does one observe Lent? 

It differs from person to person and church to church, but some of the things Christians opt to do to observe Lent include:
  • On the first day of Lent (Ash Wednesday), some Christians mark their foreheads with ash as a symbol of sorrow and mourning over their sin. (See Job 42 for an example of of ash used as a symbol of repentance.)
  • Special worship services, or additions to regular worship services, that focus in various ways on man’s need for repentance. This often takes the form of extra Scripture readings and prayer.
  • Some Christians choose to give up a habit or behavior during Lent as an exercise in prayerful self-denial. This might range from something as simple as not drinking soda during Lent to a full-blown program of fasting.
  • Some Christians commit to a special devotional activity during Lent—for example, daily Scripture reading, regular prayer for a specific person or topic throughout Lent, or volunteer work in their community.
The choice to observe Lent is a personal one—the whole point is to focus your heart and mind on Jesus during the journey to Easter. There’s no requirement to observe it, nor should you feel guilted into participating. However, millions of Christians around the world do observe Lent each year; if you’ve never done so, why not give it a try? Whether you observe Lent in a small or major way, you’ll be amazed at what happens when you devote a part of each day to reflecting on Jesus Christ and God’s Word.

How do I fast?

  1. If are a beginner, you can start with just giving up on one meal.
  2. List out very clearly as to why you are fasting, do not do it haphazardly, tell the Lord the cause for your fasting.
  3. Particularly confess your sins and keep yourself open for the Holy Spirit to correct you.
  4. If you have grudges in your heart, your fasting goes null and void, please reconcile with people before you reconcile with God.
  5. Never postpone the date you have set for fasting, satan tries his best to do this, stand firm.
  6. Do not let slight illness postpone the fasting, remember Jesus fasted for 40 days and Moses fasted for 40 days twice without food and water.
  7. Remember to drink lot of water while fasting.
  8. Most important, as much as possible avoid advertising your fasting, keep yourself fresh and active.
Remember, if you are a christian, you should start right away to learn to fast. The reason many Christians do not have power to resist satan and they fall too often is BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW TO FAST. Come on now, learn to say NO to food and start fasting right away! Never just stay in the beginners stage, move towards doing greater things for GOD.

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