“…for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry” (Luke 4:2).
We share a world that is not necessarily drawn to giving up. We do, perform, consume, schedule, and excel. Often, attempts to reduce or forgo things can devolve into self-righteousness or guilt. Yet, every spring, we’re offered a beautiful opportunity to “…throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1). Let's take a moment to learn more about the season of Lent and then read prayers for lent. May these prayers help you focus your mind's attention and your heart's affection on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Lent Prayers - 40 Days toward Freedom
Through the intentional sacrifice of Lent, we’re offered continual spiritual freedom from cultural insinuations associated with denial, fasting, and even “seasons.” What’s offered to us in the message of Lent, not only the practice of observing it, is that we have a Savior who knows every struggle. And he is able to supply our needs. He is able to cleanse, renew, and show us the way to eternal life. One of the main focuses of lent is prayer. Praying through the Lenten season allows us to draw closer to our relationship with God and remembrance of what He has done for us.
Lent is celebrated over a period of 46 days (excluding 6 Sundays, which adds up to a 40-day fast), beginning on Ash Wednesday. This number, 40, appears over 140 times in Scripture. It generally symbolizes a period of testing, trial, or probation.
Moses endured 40 years in the desert before God selected him to lead his people out of slavery. Jonah warned Nineveh for 40 days. Even the book of Exodus, detailing deliverance from spiritual drought, is 40 chapters.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26, emphasis added).
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Celebrating from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday
Ash Wednesday marks (symbolically, in the form of a cross on your forehead) your commitment to believing the many truths God’s Word teaches about how we were formed. We use this time to remind ourselves of his ability to bring beauty from ashes. Miracles from pain. Life from death.
It’s a time set apart to prepare busy hearts for celebrating that Christ is risen, and is Lord of all.
And although during Lent we may find ourselves meditating on the tragic events leading to his crucifixion, the reason we “celebrate” Lent is this: Jesus faced unbearable testing, pain, even death…and yet the result is glory. Forever. That’s worth brushing some things away to embrace.
Giving up food or drink can serve as a means of atonement, as with Yom Kippur. It can also clear the way for a meeting with God. Moses, for example, fasted prior to going up the mountain to meet with God and receive the Ten Commandments in Exodus 34:28.
So, before you think of Lent as just a “diet,” consider that you’re invited to let go of anything that tempts you. These can be tricks of the enemy that go beyond cravings. We can choose to let go of jealousy, or unforgiveness, or self-destructive self-talk. The beauty of Lent is that you can sacrifice darkness and, at the cost of discomfort temporarily, walk into the light.
Use our 40 Day Devotional Guide to lead you in prayer and scripture reading through the Lenten Season!
As you’re deciding what to turn from, to help turn your heart toward God’s glorious will—or pressing on through 40 days—here are 5 uplifting prayers for Lent. The purpose of prayer is simply to communicate with God and open your heart to hearing from Him. Let us come before God with humility and thanks:
1. Lenten Prayer: A Prayer to Search Me, Lord, This Lent
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know…” (Psalm 139:23).
I confess I may not completely understand the “how” and “why” of Lent. I ask you to speak to me now.
Here in my quiet aloneness of my time with you, search me for any selfish motives or sins I cling to that are sapping me of the life you desire. Prepare my heart for what you would have me forgo, and strengthen me to seek you instead.
Wake me, Lord, if I am blind to my patterns of self-destruction. Show me what it is that I can live more fully without. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
2. A Prayer for Cleansing during Lent
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Silence the noise in my soul. Empty me of cravings for things of this world that do not truly satisfy. Fill me with the bread of your presence and the living water of your mercy.
I have honored the temporal delights of so many unfulfilling habits, and I’m ready for freedom. Wash me of all my addictions, failings, and temptations, even if only minute by minute. Pick me up and hold me, this day, and every day as I praise you for who you are.
Remind me that it is your power in me, not my own, that offers life to others.
Wash this vessel, Lord. Prepare me for renewal. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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3. A Lent Prayer to Glorify God
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
I know you see me. I know you see that although I know you, I still chase after so many worldly lies of affirmation. I still seek validation of my worth by going along with the crowd or performing.
Help me to not boast of my Lent choices, but rather share only when you lead me. Help me to listen for your voice, not mine.
I’m not walking through intentional sacrifice to glorify myself and my will. But to remember how much you gave up so that I can offer your hope to others. Help me to not be a clanging cymbal, or focus on my lack over Lent, but to shine more clearly your pure radiance from the joy of knowing you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
4. A Lenten Gratitude Prayer for the Ultimate Sacrifice
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Col. 4:2).
Whatever I can give up for Lent will never match what you gave. I’m not able to do what you have done, and my small actions serve only as desperate wildflowers waving in an open field of your mercy, in surrender to your majesty.
As I clear away distractions you invite me to let go of, hear my prayer of gratitude. That you are real. That you are truth. That you prepare a place for me whether I am in want or in plenty.
Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice of your only Son, Jesus, so that I can know that no matter what the world tempts me with…there is power to overcome. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
5. A Prayer to Satisfy My Hunger for You Year-Round
“…for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:9).
Help me use this year’s Lent invitation to stoke a hunger for you all year. Help me realize I’m not “too busy” or “too important” to not seek your voice, your security, your deliverance.
As you search me, cleanse me, and use me to glorify you all the days of my life here, stand in the way of the things that overstuff my life, blurring my vision of you as my provider.
I’ve given up _______ this Lent. But I want to know what is next for me. Please be Lord of my every day. Reach me, break through, show me your glory.
What would you have me turn from, so I can be filled with your presence all year? Reveal to me what you would you have me turn toward, so I can humbly, and gratefully, share your sustenance with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As you prepare for, move through, and enjoy the effects of your prayerful Lent decisions, you can find ideas for practicing sacrifice all year here. It explains, “If we spend the weeks before Easter cultivating a spiritual practice that makes our new life more evident to others year-round, we honor the Risen Christ who gave us that life.”
May God bless you richly as you let go and lean on him.
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Lia Martin loves to inspire others to lean into the Lord daily. She's a writer, editor, marketer, former Crosswalk.com Faith Editor, and author of Wisdom at Wit's End: Abandoning Supermom Myths in Search of Supernatural Peace. When she's not cultivating words, she loves walking in nature, reading, exploring the latest health trends, and laughing with her two wonderful kids. She blogs at liamartinwriting.com.