Lent began yesterday — a season that occurs during the 40 days before Easter. During these days, we respond to God’s call to return to Him with all our heart. We ask, “Lord, what needs to be changed in me?”, and we listen for His response.

During this season, we engage in spiritual disciplines to silence the distractions that keep us from hearing God. These disciplines can include:

FASTING: By omitting meals, certain foods, or habitual behaviors, we deny our desires and become more alert in every area of our lives, particularly spiritually. Some examples of things from which I have fasted: breakfast, desserts, diet coke, and complaining. When you are tempted to break your fast, that is the time to stop and pray. As time passes, it becomes easier and easier to keep your fast because you have become increasingly focused on God and decreasingly focused on things of this world.

PRAYER: This is the time to start new patterns of prayer. Build off of wherever you’re at. If you don’t pray regularly, start by setting aside 5 minutes in the morning to turn your heart and mind towards the Lord. If you pray often, try adding prayer time at different times in the day. Or focus your prayers by creating a list of people and issues to pray for, and by praying the Scriptures. Be realistic — if you set lofty standards, you likely won’t meet them. It takes time, and a gradual building, to become a prayer warrior.