At the end of the Journey to the Cross prayer book we asked you to submit stories from your life this Lent season (also found online here). How has your faith been challenged and shaped by the 40 Days of Lent? The following was submitted by someone from Westheights who wishes to remain anonymous:

I really appreciated the Journey to the Cross prayer book for the Lent season. I like to be challenged in the way that I approach prayer and my daily devotionals, so was up for the varying approaches to prayer offered in the book. The centering prayer for the first week challenged me to focus and sit still, which is hard when you have children and there always seems like an endless list of to do’s. I found it helpful to focus on one word or phrase and really let it sink in and think about it throughout the day.  That week I was mostly in my closet with the door closed, in my attempt to find quiet.

I also found the week two, reviewing of your day approach to prayer and finding things to be thankful for excellent as well. I’m not a morning person, but that is usually the best time to find quiet, however I appreciated sitting down later in the day and thinking about my day and giving thanks.  The Scripture on Day 11 – 1 Peter 4:10-11 – “If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides” was a good reminder to me to rest in God’s strength rather than relying my own will and strength.

Fasting – there’s a challenge! I struggle with giving up meals, I’ve tried before, so when the option for giving up something of value was suggested I gravitated to that. God immediately spoke to me about giving up watching shows on the internet or any movies, which is often a way I relax in the late evenings.

I felt a real conviction about it so it wasn’t too hard to keep for the week. I found myself sending emails to friends I wanted to catch up with or reading or going to bed earlier, which was all very beneficial.

I wasn’t as focused through week four, Sacred Reading, and trying to ask God to speak through His word.  Week five was similar and I thought the moving prayer was a good idea in theory and I would love to practise it in the summer but finding time to get outside alone everyday is nearly impossible for me. But it didn’t keep me from reading the Scriptures.

I really connected with the Jesus prayer week leading into Easter.  Day 37, Scripture reading from Luke, the following words pressed on me, “Jesus asked them (his disciples), ‘When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?’

‘Nothing,’ they answered.”

Nothing. All their needs were met. I repeated the prayer in my mind “ Lord Jesus, Son of God have mercy on me, a sinner.” I talked to my daughter about that prayer and focusing on that and understanding our position before God.

At the end I also really liked the Prayer for Lent, it is very convicting and challenging, a good way to start the day!

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