Lent is the 40 day period leading up to Easter. It is a time of spiritual preparation for the believer through prayer, penitence, alms-giving and self-denial.
- Prayer is our language directed toward God for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance/assistance and confessing sin. We mature in our relationship with God when we pray on a regular basis.
- Penitence is repenting of sins. It is the desire to be forgiven for the words, deeds and thoughts that are not in accord with the goodness and righteousness of God. We cannot grow strong in our relationship with God if we have un-confessed sin in our life.
- Alms-giving is the act of giving materially to another as an act of religious virtue. The receiver may be a person in need or an institution that ministers to the needy. Giving is an important part of our spiritual life.
- Self-denial is an abstinence from various worldly pleasures with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals. Self-denial is denying some of the good things of life for a season of time in order to focus upon the spiritual goals of life.
The season of Lent is a time to grow more mature in our relationship with God. Lent moves us toward the events of the cross and the resurrection. We are more receptive to God when we engage in sincere prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial. Lent, 2011, begins on March 9 with Ash Wednesday. It continues through the Saturday before Easter; Easter is the last Sunday of April this year.