The Art of Lent – Day 18, Tuesday

In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.

1 Timothy 2:8 NLT

Meditate today on what it means to lift up holy hands to God in prayer and praise. If you are uncomfortable doing this in corporate worship, find a song today that expresses a prayer in your heart and sing it with your hands lifted to God. Try writing your own prayer or song and singing or speaking it with your hands raised to him.

The Art of Lent – Day 17, Monday

After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat. Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi. Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. So people came from all the towns of Judah to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.

2 Chronicles 20:1-4 NLT

Jehoshaphat immediately turned to the Lord for guidance and to his people for prayer support through fasting. This account tells us that all the people of Judah came together to seek God’s help. What an amazing picture of unity and humility. When have you felt that sense of unity within the body of Christ? Draw something that symbolized the power of God’s people fasting and praying as one in Jesus.

The Art of Lent – Day 16, Saturday

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other. Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

1 Thessalonians 5:11-15 NLT

It is sacred work to encourage one another. Pray for God to show you opportunities each day to lift someone up. It can be as simple as complimenting their style or thanking them for work they do that often goes unnoticed. List five people that you feel led to build up and write ways you can encourage them. The write down five “easy” compliments you can share with strangers.

The Art of Lent – Day 15, Friday

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:26-28 NLT

I love this promise that the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words when we don’t know what to pray for. Everything about this passage makes my heart sing with indescribable joy! Make up a word to describe some of your indescribable feelings. Write down the word and the definition.

The Art of Lent – Day 14, Thursday

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well” – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
James 2:14-20 NLT

This passage echoes Jesus calling himself the true vine and us his branches (John 15). We demonstrate our faith by bearing fruit. Our faith grafts us into the vine and provides us with roots, and that produces our fruit of good works. Our faith must produce something, but produce is impossible without roots in faith. Draw a fruit- or flower-producing with its roots in the ground. Label the roots with things that enrich your faith, and label your produce with the good works your faith has produced in your life.

The Art of Lent – Day 13, Wednesday

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people – cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Luke 18:9-14 NLT

A Tale of Two Prayers: write and draw a comic strip to tell this story.

The Art of Lent – Day 12, Tuesday

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

Never stop praying. Take these verses as a challenge, and think of four times during the day that you might pray and four locations where you might pray; then go do it. Use these times and places to thank God and write a poem about his faithfulness to listen to us when we pray.

The Art of Lent – Day 11, Monday

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT

God’s word equips us to do every good work. What tools has God equipped you with through studying his word? Draw your toolbox and tools.

The Art of Lent – Day 10, Saturday

The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others. God gave these four young men and unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.

Daniel 1:14-17 NLT

God doesn’t call us to give something earthly up without the promise of something better spiritually, something amazing that we would never have imagined or asked for in our finite knowledge. In Daniel’s story, he knew that the king’s food would defile him, so he abstained from eating the rich food and wine of the king and had only vegetables and water instead. God rewarded Daniel’s faithfulness and sacrifice by giving him the special ability to interpret dreams and an incredible capacity for understanding literature and wisdom. Write or draw about a time in your life that God rewarded your sacrifice with something amazing.