Overview: Fasting, daily prayer, service, evangelism, study. Many find these spiritual disciplines difficult to do. How do I fast, when do I pray, where do I share my faith, how can I carve out the time? To help us ease into these practices, throughout Lent we will read through the entire book of Mark, lifting up one spiritual practice to try each week with practical tips. We will break it down into manageable bites, and in doing so, we look for ways in which God will break us down, remove our barriers, overcome our excuses so that during this journey through Lent we will walk the walk and talk the talk. . .together.
Note: Each week we will ask people to tell us their stories on practicing each of these spiritual practices for one week.
March 1 A Week of Fasting
Biblically speaking, fasting has nothing to do with detoxifying the body or dropping weight quickly. It is a spiritual practice that removes some desired food/beverage in order to heighten your awareness of your spiritual walk. This could be skipping one meal a day or removing sweets or eliminating caffeine or abstaining from alcohol. Today we will focus on the spiritual practice of fasting and give helpful tips on how to spend the week using this tool to draw you nearer to God.
Mark 1:9-15; Esther 4:12-17 Bible Reading for the Week: Mark 1-3
March 8 Sharing Our Faith
In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus talks about lavishly scattering the seed of God’s Word. As the sower, you don’t have to be overly concerned where it lands. God will bring forth the fruit when it lands on good soil. This week, let’s talk about how to scatter that seed by sharing your faith. Why do we do it? How do we do it? When do we do it? This week, look for that divine appointment to share your faith. Mark 4:1-9; Acts 17:22-28 Bible Reading for this Week: March 4-6
March 15 Daily Prayer
Of all the things that the disciples could have asked Jesus to teach them, the only one was, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Evidently, prayer is more than closing your eyes, bowing your head, folding your hands and telling God what you want. The disciples saw prayer as the source of Jesus life and breath and ministry. And so will you. Today we will talk about how to set aside intentional time to pray and give suggestions on how you can dedicate this coming week to the discipline of prayer. Mark 9:2-8; Psalm 145:14-21 Bible Reading for this Week: Mark 7-9
March 22 Serving Others
We speak a good word about service, but living it out selflessly is difficult. James and John reveal the honesty of our fallen hearts in wanting more glory and recognition, even as they follow Jesus in service. How do we serve this week? Mother Teresa put it well when she said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” This week, how can you serve in small things with great love. . .and do it anonymously? Mark 10:35-45; Philippians 2:1-5 Bible Reading this Week: Mark 10-12
March 29 Blessing Our Enemies
It is one thing to not retaliate against your enemies, but another thing to bless them and love them. It is an incredibly difficult thing that Jesus asks of us when he says, “Love your enemies. Bless those who persecute you.” This final week we will put this last spiritual practice to the text. Who has wronged you? Who has made your life difficult? Who do you daydream about to get revenge? This week, practice this important discipline of blessing your enemies by singling out the one God is placing on your heart. Mark 14:53-61a; Romans 12:14-21 Bible Reading the Week: Mark 13-16
April 5 Palm Sunday
April 12 EASTER!