MONDAY 3RD APRIL, 2017 READ – Day: Eph 4; Night: Num 33
THEME: GOD’S SPIRIT, STRENGTH DURING LENT
TEXT: MATTHEW 4: 1-11
HYMN: EMHB 539 – Lord, teach us how to pray aright,
The Lent season is a period in the Church calendar when Christians all over the world fast and pray like our Lord Jesus Christ did in the text. The Lenten season starts from the Ash–Wednesday and ends on the first day of the Holy week – Palm Sunday.
During this fasting and praying period, one’s flesh and appetite are subdued to enable one fully concentrate on God. It is a period of self-denial, sober reflection and total commitment in order to focus on God and His word. This exercise is not easy and needs the grace and strength of the Holy Spirit to carry on to the end. In the case of Jesus, the spirit took Him to a desert to fast for 40 days and 40nights. The Spirit of God strengthens us in our weakness and intercedes and prays for us.
The Spirit of God enables us to deny the body of food and give ourselves completely to prayers. The infilling of the Holy Spirit is for all Christians (Eph. 5:18). The spirit enables us to fast and pray according to the will of God. He empowers us to resist sin and bear much fruit that will last.
Many Christians cannot join others to observe the Lenten season today because the spirit is not there. They give excuses such as the nature of their work, their health challenge or family pressure. Are you still with us, pushing the attack against the kingdom of darkness or are you in slumber, sleeping like Peter and the other disciples of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane? Watch and pray.
MEMORY VERSE: Romans 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (NIV)
PRAYER: Spirit of the living God, teach me to pray and strengthen me in my weakness.