Choosing Simple Spiritual Practice for Lent

By Althea Jerome

Each year, toward the beginning of Lent, I recall friends, and years, when it was customary for people whom I know to “give up” something for lent. While I have tried this practice myself, in the final analysis, it seems I didn’t set an appropriate goal for deepening my walk with Christ, which is, of course, what all spiritual discipline is intended to do. What has worked better for me is to choose a new habit in my prayer life and to read meaningful devotional books focused on the themes of the season.

So, as Lent 2024 begins, I dare to offer a suggestion to each of you to take up a new spiritual practice for your journey through Lent. A simple chart can be made to guide your daily choices. Categories on the chart could include: Sabbath rest, prayer, solitude, scripture, and service.  Websites and phone apps are also options to help you discipline and focus your new practice. There are a number of helpful sites and apps. D365 is a daily devotional app that can gently help you go deeper. Hallow is a mediation and prayer site. The website, includes readings from the revised common lectionary to ground your day in scripture. Each of these suggestions offers quick access to content for a time of meditation and mindfulness, so important for our individual spiritual journey.

If you have access to a copy of a hymnal, this, too can serve as a guide for your daily quiet time. The Glory to God hymnal used in many of our churches offers a wealth of devotional opportunity. Some of my favorites to sing or read through include #731, Give Thanks for Those Whose Faith is Firm that celebrates the faith of God’s people, #826 Lift High the Cross celebrates the newness of life found in the victory of the Cross. You might even read a hymn a day through the Lenten section beginning with #165 The Glory of These Forty Days and working through to the Passion hymns. If you engage daily with these beautiful hymns, it is possible that you will have music sounding in your head  (an earworm!) throughout the day.

In an effort to simplify the beginning of a new spiritual practice, these suggestions  won’t require a great deal of research. Nor do they require a great deal of time. The goal is to find new ways to practice discipleship that can become part of a daily devotional routine and lead you more meaningfully through the season. Won’t you join me?