Tag Archives: prayers for lent

What to give up for Lent? It’s 40/40/40 Prayer Pact Time!

Let me interrupt your week with a Catholic alert: Lent starts next week.

As in 6 days from today.

If you’re thinking about what to give up for Lent, and chocolate comes to mind, lend me your ear (or eyes in this case) – please.

lent prayers

Last year that Holy Spirit inspired me to start something that transformed my, and others, Lent: The 40/40/40 Prayer Pact. You can read about how it started here and download graphics I designed, but I’ll give you the recap and breakdown here too. {P.S. I designed some new free 2016 downloadable graphics + calendar, they’re down below.)

MY 40/40/40 LENTEN PRAYER PACT:

40 prayer intentions

40 people

40 days

I will pray for 40 prayer intentions, given to me by 40 people, each of the 40 days of Lent. Whoever signs up by Fat Tuesday, February 9th (or before my list is full – whichever comes first) will be on my 40/40/40 list that I commit to praying for this Lent. Note, I will never share or publish your prayer intentions, unless you want me to share in thanksgiving a prayer answered with your express permission.

Last year folks starting their own prayer pacts too, even Catholic teachers using it with their students — thanks be to God! I hope you’ll join by starting your own prayer pact – it’s easy – I provide everything you need to know and use right here.

WHAT IS THE 40/40/40 LENT PRAYER PACT?

Over 40 days, I will be devoting a day to pray for each participant and your prayer intention during my Lenten journey. A pact is defined as a formal agreement between individuals or parties, and I formally agree to pray for 40 people’s intentions over 40 days.

WHY DID YOU CREATE THE PACT?

There is such a power and gift in intercessory prayer. Offering prayers on the behalf of others is also a way to be focused on the needs of others. It reaps graces for those in need. My hope is that the 40/40/40 will help me focus on others more, create a positive prayer movement, and help others along their Lenten journey.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO HAVE YOU PRAY FOR ME?

If you’d like to be included on my 40/40/40, fill out the form below. The first 40 I will commit to pray for you by name, lifting up your intention. If you are late signing up and the list is full (there are only 40 spaces after all) I may be able to coerce my husband to take you on 🙂 Or, I would encourage you to do the prayer pact with your friends and relatives yourself.

SO, HOW DO I START MY OWN 40/40/40 LENTEN PRAYER PACT?

  1. The simplest way to compile your list is to create a sign up form, like the Google form I am using below. For help, here’s a YouTube Lynda.com tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IxFeVXBwaQ. Then embed it or share it with others via email, Social Media, carrier pigeon, etc.
  1. Share information (here’s my permission to utilize my text and graphics in this post) on the prayer pact with your friends and family. Share though email, Social Media, and a blog if you have one. You can use my 40/40/40 Graphic at the top of this post too.
  1. Begin your prayer challenge on February 10, 2016 (Ash Wednesday) and continue through March 26, Holy Saturday. To keep yourself on track, your participant signups through Google forms can be compiled in a Google document. Click to download the FREE 2016 Lenten Prayer Pact Calendar that I designed, fill in the 40 names on each day, and hang it where it will remind you daily. Or just print out your list and you can keep your list with your Bible, tape to your mirror, or wherever/however you’ll remember to pray for your 40 participants.
  1. While this takes bit of coordination, but how nice if you take the time to remind your participants on the day that you’re praying for them. That could be an email, text, post-it note, Facebook message/Tweet/Snapchat/whatevs, or something to say, “I’m praying for you on this day of the 40/40/40 challenge” or send them my Ephesians graphic at the bottom.

The premise is simple, but the fruit born from the 40/40/40 last year was beautiful (read about that here). So, I’m thrilled to invite another 40 people along on my Lenten journey through intercessory prayer — which is POWERFUL!

UPDATED on 02.10.16 {ASH WEDNESDAY}: The form below is no longer accepting responses, as my prayer pact is now closed. It was funny that this year it took longer to fill up – putting out several requests and personally reaching out to people via email and text. Then an influx of last minute requests came in that put me over my 40. I knew y’all had prayer requests…don’t sandbag, folks {wink}.

SIGN UP HERE SO I CAN PRAY FOR YOU THIS LENT:

Need to get people to pray for? Use the graphics {Facebook cover, Twitter Cover, Social Media post grapic} that I designed last year, or download the Social Media covers that I designed and am using this year, below.

FACEBOOK COVER

What to give up for Lent

TWITTER COVER

Lent Twitter Cover

Let’s do this – bring on the 2016 Lenten 40/40/40! I will be sharing some posts on prayer this Lent. I’ll take you into my prayer nook that I set up in our new house, and what I use to create an atmosphere for prayer. I’ll also share insights I’ve learned on prayer over the years – through retreats, books, Spiritual Directors, Theology Professors, Priests, the Saints, and my own experience – for better or worse. I want to hear about what works, and doesn’t work for you too – so use the com-box, please!

May God richly bless your Lenten journey!

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3 Things Lent Taught Me About Prayer

What we learn from LentPrayer is not something new to me. My Catholic resume has some pretty decent bones to it. Even so, I do believe we tread on dangerous ground when we feel like our faith cannot teach us something new. As a lifelong learner, I love when old “practices” can bear new fruit.

Sometimes simply making a few changes feels like opening wide the windows, allowing bright light and fresh air to pour in. Spiritual refreshment is an important part of our faith walk, otherwise we can experience pitfalls, such as mindlessly go through the motions or getting stuck in a spiritual rut. This Lent, my approach to prayer was different {read more here}. For 40 days, I prayed for 40 people and their at least 40 intentions — my 40/40/40 Lenten Prayer Pact.

It was a beautiful time of intercession, and I’m really grateful to all who participated – either through asking for prayer, or hosting your own. My heart swelled when my Sister-in-Law told me that she had her whole South Florida Catholic grade-school class doing the 40/40/40 for Lent.

What did I learn during the 40/40/40? Here are three things that Lent taught me about prayer:

1. Generosity and reciprocity.

My 40/40/40 in no way suggested to participants that anything may be expected back from those submitting their prayer intentions. This was not framed as, “Let’s pray for each other this Lent.” I told people that I wanted to pray for them, and that was that; yet I found that prayer begets prayer more often than not — reciprocity.

Many signup forms or emails were returned telling me, “I’m praying for you too!” Whether you call this show of generosity “Pay It Forward”, Karma, or the Law of Attraction — I know it was a blessing for all involved. Some of the intentions tapped into such a personal part of my own journey, so my heart was moved with compassion many times throughout Lent.

2. Outward focus begins in the heart.

If you do a Scripture search on “heart”, you will see from all the results that the Lord addresses the disposition of our hearts frequently in the Bible. As the central part of our person, that is intentional. Scripture affirms that our actions, thoughts, and words all flow from the heart. It follows that if we are to follow Christ’s example of Servant-Leadership, then our hearts need to be focused on others.

Prayer is a movement of the heart, so interceding on another’s behalf inclines the heart outward, which brings us to a frame of mind to be focused on others before self. When our heart, mind and prayer is not consumed by our own desires and thoughts, we become less self-seeking and desire to serve and help others more. I found myself participating in more ways than normal to support and help others that were in need.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” – Matthew 5:8

3. Prayers prepare your heart for the answer.

We all can relate to asking others to join us in praying for something that we want God to provide for us. Whether our heart is seeking a general provision, like God send me a spouse, or a specific provision, such as heal this person of Cancer, our hearts are set on the answer of YES. Should God provide another answer it can be painful.

This weekend God further reminded me of how we ask people to pray for one thing, but it can be at work in another way. On Friday night, my husband and I decided to drive to Austin to see some properties we were interested in touring with our Realtor. Everything fell into place (thanks to a friend, with 3 hours notice, that responded, “You’re staying with me!”) On Saturday morning, after viewing a few lemons, we walked into a beautiful home that felt perfect. We agreed — we could live here — felt excited, and made an offer on the home the next day. Considering that we weren’t the only offer, even though the home was on the market for only 2 days, we immediately began asking our closest family and friends to join us in praying that they would accept our offer.

There was no lack of prayer, yet several hours later we learned the news that our offer was their 2nd choice and the home-owners were going with another offer. I believe that my prayer and the prayers of others afforded the grace to receive the news and remain positive and open to God’s provision still. The home for us is still out there, exactly where we are meant to be. My heart was readied by prayer to hear and accept the news that I did NOT want in that moment, but answered the greater prayer of moving exactly where we are meant to be. Was it disappointing – sure – but was I devastated and thinking God had failed us, certainly not. Everyone’s prayers lifted us up, and are still at work for the overarching prayer.

When we pray, we must also be open to the answers of no or not yet.

A BIG thanks again to all my 40/40/40 participants. Know that as the Triduum began on Holy Thursday, I also spoke each of your names and petitions before the Altar, laying each of them there.

Even though I am a planner and like to get all my ducks in a row in advance, I was the one that suggested we travel to Austin this weekend on a moments notice. Everything fell together beautifully, in that we were able to still spend time with family (even family I had never met before!) and friends. Sharing a few of the sweet moments that we spent in Austin over Easter weekend:

Home Slice Pizza Austin Things to do in Austin St Mary's Cathedral Austin cowboy boots in Austin S Congress St Austin

Kirby Lane Breakfast

It may be blurry, but the flavor of Kirby Lane’s Chicken Biscuit topped with Eggs and Green Sauce is crystal clear in my mind.

With Bill Williams family in Cedar Park

What did you learn this Lent? Please share in the comments — I would love to hear!

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Lent: My 40/40/40 Prayer Pact

lentAlthough this whole Lent deal is far from a new season to me, I somehow fail to properly plan until Ash Wednesday springs upon me in its dusty, stark, post-Mardi-Gras-glitz-and-sugar-hangover-way. This year I am working on being more intentional about starting my Lent with a sense of readiness. Nevermind the fact that an assortment of ideas and distractions ambush my brain while I sit at my desk attempting to do my business tax prep for my CPA, but this idea I knew was inspired…

But let me interrupt this inspiration banter with: This is your 9 DAYS until Lent starts countdown!

Now back to what the Spirit stirred up. This isn’t a give up chocolate kind of Lenten offering (and yes I love chocolate). I wanted to dig deeper in prayer, giving people the assurance that they were specifically being prayed for, their intentions, by name, during this Lent.

So, I am starting a LENTEN PRAYER PACT 40 for 40 in 40:

40 prayer intentions

For 40 people

In 40 days

Each of 40 days of Lent will be dedicated to one of the 40 specific prayer intentions from 40 different people. Whether you are a friend, or I have never met you, that makes no difference – sign up and you are on my 40/40/40 list this Lent and I will commit to praying for you. Note, I will never share or publish your prayer intentions, unless you want me to and give me express permission.

WHAT IS THE 40/40/40 LENT PRAYER PACT?

Over 40 days, I will be devoting a day to prayer for each participant and your prayer intention during my Lenten journey. A pact is defined as a formal agreement between individuals or parties, and I formally agree to pray for 40 people’s intentions over 40 days.

WHY DID YOU CREATE THE PACT?

There is such a power and gift in intercessory prayer. Offering prayers on the behalf of others is also a way to be focused on the needs of others. It reaps graces for those in need. My hope is that the 40/40/40 will help me focus on others more, create a positive prayer movement, and help others along their Lenten journey.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO HAVE YOU PRAY FOR ME?

If you’d like to be included on my 40/40/40, fill out the form below. The first 40 I will commit to pray for you by name, lifting up you intention – simple. If you are late signing up and the list is full (there are only 40 spaces after all) I may be able to coerce my husband to take you on 🙂 Or, I would encourage you to do the prayer pact with your friends and relatives yourself.

SO, HOW DO I START MY OWN 40/40/40 LENTEN PRAYER PACT?

  1. Easiest way to compile your list is to create a sign up form, like the Google form I am using below. For help, here’s a YouTube Lynda.com tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IxFeVXBwaQ, then embed it or share it with others.
  1. Share information (you have permission to use my verbiage and graphics in this post) on the prayer pact with your friends and family. Share though email, Social Media, and a blog if you have one. You can use my 40/40/40 Graphic too.
  1. Begin your prayer challenge on February 18, 2015 (Ash Wednesday) and continue through April 4, Holy Saturday. To keep yourself on track, your participant signups through Google forms can be compiled in a Google document. Next just print out and either keep your list with your Bible, tape to your mirror, or wherever/however you’ll remember to pray for your 40 participants.
  1. This takes bit of coordination, but how nice if you take the time to remind your participants on the day that you’re praying for them. That could be an email, text, post-it note, Facebook message/Tweet/Snapchat/whatevs, or something to say, “I’m praying for you on this day of the 40/40/40 challenge” or send them my Ephesians graphic at the bottom.

It’s a pretty simple concept, but I am excited to invite 40 other people along on my Lenten journey through praying for your intentions.

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 13th, I have my 40/40 for my 40 already signed up, so my form is no longer accepting submissions, sorry! 

FREE DOWNLOAD – LENTEN PRAYER PACT CALENDAR!
Click link below to download & print. Fill in the names of your participants on each of the 40 days and hang in a good reminder spot!

Lenten Calendar 2015

NEED TO GET PEOPLE TO PRAY FOR? USE THIS GRAPHIC IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA WITH A LINK TO YOUR SIGN-UP FORM:

lent prayers

HERE’S A FACEBOOK COVER TO USE:

Lent Facebook Cover

HERE’S A TWITTER COVER TO USE:

lenten twitter cover

LET PEOPLE KNOW YOU’RE PRAYING FOR THEM. HERE’S A “PRAYING FOR YOU” GRAPHIC YOU CAN EMAIL/TEXT/SHARE WITH THEM:

lenten prayer pact

Invite other to join the prayer pact for their Lent.

Lent prayers

Finally, you can do something special like this for your participants to remind them of your prayers during the next 40 days:

40 days of Lent

 

 

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