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  Lenten Journey and Meditations
Copyright © Anne R. Coyle 2012


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 The First Day of Lent,

Psalm 119:66 Teach me wisdom and knowledge, for in Your command I trust.

Jesus said if we would follow Him we should pick up our cross. Some people have physical crosses, there is a man in our Parish who has terrible pain in his legs, this man has been very active all his life, unfortunately his knees have given way, there is nothing that can be done for him. He bears his cross every day ,all day, all night. Another friend has children who are rebellious, on drugs, indifferent , moody ,this friend bears the cross daily. So what is my cross?

I bear a cross that is with me day and night, it is called SELF. It wages war always against the spirit to control my life. For me to follow Jesus means to die to SELF and go with Him. In prayer this morning the lord gave me this insight into the word “SELF”
S-is for serving
E-is for every
L-is for little
F- is for fancy.

Death to self so that Christ might be glorified is my cross, do any of you identify with that? Mary, the Mother of Jesus, knew the cross of rejection for neighbors, loneliness from the death of her husband, Joseph, the cross she bore following her Son to Calvary. Rejection surely by the people when they heard of her pregnancy.

Each of us has a cross, some temporary-some constantly- but no matter what, He calls us to identify with Him and He will turn it upside down and inside out. if we lose our lives in Him we will gain much more-eternal joy and happiness. Give it all to Jesus – start this Lent surrendering to him.

Father, we adore and worship You today, this is the day that we offer You all we do and say, help us to take up our cross and follow You. We desire Your Holy Spirit in this battle of flesh and spirit, give us the grace to walk today for You and others.



Day 2-

Psalm 119:73 Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me discernment that I may learn Your commands.

No matter how much we read, study or talk about the lord, there is nothing that takes the place of sitting with Him. I know that most all of you are working in the marketplace, a few are retired, ( me? I am a home maker so there’s no retirement) but others are teenagers, students, Doctors, Lawyers, Carpenters Salesmen.

We are all on our journey to the Lord. We are on a course to eternal life and to him.

What did He do in His daily life? He had to work to maintain His own life plus His Mother’s after Joseph had died. He had customers, perhaps Romans and Greeks, He had orders to fill just as we do. When we read scripture we see He often went to the hills (apart) and prayed, in order to have peace and understanding and live as His Father desired.

God gives us 24 hours a day, perhaps we could give 15 minutes? One hour? 15 minutes in the morning? 15 minutes at night? Take a lunch outside and the scripture, read and meditate. We have to find the right spot for prayer, the right time for each. Each is called in different ways, that’s what is so wonderful about the lord.

He is the one who calls, He is the one who woos each, He is the one who is patient and keeps loving us.
Isaiah 40:31- They that wait upon the lord, shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.

Father, we love and adore you. Help us to prioritize our day in order to seek You first. You have promised us so many wonderful things just if we listen and obey. Change our hearts of stone and make them hearts pleasing to You. We offer all that we are and have and do to You , melt us , mold us into Your image .Give us hearts and hands of love to others.


Day 3-

Psalm 119:80 Let my heart be perfect in Your statues, that I be not put to shame.

I heard a teaching many years ago, by my friend Beth, on the idols we have in our lives. As this is the 3rd day of Lent perhaps it the time to look at some of them that will hold us back from entering into the rest of the lord.

First we need the light of the Holy Spirit to reveal those places where idols are worshipped instead of the lord. Remember the Lord wants only good for us-

Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.
What are the idols in your life? money? power? control? children? food? addiction? anger? self?
Anything that preoccupies us and causes us to dwell in those areas is an idol.

God has a plan for each of us. He evens gives us a handbook to follow.
When we buy a new car, refrigerator, boat etc. there is a handbook with instructions for the maintenance and care of the new possession. If we follow those instructions we will all our answers to the parts and workings of that possession. If we take care of it well we will enjoy it for many, many years.

God gives us His Word- The Bible-The Scripture.
Read Psalm 1 for the Word of God on how to live a life of blessing. On you can hear that scripture and can sing along until it becomes part of your life. It shows the difference between the man after God’s own heart and the worldly man who does his own thing.

Do you want blessings? I do. Meditate on his Word and see them flowing all around you.
Father, we adore and praise you today. This is the day You have made. Call us, woo us, send your Holy Spirit upon us to open our eyes to see You, open our ears to hear You, and open our hearts to love you and others.


Day 4-

Psalm 3:4 But You, O Lord, are my shield; my glory, You lift my head.

Today we will look at the first Penitential Psalm. It is Psalm 6.Composed by David and given to the leader or Chief Musician. David even tells how it should be played –on stringed instruments- David made the instruments so he heard this in his heart and sang the words. It says to play “upon the eighth” meaning bass played 8 strings lower.

That sounds like a distress sound to me, how about you?
It is titled “A Prayer in Time of Distress”
O lord, reprove me not in Your anger, nor chastise me in Your wrath. Have pity of me, O lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my body is terrified. My soul too, is utterly terrified; but You, O lord, how long…?
David fled from King Saul for ten years, going from cave to the hills to the wilderness. He also sinned mightily when he took Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed. David had many occasions to cry out to the lord for mercy.

I love the last line of the psalm verse 10- The lord has heard my plea; the lord has accepted my prayer.v.11-All my enemies shall be put to shame in utter terror; they shall fall back in sudden shame.

Today let us cry out to the lord and ask for mercy and forgiveness, he is sure to hear our cry and forgive us .He is merciful and kind and loves to hear our prayers. Only He can satisfy our hungry souls, only He can satisfy.
Write your thoughts and prayers down, in the years ahead you will be able to reflect on your thoughts and see how the lord has saved and welcomed you to His side.

Father, we adore and thank You today. All that we have and are and will be is in Your hands, help us to spend time, meditate on Your Word which leads to freedom and joy and forgiveness. Bless our families, our Nation and Church.


Day 5-

Psalm 31:1 In You, O lord, I take refuge, let me never be put to shame. Be my rock of refuge a stronghold to give me safety.
The second Penitential Psalm is Psalm 32.

This Psalm was a favorite of St. Augustine.
It was written by David- a man after God’s own heart. David describes the blessedness of having one’ sins forgiven by God as well as his own spiritual consolation when he confessed his sins; he then exhorts others to be submissive to God’s will and to confide with joy in His goodness.
It is so beautiful, even the first line of the first verse speaks of the Messiah.

Verse 1:Happy is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered.
All our sins were taken by the lord Jesus on the cross, He paid the penalty and covered us with His blood. Incredible- Perhaps we should “stew” on that for awhile. We tend to rush too quickly to the next and next verse. Think on this one verse.
No wonder St. Augustine loved it so much, he felt true sorrow for his sins so to see this verse, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, must have given him a great spirit of joy and gladness.

Verse 2 says: Happy the man to whom the lord imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile.
The Lord takes away the guilt, we stay under that guilt cloud, when here He is telling us he doesn’t hold it against us anymore. In Webster’s Dictionary “Impute” means to attribute, to ascribe. So He doesn’t ascribe guilt to us, it’s over, it is taken and forgiven.
Father, we thank and praise You today and always. Thank you, Jesus, for taking our guilt and sin, in this time of Lent cause us to humble ourselves and cry for mercy but let us accept Your mercy and forgiveness with abandonment and faith. Bless our families, all our work and our Nation .

Day 6 -

Psalm 32:11 Be glad in the lord and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart.

Today we will stay in Psalm 32 for awhile, guess I need it.
Verse 3-4 speak of the agony and depression that happens when we keep our sins and faults to ourselves, sometimes misery loves company, we actually keep stewing over the sin.
v.3 As long as I would not speak, my bones wasted away with my groaning all the day,
v. 4: For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
God works in mysterious ways. We keep suffering and become down hearted, yet He knows our hearts for Psalm 139 says: even before a word is on my tongue, behold o Lord, you know the whole of it.
Then verses 5-7 speak of the soul’s acknowledgement of sin and his guilt covered. The Psalmist says “I confess my faults to the lord and you took away the guilt of my sin. verse 7: You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me; with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.”
Incredible. Rejoice.

Father, we adore and thank You today. Ring us round with cries of freedom .We acknowledge our sins , we bow before Your Majesty, You are Lord God of Hosts. Bless our families, our Nation and our Church, cause us to shout out with joy of Your loving kindness, help us to tell others of Your mercy.


Day 7 -

Psalm 33:4 For upright is the word of the Lord, and all his works are trustworthy.
Back to Psalm 32:8

The Lord tells us what He will do after finally getting our attention.
Verse 8-I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk ( remember Psalm 1?) I will counsel you keeping my eye on you.

Then in verse 9 He says( remember He knows how hard-headed His people are)
Be not senseless like horses to mules; with bit and bridle their temper must be curbed, else they will not come near you.
The Lord knows us from the top of our heads to our feet, He remembers how the Israelites were so stubborn in the desert and refused to do as He had instructed.

mea culpa. Perhaps He is telling us “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” if only we would listen and obey.
Father, we adore and praise You today. Help us not to bristle and demand and be stubborn, show us how to be true followers of Jesus for we need to follow His example of humility, patience, kindness, joy, prayer and love . We ask for the grace of conversion, for the Holy Spirit to fall upon us in a mighty way and cause us to turn form our wicked ways and be Your children, obedient and willing. Bless our families, our Nation and our Church.



Day 8 -

Psalm 40. I have waited, waited for the lord, and He stooped toward me and heard my cry.

Today we will look at the 3rd Penitential Psalm –

Psalm 38.

David wrote this, he acknowledged his sickness is a punishment for his sins, remember David had sinned mightily against God when he took Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed. Imagine him crying out to the lord: I am stooped and bowed down profoundly; all the day I go in mourning. Have you ever had a time like this? I know when I have sinned, there is a heavy burden on my soul , I am miserable and depressed. Only God could save me from my distress. Only when I have acknowledged my sin and asked for mercy and forgiveness has my soul been restored. David said in the last verse: Forsake me not, O Lord; my God. Be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation! David knows his only hope is in God. Mine too, yours also.

Let us pray, Father, today on the 8th day of lent help us to renew our fast and repentance unto You. We humble ourselves before You, thank You for dying for us and covering our sins with Your Blood. Jesus took them all on the cross and blotted them out.

Bless our Families, Nation, Church this day and grant us Your peace.




Day 9 -

Psalm.53: 7 - Oh, out of Zion would come the salvation of Israel! When God restores the well –being of his people; then shall Jacob exult and Israel be glad.

The fourth Penitential Psalm is the famous Psalm 51. David wrote this when Nathan the prophet came to him after his sin with Bathsheba. David wrote this and gave it to the Chief Musician.

It is titled :The Miserere: Prayer of Repentance.

v.3- Have mercy on me, O God, in Your goodness; in the greatness of Your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me.

I love how David speaks of the compassion of the Lord. He calls it “greatness” He loves from his life’s experience how God works with compassion to the weak and helpless, to the poor and unloved. He has seen God in action and knows His overwhelming love. He called him his Shepherd, and remembers his own love and compassion for his sheep who were mean and cruel to the other sheep , had to be reprimanded ,sometimes throwing the rod at the sheep to break up a fight, yet he did it all with compassion, knowing their weaknesses. How often David had seen the lord show compassion on the people David guided as a flock.

Now he calls on him in His greatness to wipe out his offense. Surely as we cry out we know that God’s compassion extended to us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the cross to take our offenses and blot them out. He washed us from our guilt and cleansed us.

David was prophesying of the Messiah’s coming. We are the blessed ones to receive such grace.

Lord, cause us to fall on our knees in thanksgiving to You, Cause us to cry mercy.

Bless us on our journey for Lent as we sacrifice time and flesh to pay homage to You our lord. Bless our families, Nation, Church and all those who need our compassion.

Day 10 -

Psalm 62:11 I will thanks you always for what you have done, and proclaim the goodness of your name before your faithful ones.

Psalm 51:5 For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always; v.6-Against you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.

Although sin may also be an injustice against a fellow man, yet the very essence of sin consists in its being an offense against God.(New American Bible)

I don’t think we speak of sin much anymore, perhaps there was a time we concentrated on that but somewhere it became old hat and we started dwelling on love . Of course that is a great pursuit but first and always we need to look at ourselves ,acknowledge our sins , receive forgiveness and then move on to love. I believe I have been forgiven of my sins that I am not a sinner now but one who sins. I remember a preacher saying : If you are not rejoicing then repent.

So today is the day the lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice. He has forgiven our sins, our sins are gone, let us rejoice and be glad.

Father, we love and thank You for Your great compassion and mercy. All that we have we give to You. Help us to focus on Your Son Jesus for these forty days so we will receive new understanding of what He did for each of us.

Bless our families, our Nation, our Church and all in need.



Day 11 -

Psalm 54 - O God, by your name save me; and by your might defend my cause.

Psalm 51:9 Cleanse me of sin with hyssop, that I may be purified; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

These words are incredible- hyssop is a small bush whose many woody twigs made a natural sprinkler. It was prescribed in the Mosaic law as an instrument for scattering sacrificial blood or lustral water on persons to be ritually cleansed according to Ex.12:22-

In John 19:29 -There was a jar there, full of common wine. They stuck a sponge soaked in this on some hyssop and raised it to his lips. When Jesus took the wine, he said, ”Now it is finished” Then he bowed his head and delivered over his spirit.

Jesus of course didn’t need to be purified or cleansed of sin to be purified ,he always was but me! That’s another story. Like David I need to be cleansed, purified and washed .

Isn’t it wonderful that David said “and I shall be whiter than snow” He had such faith in the lord God .

We too need to thank our God for such compassion and love. Verse 11 says: Turn away your face from my sins, and blot out all my guilt. Ah, guilt. How long do we harbor that within our hearts? The Word says: blot out all my guilt”. Let’s do that today. Every time you feel guilty over past sins memorize this scripture. Your Word says “Blot out all my guilt”

Father, we love you. Thank You for your Word which is eternal and true. Bless our families, our Nation, our Church and all who are bearing the guilt verdict.





Day 12 -

Lenten Meditation- Day 12

Psalm 86 -Incline your ear, O Lord, answer me for I am afflicted and poor. Keep my life for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you.

Today I thought we would transgress a little. I saw this in “One Bread, One Body” booklet :

Jesus “saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his customs post. He said to him ”Follow Me”. Luke 5:27

Levi left behind his job as a tax collector and followed Jesus. He eventually became an apostle who wrote a Gospel, the good News of Jesus. You also have been called to follow Jesus. If you, like Levi, choose to follow Jesus, you will write the good news of Jesus. In fact, you will be the good news ”known and read by all men, written on your hearts” (2Cor 3:2) You will be and preach good news to the poor. (Luke 4:18) You shall delight in the lord (Is. 58:14) He will “make you ride on the heights of the earth ( Is.58:14) .

You will be the good news.

Will you surrender all to Jesus? Will you accept him as lord of your life, job, money and possessions? Will you follow him and be the god news of Jesus for a world of bad news?

Father, as I fast for forty days in imitation of Jesus, write the good news on my heart for all to see. Bless my family, Nation and Church and all in need.


Day 13 -

Psalm 57: Awake, O my soul, awake, lyre and harp. I will wake the dawn.

Psalm 51:12: A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
After David cries out to the lord for forgiveness , compassion and cleansing he asks for a clean heart, he knows only the Lord can create that for him. He wants to start over again. He begs the lord not to cast him out from His presence and not to take His Spirit away from me. David understands whose strength and presence he needs in his life. How only and distraught a life is without the presence of the lord.
Father, today help us to walk in Your presence, minute by minute and create in us a new heart, forgiven, cleansed and purified. We are sorry for our sins and we thank You for Your forgiveness. Cause us to turn away from any sin that besets us, by Your mercy and grace.
Bless our families, our Nation, our Church with Your love right now. Thank You.

of time.”
Let us gather our strength and ask God’s grace to fast for our Nation in this time of peril. The scripture says “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.2 Chron.7:14.
Father, cause us to bow humbly before You and seek Your face in this time of need. So many are hurting, so many are lost, give us the grace to deny ourselves for awhile , set aside time to seek You and help others. Bless our Families, our Nation and our Church and those in need.




Day 14-

Psalm 57- Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me; for my soul trusts in You.

In Psalm 51: 12 - Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Verse 13: Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.

David prayed that the Lord would restore his joy after his repentance. After that he would tell others of the lord’s compassion even in the worst of sins, even murder. Such faith, such thanks for knowing his sins were forgiven that he desired to tell others of the saving power and grace of God’s love. How often, even after we have confessed our sins, we carry the guilt around with us, not so David, he understood God’s great love for him and His great mercy. Let’s do the same, accept what the Word of God tells us and by faith walk in the joy of the lord restored to each. Let’s tell others of that great love so they too will be restored to the joy of the Lord.

Father, today we walk by faith, help us in our unbelief. All that we are and will be are Yours, we surrender all to You. Bless our families, our Country, our Nations and help us to reach out to others to tell them about your merciful love. Help us in this Lenten time of prayer and fasting.



Day 15 -

Psalm 50:14 - Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.

In a booklet I receive called “Praise Him” distributed by the Disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ there is an article this month on Fasting.
It comes from “Charisindia, December 2008” by Victor Parachin.
“In 1756 a frightened and somber King of England called for a day of solemn prayer and fasting. Behind his call was the immediate threat of an invasion and war by the French. On February 6,1756 John Wesley recorded in his journal the positive effect a day of fasting and prayer had upon the nation:

“The fast day was a glorious day, such as London has scarce seen….Every church in the city was more than full, and a solemn seriousness sat on every face, Surely God hears prayer, and there will yet be a lengthening of our tranquility” .
In a footnote he added “Humility was turned into national rejoicing for the threatened invasion by the French was averted”.
Fasting is referred to nearly 100 times in the Bible, it remains a discipline which is absent from the lives of many Christians. Yet, fasting is connected to people whose lives were filled with spiritual power and moral authority.
Great religious leaders such as Moses, Elijah, Daniel, Jesus, Origen, Martin Luther, Ignatius Loyola, Francis of Assisi were known to fast, often for prolonged periods. It really is a denial of our own self desires for the love of the lord. He gave so much for us , we actually have little to give Him. He spoke of prayer, fasting and alms when He said “when you pray ” when you fast” when you give “alms” not IF.

Father, thank you for reminding us of the reason to fast and pray, we desire to listen to your words and apply them to our lives. With your grace and mercy that will be possible. Bless our families, our nation, our Church, all those who hunger for You.



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