LEAP OF FAITH: WHAT IS IT?
Lent is the season between Ash Wednesday to Easter (Leap of Faith will be from Feb. 29–April 12), and it’s traditionally a time to prepare our hearts for the most significant celebration in the church calendar—Resurrection Sunday. Each year, we try a Leap of Faith during Lent and, together as a church family, we try to lean into our spiritual lives in a special way.
THIS YEAR’S THEME: THE LORD’S PRAYER
We want to be a church of people who are filled with and led by the Holy Spirit, and pray with the Spirit. What does that mean? We will spend the next 6 weeks on how the Lord’s Prayer works in communities that seek to follow Jesus, as well as reflect on the Lord’s Prayer for our lives.
HOW WILL THIS WORK?
There are five components to this year’s Leap of Faith. Try all five EVERYDAY:
PRAY THE LORD’S PRAYER.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Week 4: Verses to read this week
MONDAY –Psalm 57: 1
TUESDAY – Psalm 121: 1-2
WEDNESDAY – Luke 12:24
THURSDAY – Psalm 5:1
FRIDAY – Isaiah 41:10.
SATURDAY –2 Corinthians 4:8-9
SUNDAY – Romans 8:26
PRAY FOR YOUR 5. Every day, pray for 5 people who you know and who would benefit from knowing Jesus better. This might take 5 minutes in prayer every day.
Pray big! Set high expectations and pray with all your heart as if God will answer your prayers for sure. At the same time, hold it loosely, and promise beforehand that you will not turn bitter and give up on praying if God’s answer is “no.” In that tension, we continue to pray with faith and perseverance.
PRAY FOR YOURSELF. Pick an exciting opportunity or challenging area of your life that only God can address for you. Every day, ask God to answer your prayer in an amazing way.
Jesus wants us to come to him with the things we want and need; he also knows that if we don’t, we will go elsewhere. The Bible encourages us to go to God for what we need: “You do not have, because you do not ask.” (James 4:2) God is honored whenever we ask him for the things closest to our hearts. So, what do you want Jesus to do for you that you cannot get for yourself, during these next 40 Days? Write it down. __________________________________________________________________________
Then, tell someone else what you wrote down and ask them to pray for you about those things too. The ideal place to share is a small group where you can receive encouragement and perspective while you engage in Leap of Faith.
REVIEW YOUR DAY WITH THE PRAYER OF EXAMEN. Use the Leap of Faith Weekly Guide (printed inside your bulletin, posted on Facebook, or via the e-BRV Weekly) to meditate on the daily Scripture and end your day with the prayer of examen.
The Examen is a series of simple questions that helps us to see the Spirit’s work in the day we just completed and to expect the Spirit’s work in the day ahead. We examine our souls before God and then turn our heart to gratefulness, joy, repentance, hope, and trust for tomorrow.
- Stillness. become aware of God’s presence. Quiet your heart and pray, “Come, Holy Spirit.” Listen. In this moment, become present to Jesus.
- Gratitude. Review your day, looking for God’s gifts in each event or interaction. Appreciate and give thanks for each part of your day that you can.
- Reflection. Become aware of your emotions. Review your positive and negative feelings. Did you choose Jesus’ way in each situation?
- Joy and sorrow. Choose one feature of the day and pray. Rejoice in a success or ask for forgiveness for sin. If necessary, plan to make amends.
- Hope. Look toward tomorrow. Move toward expectation. Ask God to shine light on tomorrow’s path. Resolve to grow.
Consider fasting in some way. During Lent, millions of Christians are fasting from something. Why not join in at some level? When people really wanted something from God in the Bible, they almost always fasted. The point of fasting is that, under God’s direction, we’re feeling desperate for something and we direct that desperation towards God. Note: fasting does NOT make you more holy and acceptable before God. That has been completely accomplished by Jesus on the cross.
HOW TO APPROACH FASTING
What are options for fasting? Fasting often involves not eating food in some way. Sometimes, that can be a total abstention, a “water fast.” We don’t recommend these at any length beyond a couple of days unless you have a good deal of experience fasting.
We don’t recommend water fasts if you’ve ever suffered from an eating disorder. People who have suffered from eating disorders often have a difficult time separating this sort of fasting from the very motivation that drove them to the disorder, and thereby risk serious health problems. See below for other ways you can participate.
Other fasts involve not eating a certain kind of food. This can involve giving up a beloved food: desserts, meat, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, “Daniel Fast” (you only eat vegetables), etc.
Are there any non-food-related options? Yes! Fasting from TV is a popular choice. You can also fast from digital games, shopping, social media —anything that feels costly to give up for a season. Try fasting from criticism or making sarcastic remarks!
LEAP OF FAITH SMALL GROUPS
Small groups are an important component of our Leap of Faith program. The community available in our living rooms, kitchen tables, or an online group is fertile ground for our faith to take a leap this year. Please join with others to connect around the bible, pray and learn together in one of these 6 weeks gatherings. Choose the group that fits you and call or text the leader to let him or her know you’ll be attending. Groups begin the week of March 1th. Also, all of our on-going small groups will be covering this content as well. To find the complete list of on-going groups click on the small group tab. If you have any questions, please contact Amy Ross, pastor of small groups at email@example.com.