Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Last Week: A Lenten Journey

During the six Sundays of Lent, Southland Baptist Church will be journeying with Jesus during the last week of his earthly ministry as reported in Mark's gospel. We'll start with his entry in to Jerusalem on Sunday and conclude with his burial on Friday night. For those who would like to participate in this journey at a deeper level, I'm suggesting the following combination of centering prayer and lectio divina each day. Also, in light of the sermon series we just finished, I encourage you to add the examen each evening if you do not already have an evening practice of prayer.

Grace and Peace,

Taylor Sandlin
Ash Wednesday 2014


Lenten Prayers for 2014

Centering Prayer.

Take some time to quiet one’s heart before the Lord. Pray one of the following prayers during these quiet moments, allowing the rhythm of the prayer to match the rhythm of your breathing.
  • Week 1 (Ash Wednesday – March 15): “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner” from The Jesus Prayer, modeled on the publican’s prayer in Luke 18:13.
  • Week 2 (March 17 – 22): “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions” from Psalm 51:1. 
  • Week 3 (March 23-29): “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! We take refuge in the shadows of your wings” from Psalm 36:7. 
  • Week 4 (March 30 – April 5): “You, oh Lord, are close to the brokenhearted. You save those who are crushed in spirit” from Psalm 34:18. 
  • Week 5 (April 6 – 12): “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” from Ps 51:10. 
  • Week 6 (April 13 – 19): “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” from Psalm 73:26.

 Lectio Divina

Begin by asking the Holy Spirit to open your ears, heart, and mind to listen for God’s voice speaking through the Bible.

  1. Read—Read or listen to the text provided by the calendar below. Focus on hearing the passage again, as if for the first time. Do your best to avoid jumping ahead to what you think the passage is saying. After hearing the text abide in silence for a bit.
  2. Reflect—Read or listen to the text again, this time allowing a word or phrase to stick out to you. Silently reflect on that word or phrase. What might this text have to say to you, today? 
  3. Respond—Read or listen to the text again. As you do, offer the text back to God as a prayer. If the text has stirred you in a particular way, offer those thoughts back to God in prayers of thanksgiving, lament, or request. 
  4. Rest—Read or listen to the text once more time. This time, simply rest in the presence of God, who is both the author of Scripture and the One who brings it alive in us. 
  5. Remember—As you go throughout your day, remember to carry this word with you. Allow the word or phrase that spoke to you to serve as a prompt during the day to live in light of God’s Word.

Reading Calendar

The following readings reflect upon Palm Sunday
Wed, March 5 – Mark 11:1-11
Thurs, March 6 – March 8:31-9:1
Fri, March 7 – Mark 9:30-37
Sat, March 8 – Mark 10:32-34
Sun, March 9 – Psalm 118

The following readings reflect upon holy Monday.
Mon, March 10 – Mark 11:12-14
Tues, March 11 – Mark 11:15-19
Wed, March 12 – Isaiah 56:1-2
Thurs, March 13 – Isaiah 56:3-8
Friday, March 14 – Jeremiah 7:1-11
Saturday, March 15 – Micah 6:6-8
Sunday, March 16 – Psalm 32

The following readings reflect upon holy Tuesday.
Monday, March 17 – Mark 11:20-26
Tuesday, March 18 – Mark 11:20-33
Wednesday, March 19 – Mark 12:1-12
Thursday, March 20 – Mark 12:13-17
Friday, March 21 – Mark 12:18-27
Saturday, March 22 – Mark 12:28-34
Sunday, March 23 – Mark 12:35-37
Monday, March 24 – Mark 12:38-40
Tuesday, March 25 – Mark 12:41-44
Wednesday, March 27 – Mark 13:1-11
Thursday, March 28 – Mark 13:12-23
Friday, March 29 – Mark 13:24-31
Saturday, March 30 – Mark 13:32-37

The following reading reflects upon holy Wednesday
Sunday, March 30 – Mark 14:1-11
The following readings reflect upon Maundy Thursday
Monday, March 31 – Mark 14:12-16
Tuesday, April 1 – Mark 14:17-26
Wednesday, April 2 – Mark 14:27-31
Thursday, April 3 – Mark 14:32-42
Friday, April 4 – Mark 14:43-52
Saturday, April 5 – Mark 14:53-65
Sunday, April 6 – Mark 14:66-73

The following readings reflect upon Good Friday
Monday, April 7 – Mark 15:1-5
Tuesday, April 8 – Mark 15:6-15
Wednesday, April 9 – Mark 15:16-20
Thursday, April 10 – Mark 15:21-26
Friday, April 11 – Mark 15:26-32
Saturday, April 12 – Mark 15:33-41
Sunday, April 13 – Mark 15:42-47

While Mark remains silent about holy Saturday, these readings allow us to reflect upon that day.
Monday, April 14 – Psalm 56:1-6
Tuesday, April 15 – Psalm 142
Wednesday, April 16 – Psalm 31:9-12
Thursday, April 17 – Psalm 69:1-17
Friday, April 18 – Psalm 22
Saturday, April 19 – Psalm 88

The following reading reflects upon Easter Sunday.
Sunday, April 20 – Mark 16:1-8


At the conclusion of your day, take a few minutes to replay the events of your day. Ask yourself the following two questions.
  1. Where was I most aware of God’s presence today?
  2. Where was I least aware of God’s presence today?
Close your day with prayer thanking God for his presence throughout the day, whether you were aware of Him or not.

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