My times are in your hand. (Ps 31.15)I prayed in Evening Prayer yesterday. There’s another important reminder that comes from taking the time to lean into Lent each year. Try as I might to organize my time for efficiency and productivity, my calendar is actually God’s. It was God who chose when I was to be born, knows how long my time on earth will be and what I’m for. Like Esther, I was born who I am and when, exactly and specifically, for “such a time as this” (Esther 4.14) and no other. My times are, indeed, in God’s hand, so taking some of that time to step aside and lean in to Lent is to
call upon the Most High God, the God who fulfils his purpose for me. (Ps 57.3)When I do that God’s purpose for me is much more likely to happen. God has I plan for me, I don’t know what it is—that’s the point—otherwise I’d probably try and improve on it. I’d best just keep leaning in to Lent if I want to know what’s good for me.
There are also some things I do know about what I’m for. I was created to worship the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. I was created to obey him and to follow Jesus. So, I go to church and participate in a worshipping community.
I also know my purpose is to pray for and serve others—especially others whose times are difficult.
Organized praying using daily prayer liturgies help me to keep placing my times in God’s hands.
For example, the Church of England offers an abbreviated form of Daily Prayer which “provides a framework for a daily Quiet Time and Bible Study” called Prayer During the Day which includes these prayer points during Passiontide:
¶ The suffering ChurchIf ever there were people who need to know their times are in God’s hands, it would be those living through such hard things. Perhaps my Lenten leaning prayers at just such-a-time-as-this will help them to know it.
¶ The oppressed peoples of the world
¶ All who are lonely
¶ All who are near to death
¶ All who are facing loss