Lenten Prayer Guide 2023

Welcome to this year’s opportunity to join many on a Lenten journey to get to know Jesus more intimately and find comfort and hope in our daily lives. As we grieve over the anguish of natural disasters, war, famine, broken promises, and power struggles, where can we find hope and comfort? Jesus, the only son of God, came to live among us to bear our burdens and carry them to the cross. By slowly reading through the last chapters of the gospel of John, Chapters 13-20, over the next weeks leading up to Easter, we may find Jesus accompanying us in our passion as we walk with him in his.

Each week we will post some reflection questions to help stir your imagination. May God meet you deeply during this Lenten season.


Week of Ash Wednesday Feb 22 – 25, 2023
John 13


Reflection: As you read this passage, use all your senses to imagine yourself in the picture. Spend some time with Jesus and the disciples as Jesus washes others feet and then comes to wash your feet.

Which of the disciples do you most identify with. Imagine how it felt to be Judas, Peter, John or one of the others and notice how Jesus is with them. How is Jesus with you? What might he say to you?


Week One of Lent February 26 – March 4
John 14


Reflection: Imagine yourself with the disciples as Jesus gives them some of his last teachings while with them on earth. Hear Jesus speaking to you. What stands out to you and relates to your life today? How is Jesus’ Spirit with you today?

As you reflect on the goodbyes that you have been part of, ask Jesus to continue to heal your heart of any lingering pain from abandonment and to give wisdom of how to have healthy goodbyes when necessary.


Week Two of Lent March 5-11
John 15


Reflection: Listen to Jesus words to his disciples and to you many times this week. Notice what stands out to you. What is difficult for you to believe? Ask for God’s help to believe.

As you listen to the news this week notice what is breaking your heart. Jesus speaks of human hatred, loneliness, uprootedness, and loss and experienced it all during his human life. Ask his help to bear what is heavy for you.


Week Three of Lent March 12-18
John 16


Reflection: As you read this chapter imagine Jesus is saying these words to you. Perhaps some of Jesus’ words you cannot bear yet. Ask for God’s strength to hear his words and for the Spirit of Jesus to speak clearly to you.
Remember a time in your life when deep sorrow turned to joy for you. Stay for a while with Jesus and hear his words: “I have told you these things so you will have peace. This world is full of sorrow, pain and trouble, but have strong hearts, for I have defeated the world.” (16:33 First Nations Version)


Week Four of Lent March 19-25
John 17


Reflection: as you read this passage over this week, hear Jesus praying for his disciples with deep love. Then in verse 20 Jesus starts praying for all of us. Jesus is praying for you! Listen to his words and receive his prayer.
As Jesus talks with his Heavenly Father he says “In the same way you are in me I will be in them beautifully joined together as one. This is the reason you sent me into the world, to show them that you love them just as you love me.” (17:23 First Nations Version). In whatever you are facing this week, know that Jesus is still praying for you with love.


Week Five of Lent March 26 – April 1
John 18


Reflection: Ask God’s help to travel in your imagination with Jesus and his disciples late at night, from the upper room out to the Kidron valley and the garden of Gethsemane. Be with Jesus as his dear friend Judas betrays him and then Peter denies him. How do you relate to Judas and Peter in their relationship with Jesus? How is Jesus with you in your experience of betrayal?
Then travel on with Jesus to the Jewish high priest’s quarters (Annas and Caiaphas) and on to the Roman praetorium in the early morning (with no sleep!) to be questioned by Pilate the Roman governor. What questions, feeling and ideas rise up in you. Be with Jesus as you together look at injustice in our world.


Week Six of Lent April 2 – 8
John 19


Reflection: spend this week with Jesus, pondering his experience of accusations, rejection, abandonment, violence, doubt, fear and hope. You may explore the other gospel accounts of Jesus last moments leading up to his crucifixion. What touches you. How is Jesus with you in similar moments in your life?


EASTER Week April 9 – 15
John 20 – 21


Reflection: during this Easter week spend some time daily with these accounts of people who actually saw Jesus physically resurrected after watching him die. Notice details of what they remember. How have you experienced the risen Jesus appearing to you through scripture, your imagination, dreams, conversations . . .? Ask Jesus for a true meeting with him this week and watch for it.

Hear Jesus words to Peter and to you: “Do you love me? Feed my sheep.” How do you respond. As we look forward to the months ahead may these words challenge you:  30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. (John 21:30 – 31)