Prayer. Fasting. Almsgiving.
These pillars of Lent help us prepare for Jesus’ death and resurrection.
For me, the last two have always been somewhat straightforward. Fast – give up social media and complaining. Almsgiving – find a local charity to donate to or volunteer with.
Not so simple is committing to pray each day. In the past, I tend to start strong on Ash Wednesday, but a week later I’m struggling to stay disciplined.
That struggle has only intensified since becoming a mom. My prayer life right now mostly involves praying as I do other things: dishes, diaper changes, errands.
But even when my prayer life feels small and insignificant, God is there. Prayer has the power to change us, because through prayer, we invite God into every aspect of our lives. We can fast and we can give, but if we do all those things without staying close to Jesus, it becomes about us and what we can do. When we prayerfully fast and prayerfully give, however, we come to see that all gifts are from God. We come to see who Jesus is. We come to realize that we’re called to the same self-giving love that He gives us, and we are given the strength to “go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).
The founding team at Hallow, a Catholic prayer and meditation app, set out to create something that would help us all pray every day during Lent.
Enter: Hallow’s #pray40 challenge.
We wrote the challenge with everyone in mind — from people who are able to set aside a full hour of quiet time a day, to those of us who find 10 minutes of silence hard to come by. Hallow’s #pray40 sessions are meant to make it easy to pray — just open your phone, press play, and let the Holy Spirit guide you through the prayer of that day.
When we were writing #pray40, our goal was that it would help us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus: seeing Him in the poor through the Works of Mercy, through the eyes of His mother in the Rosary, through Scripture in Lectio Divina, through the way He works in our own lives, and finally, through His journey to the cross. By keeping our eyes on Jesus throughout Lent, we hope to enter into Holy Week and Easter with newfound amazement at who God is and how He calls us to follow Him.
Where can you find a few minutes each day to grow closer to Jesus? In the morning? Before bed? On your commute? While you fold laundry? Rock the baby? Whenever it is, I hope you will join the Hallow community in praying everyday this Lent.
Copyright 2020 Abby Fredrickson
About the author: Abby Fredrickson graduated from Notre Dame with a double major in Theology and English. She worked at Dynamic Catholic and Aid for Women before helping to launch Hallow as part of the founding team and the Head of Content. She lives in Grand Rapids, MI, with her husband and son. Hallow is a Catholic Meditation app that launched last year and is now the #1 Catholic App on the app store.