Lent 2024 | Day 26

By Janet Nygren
Day 26 (Thursday, Mar 14)

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.1

Pause and pray.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 1:18-20)

Think about it.

Step one of re-enacting Jesus’ descent into love was being confident of God’s love, who sustains your needs without you having to grasp after them yourself. Step two was recognizing your choice to move beyond yourself and die to comfort for the sake of someone else, beginning with prayer. Step three follows as a result of your prayers. The “eyes of your heart are enlightened” so that you are able to see how you can step in and make a difference. At the same time, you are strengthened with the power to actually do it joyfully, with the same strength that raised Jesus from the dead! You stop thinking about yourself and enter into the world of love.2


As we consider dying to comfort, I think it would be easy to skip any of these steps and not know Jesus better. We see needs all around us, but sometimes brush them off because we are too focused on ourselves. Or we don’t pray about it, but jump in to help, either out of guilt, or on our own strength. We sometimes end up helping in the wrong way because we do it in our own wisdom, rather than waiting for better understanding or direction from God’s Spirit. We sometimes help, but with the wrong attitude–sometimes grudgingly, sometimes self-righteously. At least those are my tendencies. What missteps do you make that result in not loving others well?

Pause and pray.

Jesus, help my love for you grow more and more.

“If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2-3)

  1.  Prayer used daily in Lectio365 found at https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/
  2.  Paul E. Miller, J-Curve (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019), 157-158.


Nick Tebordo - March 14th, 2024 at 5:08am

I am praying that as I follow Jesus, my inside thoughts will match my outside actions. I have confessed that in the past I have recognized that while doing what is right I have had negative internal thoughts and reactions. As I die to comfort, I am seeking to make sure that my inside matches my outside.

Linda C - March 14th, 2024 at 7:46am

This "J" curve has made me more aware of my selfishness. Sometimes when I have plans and they get interrupted by my carrgiving responsibilities, I remind myself about this "J" curve and dieing to self. And it works! For me, humility is also a necessary focus that goes along with dieing to self. Janet and Melody has hit it in the nail with these messages. Praise be to God.

Ruthie - March 14th, 2024 at 11:18am

I am also trying to slow way down instead of jumping in and helping and maybe God has a totally different idea.

Ruthie - March 14th, 2024 at 11:22am

My comment went before I was finished and I did not edit it! I recently wanted to invite a homeless young man into our home, because I felt so bad about his situation, but I felt a caution to wait and of course there would’ve been a lot of discussion with my husband and a lot of prayer. Then I found out a lot more about this homeless young man and realized that him moving into our house was not the answer at all. In fact, it would’ve been probably disastrous.




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