The other day I was in the Bishop Payne Library at the Virginia Theological Seminary doing some reading on John’s gospel. Among a ton of John-studies, I found a little volume called A Journey with John: The 50 Day Bible Challenge, recently published by Forward Movement. It strongly reminded me of our Dean’s February message to the congregation about Lenten practice. His sound advice: “Most of all, take some time to pray during these forty days.”

Now, if you might be looking for a Lenten prayer guide, this little book on John could be it! Breaking up John’s gospel into 50 segments, it combines scripture with reflection and prayer. Every gospel passage is followed by a reflection by an Episcopal/Anglican leader or scholar. Questions and a finishing prayer invite the reader to dig even deeper.

For Carolyn and me, who enjoy reading and discussing scripture together, this book gives us a nicely arranged Lenten exercise of reading and prayer. A real prayer-meditation treasure based on an amazing gospel! Here is a prayer following John 17 where Jesus prays for his disciples—and for us: “Lord Jesus Christ, you hear the prayers of your people, and you know our every need. Help us to hear your prayers for us, that in your words, we may come to know how to follow your will more fully and to love others as you have loved us. In the name of God. Amen.”

Lord, grant us wisdom that, with or without such a book as this, we might direct our Lenten time to read, study, reflect and, especially, pray constantly on your Word! Amen!


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