Wills Point, USA (ANS) – One of the largest humanitarian agencies in the world has invited Christians to join a new movement during Great Lent to pray and fast for “unity and holiness” in America, and an end to the pandemic and other global crises.
Texas-based Gospel for Asia (GFA World, www.gfa.org) described this year’s holy season of Lent — beginning on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17 — as “the most important in a generation.”
“With the ongoing pandemic, other global crises and so much divisiveness in our world right now, it’s never been more important for Christians to make a concerted effort to pray and fast for unity and holiness,” said Bishop Danny Punnose, GFA World vice president. “This Lenten season is the most important in a generation.”
Great Lent is the church season prior to Easter, focusing on fasting, repentance, and charity. Many Christians who observe Lent refrain from eating certain foods such as meat for a period of time, using the cash savings to help others in need. Others voluntarily give up an activity they enjoy, and instead use the time to pray and seek the Lord.
Offering a daily devotional for Lent 2021, GFA World is inviting Christians of all denominations to participate in daily prayer and fasting for “unity and holiness” as well as for those who are suffering around the world — including millions impacted by the pandemic, extreme poverty, starvation, sex trafficking, forced labor and other injustices.
“Our world desperately needs God’s intervention, healing and grace,” said Punnose, whose organization works to alleviate extreme poverty and share God’s love in villages and slums around the world.
Prayer: Turns Mourning To Joy
“The Lenten season is a purposeful opportunity in which we seek God and ask him to give us his heart for the suffering people of the world,” Punnose said. “As many of us face challenges that seem overwhelming, let’s remember God is able to bring dry bones to life and turn mourning into joy. Let’s turn to him and earnestly pray and fast.”
Lent is also an opportunity for people to help make the world a better place, Punnose said.
“Lent is a time when we can choose to make a simple sacrifice to embrace a cause that is close to the heart of God,” he said. “Tangible actions and conscious choices we make during the season of Lent should bring us closer to God and our neighbor, help us to become more like Jesus, and provide us with real opportunity to be Christ’s hands to those who need to know he loves them.”
One Billion Adherents
According to estimates, more than a billion Christians around the world will likely observe Lent, which is growing in popularity in evangelical circles.
“Many Christians are rediscovering the richness of the Lenten tradition, and are growing closer to Jesus through self-denial, sacrificial giving, fasting, and times of fervent prayer,” Punnose said. “Knowing that we have the hope that the world is dying for, shouldn’t we offer it?”
GFA World has produced a booklet titled The Seasons of Lent: Stepping Stones to Spiritual Renewal and Growth, written by GFA World founder K.P. Yohannan, best-selling author of Revolution in World Missions and Never Give Up. The booklet — a practical guide to observing Lent — is available free at http://www.gfa.org/press/