25 Unique Ideas for Fasting, Prayer and Almsgiving

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Ash Wednesday is February 25. How will you grow in your faith over the next 40 days? We challenge you to think outside the box while creating your Lenten plan. First step, pray! Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Lent should not be about your goals but about making space and time for God to do some work in your heart. Check out our list of unique ideas for fasting, prayer and almsgiving.

  1. Give up multitasking! Sounds crazy for a mom/woman who needs to get a lot done in a very little amount of time, but there may be times where your multitasking prevents you from being truly present to the person or task in front of you.
  2. Practice silence. Noise is distracting. Find moments of your day to turn off the radio/tv or find 15 minutes to sit in total silence. Perhaps, its just refraining from talking and listening more.   
  3. One day a week, eat ONLY 2 bowls of oatmeal/cereal/rice. Involve the family and have conversations about life in third world countries.
  4. Pray for someone each day. Assign each day of Lent to pray for a specific person or situation. Don’t just include family and friends but maybe that coworker you can’t get along with. Take it a step further by writing them a note or letting them know you are praying for them.
  5. Commit a prayer or a Scripture verse to memory. 
  6. Pray the Divine Mercy chaplet each day at 3 p.m. 
  7. Switch from secular music/books/podcasts to options that will build and increase your friendship with Jesus.
  8. Create a new habit by doing a daily examen each day/evening.
  9. Make a point of saying thank you ten (10!) times each day.
  10. Look up Mother Teresa’s 15 steps to humility and commit to practicing them throughout Lent.
  11. Fast from looking at your phone from 4-9 p.m. or another block of time where your loved ones would benefit from your full attention.
  12. Set aside one item from your pantry each day and donate it to the food pantry. Give of your first fruits instead of your leftovers. 
  13. Instead of giving up social media, use it to grow in your faith by following popular Catholic speakers or bloggers. Challenge yourself to share an article or uplifting verse each week on Instagram or Facebook.
  14. Give up gossiping. Every time you are tempted to speak about someone else unkindly share a compliment instead. Then pray for the grace to see others as Jesus does. 
  15. Do something for the planet such as fasting from single use plastic such as Ziplocs or make the switch to packing your own lunches with reusable containers.
  16. Stop hitting snooze and give Jesus your first 5 minutes of the day. 
  17. Do something to improve your marriage such as Cana90.
  18. Take up the 1% challenge! 
  19. Put away your phone! Are there places you could be building relationship or sharing kindness instead of checking your phone? Put away your phone in the check-out line and ask the cashier how she is doing today – use his/her name!
  20. Challenge yourself to a Holy hour each week.  
  21. Introduce yourself to someone new at church.
  22. Every time you are tempted to complain, offer a prayer of thanksgiving. 
  23. Participate, don’t anticipate. Spend Lent trying to be fully present in each moment and fast from worry, fear and judgement. 
  24. Research various charities you are interested in and make a plan to support your favorite charity with your time, gifts and prayers beyond Lent. 
  25. Consider Fiat90 or Ninevah90. These programs call women into deep spiritual transformation. Maybe you can commit to one for the 40 days of Lent instead or perhaps pull out 2 or 3 options the Lord is calling you to. 

These are just a few of the great ideas you could find online. Do your own search and prayerfully make a plan with Jesus to walk with Him this Lent. No matter what you do, remember the end goal. The goal is to be more of a saint by Easter. Is giving up chocolate going to help you do that? If so, great! But whatever you do, hopefully it will create new spiritual habits that will help you in your journey toward Heaven. 

Copyright 2020 The Well | Written by Rebecca Bahl