Easter prayer challenge

Preparing Our Hearts For The Cross – An Easter Prayer Challenge

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Are you looking for an Easter prayer? Are you needing help on how to prepare your heart for the Cross? Below you’ll find a printable list of Scriptures to read during the Easter season. Read, write and pray over these Bible verses to help prepare your heart for the Easter season.

When I look back on Easter as a child, I remember black and white patent shoes, little lace socks, dresses, an Easter hat, and tulips. Beautiful tulips. My mom would plant different colored tulips that surrounded a birdbath. I would sneak through the little white fencing around her garden, leaning in close – smelling the tulips and being amazed at their soft petals.

My family always celebrated Easter. I was told the story of Jesus’ resurrection every year. As a family and at church, my siblings and I grew up knowing the great sacrifice Christ made for our sins. A sacrifice we don’t deserve.

Lenten Season

According to DesiringGod.com “The Protestant church has a checkered history with Lent.

On the one hand, many of the earliest Protestants revolted against the forty-weekday stretch from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The Catholic Church had turned the pre-Easter season into a mandatory fast, promising spiritual merit to everyone who skipped some meals and avoided certain foods, including meat on Fridays. In response to such man-made religion, the Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli began one weekend with a sausage dinner. Since then, a host of Protestants have followed Zwingli and ditched the Lenten fast.

On the other hand, many modern Protestants have sought to reclaim the ancient practice of Lent by grounding it in the gospel. Recognizing that every church follows some calendar or set of seasonal rhythms, these Christians take advantage of the late winter to till the soil of their hearts. Like Advent, Lent becomes an opportunity to prepare room for Jesus in the overcrowded quarters of our souls.”

Do You Celebrate Lent

I asked that question to my email list, sign up HERE, about their thoughts on Lent and if they observe it or not. I was curious because I have never observed a traditional Lent. My church does not observe it in the traditional manner.

My inbox was flooded with responses and I loved that everyone had a unique reply and stories to share with me. Different denominations, different family backgrounds, different races, different ages – and all with a heart to focus on Christ in some form or fashion leading up to the Easter season – Resurrection Sunday.

Some of you do a strict Lenten observation following the old traditions you love, while yet others follow a more relaxed version. And some do their own thing in their own way. Some said Lent has pagan roots and only chooses to observe Passover and Holy Week and yet others only observe Easter Sunday.

It was an interesting and yet beautiful, unofficial survey of how we all honor Christ in our own ways during this season of remembrance of Christ dying on the Cross for our sins.

Easter Prayer Challenge

Whichever side you land on, consider the coming weeks as an opportunity to Prepare Your Heart For The Cross. You don’t need to call it “Lent.” You don’t even need to fast over and above your normal practice.

You just need to devote yourself to God’s word, to self-reflection, turn from sin and honor Christ. Will you join me and others on this Easter Prayer challenge? Scroll towards the bottom of this article to grab the printable.

How Do I Prepare My Heart For Christ?

Use these 7 tips to help you during our Easter Prayer challenge…

  1. Reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for our sin.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8: "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance. Or you at the first: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas. That is, Peter and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."

2. Identify our own sins.

Galatians 5:19-21 ESV 
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 John 1:9 ESV 
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

3. Ask for forgiveness of our sin and repent.

1 John 1:9 ESV 
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

James 5:16 ESV 
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

4. Spend time in God’s word daily.

Joshua 1:8 ESV 
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Psalm 119:105 ESV 
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

5. Live your life to please God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

6. Spend time with other Christians.

Hebrews 10:25 ESV 
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV 
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

7. Be thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV 
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

What Should I Do Before Easter?

Easter, also known as resurrection Sunday, is the day of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. John 11:25-26: “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?'”

The resurrection is a doctrine of extreme importance to Christians. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”

That’s why it’s important for us to truly have Christ’s death and resurrection at the center of our daily living. Easter is not the only time we should remember that Jesus died for our sins and has risen. We must live out this truth every day.

Easter can be a time to refresh our hearts of that revelation.

Here are some great tips, from ShareFaith, on how to prepare your heart for Christ.

  1. The week leading up to Easter, Holy Week, read the resurrection account in each of the gospels, as well as the “resurrection chapter,” 1 Corinthians 15 (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20).
  2. Take time to consider at least three ways in which Jesus’ resurrection profoundly affects your life. Write them down. If you need some priming, read through 1 Corinthians 15, Romans 6:5, Philippians 3:10, or 1 Peter 1:3.
  3. Memorize at least one verse from the list above, or choose another one that deals with Jesus’ resurrection. Meditate upon this verse as you go throughout this Easter Prayer Challenge.
  4. Study the chronology of Jesus’ passion week, and read relevant biblical passages each day of the week. Reflect upon the price that he paid for your sin, the pain, the grief, and the anguish that he experienced.
  5. Tell someone else about the resurrection and the impact that this doctrine has had on your life.

Easter Prayer Printable

Grab this free printable Easter Prayer for you and your family.

Easter Prayer

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Easter Scriptures

Here are but a few Easter bible verses to get you started. Grab the free printable list of Bible verses to read during the Easter season below.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Mark 16: 4 – 6 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.’

Matthew 28:5 – 7 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Preparing Our Hearts for Easter Challenge

I’d love to have you join me and other Christian women by choosing to be intentional about reading, writing, and praying through these bible passages over the next 40 days. James 5:16 teaches us that we don’t need to be PERFECT in our prayers to be powerful. We just need to be fervent.

This challenge is for you if …

  • You are looking for a bible reading plan and prayer challenge for the Easter season.
  • Needing a guided resource to help you stay on track and focused in your quiet time with God.
  • Needing accountability in your quiet time with God.
  • Wanting to grow in your knowledge and faith in the Lord.

Why include scripture writing? Some of the benefits of writing out scripture and praying during your quiet time with God include…

  • learn to fear the Lord
  • grow in your faith
  • be more careful to obey the Lord
  • grow in your knowledge of God’s truth
  • be safeguarded from wandering away from the Lord

When we form the habit of hand writing out scripture it forces us to slow down, absorb the scripture, and grasp what God is saying.

This practice of writing scripture is a great way to meditate on God’s word and allow it to soak deep in your mind and heart…and it only takes a few minutes each day.

I created this 40 Day Scripture Writing Plan as a tool to help focus and guide you towards the Cross this Easter season. It is a free printable of Bible Verses for Easter.

Easter prayer Bible verse list

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Preparing Our Hearts For The Cross Journal (printable)

Add to your Easter Prayer experience by using this beautifully designed 47 – page “Prepare Your Heart For Easter Challenge” Journal. Invite a friend to join you!

This printable journal has everything you need to help you stay focused during your prayer time during the next 40 days as you prepare your heart for Easter.

This Easter Prayer journal includes…

-Bible Verses on the Easter Story

-40 Day Journaling Pages for your scripture writing and prayers

-A page to write what your fasting and giving away during the next 40 days

-Extra journaling/doodling pages

-List of Bible Verses to read and pray over during the next 40 days.

– We will be posting pictures of our journaling pages and hold each other accountable in my Coffee Talk For Christian Women FB group. I’ll be sharing mine on Instagram as well. (You do not have to be on social media to do this challenge.)

Will you invite your friends to join you in this challenge?

See a sneak peek of the journal – click HERE.

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Easter Scriptures To Read

Prayerfully read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last days– they were written for different audiences and different purposes.  As you read them, ask God to make them come alive for you.

Matthew 26-28.

Mark 14-16.

Luke 22-24.

John 18-20.

What do you do (by yourself or with your family) to prepare to celebrate Easter? And how do you keep your celebrations focused on Jesus? Let me know in the comments.

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Coffee & Jesus Prayer Journal – Looking for a prayer journal? Are you distracted in your prayer and bible study time? Are you needing a guided prayer journal to help you stay focused? Wanting to journal through those hard times, grieving, and anxiety?

7 Prayers For Mother’s To Pray Over Their Children – Are you looking for prayers to pray over your child? As a mother, the most heartbreaking thought is spending all eternity without your children. Praying for your child is not only important but a privilege.

Resurrection Bible Verses (Lil is my Co-Admin in our Scripture Writing FB Group) – These Resurrection bible verses for Scripture Writing point to the crux and cornerstone of our faith– the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ

6 Ways To Have An Effective Prayer Life – How do you have an effective prayer life? Do you struggle to stay focused during your prayer and bible reading time? You are not alone! Fervent prayer stays at the top of the list for so many Christians; how to stay focused in prayer! It is a real struggle, but there are ways to help keep you focused and less distracted in your prayer and Bible reading time.

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