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40 Days of Lent

Instead of giving something up for Lent this year, try walking a new step on the justice road every day. We've put together some suggestions for you, one for each day of Lent. (Inspired by this blog.)

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?

Isaiah 58:6

Day 1) Pray for the immigrant or temporary foreign worker who picked the food you're eating.

Day 2) Google "cradle to prison pipeline".

Day 3) Pray the Beatitudes (Matthew 5)

Day 4) Drive 5 under the speed limit on the highway, turn the heat down a few degrees, turn off all the lights you're not using – and when you get cold or passed on the highway, thank God for the limited resource of energy you get to use.


Day 5) Add your name to the #Pray4Reform list

Day 6) "Like" a picture or post on the Facebook wall of someone you have a hard time liking.

Day 7) Look a service worker in the eye – grocery store clerk, custodian, hotel maid, busboy, fast-food operator –and tell them thanks, and that they're doing a quality job.

Day 8) Turn off your social media.

Day 9) Play tag with a kid.

Day 10) Try Centering Prayer.


Day 11) Read about Racial Microaggressions.

Day 12) Watch this short clip about the importance of educating girls.

Day 13) Write on the Facebook wall, or send a card, to a teacher you had who made an impact on you. Then write an encouraging comment or note to a teacher you know who is working hard, but doesn't get recognized.

Day 14) Go on a hunt to discover an important black woman whose work and worth you weren't taught about in school - maybe start here. Tell someone about her.

Day 15) Go take care of something that's not your responsibility. Pick up a piece of litter, drag a neighbor's trash bin from the curb, clean out your partner's car, or wash someone else's coffee cup at the office.

Day 16) Watch this TED talk about why we need to talk about injustice.


Day 17) Pick up a newspaper, and pray for the issues as you read about them.

Day 18) Give something away that you know someone else needs -- even if you still like and use it.

Day 19) Create something that's never existed before.

Day 20) Skip a meal today. When you get hungry, pray for people who don't have enough food every day. 

Day 21) Subscribe to OSJ Prayers, and forward them to a friend who could hold you accountable to praying for the world once a week.

Day 22) Send your pastor an encouraging email. 


Day 23) Admit a weakness to someone. Ask them to help you.

Day 24) Check the tags of your clothing –when you discover where they were made, google that country to find a way you could pray for the people who made the clothes you're wearing.

Day 25) Find out when your congressperson or Member of Parliament will next have a townhall or public meeting, and put it on your calendar. Think about amplifying the voices of those who are silenced or ignored.

Day 26) Don't throw anything away today – find a way to repurpose, recycle, or made do without using it instead. Consider the impact that your waste has on God's planet.

Day 27) Make a list of 10 items you purchase regularly. Is any of it available as a fair trade purchase? Could you make room in your budget to switch one of those regular items to fair trade?

Day 28) Patronize an immigrant-owned business. 


Day 29) Find out one thing you didn't know about the Israel / Palestine conflict.

Day 30) Don't buy anything today.

Day 31) Call a school in your community that is under-resourced, and find out if they could use any donations.

Day 32) Identify a blog post, news article, book, or other piece of writing you've recently read that challenged you or helped you think deeply and differently about something. Send an email to the author thanking them for their impact on you.

Day 33) Identify a Christian tradition that you don't practice, and give it a try. Pray the daily office. Light a candle. Learn about a saint. Lift your hands. Dance. Consider what it teaches you about God.

Day 34) Find out which agency resettles refugees near you and find out if they accept donations. Find 10 gently used items in your house that you could drop off for a refugee family.


Day 35) Pray for an enemy.

Day 36) Think of a deeply-held political belief you hold, and then consider the opposing view on that issue. Come up with three respectable aspects of that opposing view. 

Day 37) Shine a light on corruption.

Day 38) Find out when a local ESL class meets, and find out if you can drop off snacks.

Day 39) Meet someone who is hungry, and learn about the real reasons why.

Day 40) Finish this sentence, "I used to think __________, but now I know __________" and tell someone. Thank God for new life. 

[Image: Flickr user Caro's Lines]

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