Lent is a tradition marked by Christians today as a period of preparation for the Easter celebration. It is considered to be a time for reflection, and repentance while intentionally seeking God. Traditionally this was through prayer and fasting, now it may be more through creating the space to read, listen, and reflect on God’s word. If this is the case and you are practising Lent, maybe for the first time, I have a great choice of Lent books. In this selection there is something for everyone. There is a book to follow for family devotions and several for Bible students. I’ve also included some daily devotionals, and even one with messy ideas for the creatives among us!
Lent books come in many different styles and forms for personal reflection. It is our own choice as to whether we practice Lent and, then if we do, how we choose to mark this period. The aim of all these lent devotionals is to draw us into a closer relationship with God. This is by intentionally setting aside time, above and beyond our usual practices, to pause, reflect and connect with Him.
What do you read during lent?
The season of Lent traditionally extends for forty weekdays from Ash Wednesday to the Saturday before Easter Sunday. Sundays which are regarded as the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection are not included in the 40 days of Lent. I’ve selected a variety of Lent devotional books here reflecting how God speaks to us all in different ways. What we read during Lent is our own choice and an unlimited one. There is a small selection of Lent books here, and I hope that you will find something to inspire your Lenten journey.
Lent Books – A Selection of 40 Day Lent Devotionals
In this section the Lent books are particularly those which cover a 40 day period. The four themes of Lent are considered to be prayer, abstinence, fasting, and almsgiving. There are Lent books here that focus on drawing us into contemplation of these traditional themes. But there are also other Lent devotionals that approach this time of reflection from a different angle…
The Prison Letters by Matt McChlery
The Prison Letters consists of forty daily devotions with each day providing a Scripture reading and concluding with a prayer. At the end of each week, there are Scriptures provided for further reading and some questions to explore. All the readings are taken from Paul’s prison letters, namely, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. These letters were all written by Paul while he was under house arrest in Rome.
The letters are full of topics that Paul considered important to share while he was still able! The author has drawn out of the letters seven themes to form the chapters of the book and guide our Lenten journey. These include family, unity, spiritual warfare, prayer, living for Jesus, suffering, and concluding at Easter week with He is risen. Each day provides teaching on a topic as part of the theme for that week. This Lent devotional brings fresh insight, and practical application, of foundational truths for Christian living.
Available from Amazon UK
PRAY – 40 Day Lent Devotional by Linda Penn of Today’s Living Hope.
In my list of devotional books for Lent there had to be at least one on prayer. This booklet is designed to deepen our prayer life with increased intimacy with Jesus. It begins with a brief history of Lent, which is not a familiar practice for many Evangelical or Pentecostal Christians. Then each day brings a Scripture and a short reflection. Each day’s reading concludes either with a guided prayer or a quote from a well-known Bible preacher and author.
This booklet provides short daily devotions and invites us to respond in prayer to the daily readings.
Forty Women: Unseen Women of the Bible from Eden to Easter by Ross Clarke
If you love character Bible studies then you will enjoy this book as a 40 day Lent devotional. The author has selected Biblical women, some who are well known while others are more obscure. Each day has a Bible reading with a reflection, a couple of questions to develop our takeaway thoughts and closes with prayer.
The book is suggested as a Lent resource and the focus is on personal relationship with God. The studies begin with Eve and conclude with Mary Magdalene – the first person to encounter the risen Jesus! The reflections are often thought provoking and include current gritty topics. The questions are for application and invite introspection and an honest response.
40 Days with the Holy Spirit, by R.T. Kendall
Each day reveals a different aspect of the character of the Holy Spirit, with Scriptures for further study and a short prayer at the end to reflect on the application. Although some of the teaching was familiar other aspects were insightful and inspiring and developed my understanding of the Holy Spirit in new ways.
This book was not specifically written for Lent but to deepen and grow our relationship with the Holy Spirit. The sub-title of the book is “A Journey to Experience His Presence in a Fresh New Way” making it an ideal 40 day Lent devotional.
The Art of Lent – A Painting a Day from Ash Wednesday to Easter, by Sister Wendy Beckett
Over the six weeks leading up to Easter Sunday the author structures the book around the themes of silence, contemplation, peace, joy, confidence, and love. Each day focuses on a particular painting, with a short reflection accompanying it. All the different styles and expressions of art are represented, from the classic ‘masters’ to new and contemporary artists.
There are no Scriptures just a gentle godly reflection encouraging us to pause and prayerfully respond to the spirituality drawn out of the artwork. There are actually 41 daily Lenten readings here as the author has chosen to conclude on Resurrection Sunday. This is because “the central belief of Christianity is not that Jesus died, but that Jesus died and rose again.”
I found this a contemplative book, I would have liked it though to be in a larger size to really appreciate the paintings!
Daily Devotions for Lent
The books in this section provide daily devotions for Lent and in the main cover every day from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. The variety of style of books and choice of topics highlight that Lent is a tradition encouraging us to prepare for Easter. How we do that, what we focus on, is secondary to the fact that we are intentionally choosing to spend time drawing closer to God. This leads us up to Easter prepared and ready to celebrate!
A Lent Devotional – Uncovering the Love of Jesus, by Asheritah Ciuciu
The heart of this book is forty devotions reflecting on the love of Jesus. This is demonstrated by His interactions with those He encountered during His earthly ministry – and ultimately His love poured out for us.
Each daily devotion provides a Bible reading, a reflection, a challenge to apply and respond to the word, and closes with a prayer.
The author has also included at the beginning of each week the outline for leading a short celebration. This would be particularly useful for those practicing lent with their families. Each week ends with suggestions for activities to put into practice the three main spiritual disciplines of lent in an authentic way today.
Lent in Plain Sight – A Devotion Through Ten Objects, by Jill J Duffield
This devotional book provides a reading for every day from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Each day has a couple of Bible verses and a reflection on the Scripture. There are three questions to ponder on and apply the teaching to our lives and closes with a prayer. Each week of Lent has one particular object as its theme up to Easter week, which has more than one.
The author has selected 10 everyday objects to draw us into Jesus’ teaching to ordinary people. This is not the miraculous healings or the big statements, but the small day-to-day observations and encounters. I found this reflection encouraging and challenging. To develop that attentiveness to see and hear God speak in our routine, mundane tasks is such a blessing!
Images of Grace – A journey from darkness to light at Easter, by Amy Scott Robinson
Lent books traditionally focus on repentance, fasting, and prayer. The devotions in Images of Grace run every day from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Each week explores a different Biblical image beginning with sin and repentance. Then moves on to forgiveness, atonement, restoration, and finally in Holy Week reconciliation.
Each chapter begins with an introduction to that week’s theme. Then each day provides a Scripture reading, reflection, a question, and closes with a prayer. Then the section ends with further questions to summarise and clarify the theme.
Images of Grace builds slowly as we travel through Old Testament stories and New Testament parables to deepen our understanding of these abstract themes. As we journey through Scripture reflecting on different images of God’s mercy we begin to glimpse the promise of peace. Finally, we come to Holy week, and see the fulfilment of God’s salvation plan with fresh insight and wonder!
The Little Book of Lent, daily wisdom from the world’s greatest spiritual teachers, compiled by Canon Arthur Howells
Out of all the Lent books here this is the only compilation. The Little Book of Lent runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday with a reflection, Scripture reading, and a prayer for every day. The reflections are chosen from twentieth-century spiritual writers from different backgrounds, catholic, orthodox, Anglican, and reformed.
Some of the writers may be well-known and others less so, but there are little nuggets of truth in each of the reflections to ponder.
The very first reading reflects that Lent need not be a time of austerity, sorrow, or guilt but a season to sing the joy of forgiveness – to rediscover little springtimes in our lives. This book fits well into that description as it brings moments of inspiration and joy in what God has done for us and the richness of our diversity.
Word Made Art: Lent by Heather Caliri
Out of all the Lent books here is something completely different. Word Made Art challenges you to encounter God in new ways through using an old Bible for art projects. The projects write, color over, cut out or stick on, other items to the pages of an ‘old’ Bible.
If you struggle with the idea, or don’t have an old Bible, you could always photocopy the text and use those pages for the project.
There are eight weekly projects to cover the period of Lent. Each week uses the Scripture readings taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year A). The project involves selecting one of the readings for artwork and then journaling your responses to a set of questions. There are further questions for discussion if you are completing the task as part of a small group.
Word Made Art may be particularly helpful for those who struggle, for whatever reason, with reading the Bible. But also for anyone wanting to spend time reflecting and engaging with God’s word in a completely new way!
Related Post: What is Lent And Why Is It Celebrated?