Our Favorite Resources for Lent

Below are five books we can heartily recommend as you practice Lent and create space for God during this important season of the Church year. You can access the lectionary readings here.

Bread and Wine:  Readings for Lent and Easter—Penetrating readings from a variety of spiritual writers offers breadth and depth of insight on the themes of this season.

Small Surrenders:  A Lenten Journey by Emilie Griffin—Short, simple reflections encourage us to move beyond the surface question What are you giving up for Lent? and to embrace small surrenders—“a series of large and small conversions, inner revolutions, that lead to our transformation in Christ.”

The Way of the Heart by Henri NouwenIn his inimitable style, Henri Nouwen teaches us very practical ways to “fashion our own wilderness”—one of the great themes of Lent.

Show Me the Way:  Readings for Each Day of Lent by Henri Nouwen—With simple and utterly human expressions of longing and need, Nouwen helps us in a special way to cry out for God’s mercy as we enter into this holy season.  Especially if you are new to the practice of observing Lent, this is the guide book for you!

Eastertide: Prayers for Lent through Easter by Phyllis TickleWhatever disciplines we do or don’t choose for Lent, at the very least we need a way to pray. Taken from her larger work, The Divine Hours, this small paperback volume provides fixed hour prayers to carry you prayerfully through the season of Lent. Don’t leave home without it!


©Ruth Haley Barton, 2012. This article originally appeared as My Top 5 Resources for Lent in Christianity Today Magazine, February 2009. www.christianitytoday.com.  Feel free to share this list using the buttons below; please do not reproduce and distribute without permission.


Transforming Center

We desire to see churches and Christian organizations become communities of authentic spiritual transformation – and that begins with transforming leaders. We seek to strengthen the souls of pastors and leaders, equipping them to guide their churches and organizations to become spiritually transforming communities that discern and do the will of God in their settings. Read more about the Transforming Center.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I am LOVING Small Surrenders – thanks for posting the resources suggestions!

[…] Ruth Haley Barton. Practicing Lent: Invitation to Return to God, 2/21/2012. Click here for the Transforming Center team’s recommended Lenten resources. Click here for a link to the […]

Another inspirational Lenten Study is moderated by the Henri Nouwen Foundation. This year’s study will focus on Nouwen’s book, Compassion.

Over the years, I have found this Lenten blog to be especially inspirational and insightful as people from all over the world share their insights.

Perhaps next year, The Transformation Center might consider hosting a Lenten blog like this one focusing on a favored book.

Here is the reading schedule:

Feb 22nd – Feb 26th: Preface and Introduction

Feb 27th – March 4th: Part One: The Compassionate God (God-with-Us. Servant God, Obedient God)

March 5th – 11th: Part Two: The Compassionate Life (Community)

March 12th – 18th: Part Two: The Compassionate Life (Displacement and Togetherness)

March 19th – 25th: Part Three: The Compassionate Way (Patience)

March 26th – April 1st: Part Three: The Compassionate Way (Prayer and Action)

April 2nd – April 8th: Conclusion and Epilogue

Hi Jennifer,

Maybe going directo to kindle website you can surf or inquire from them. Another suggest. Is just to google it andnthey normally give lots of possibilities.

Hope this helps.

Do you know of online resources, or anything available for kindle?? I am a missionary in papua New Guinea, and did not have an easy way to receive physical books

Biblegateway website has readings for Lent.

[…] Click here to view “Our Favorite Resources for Lent.” […]

Join thousands of pastors and spiritual leaders

Receive Beyond Words®, reflections on the soul of leadership. Written by Ruth Haley Barton, each reflection provides spiritual guidance and encouragement for those seeking to be in God for the world.