Lent is a time of spiritual renewal and reflection that invites us to deepen our relationship with God through prayer and self-examination. At First United Methodist Church of Arlington, we are excited to embark on this journey together with a special sermon series titled "Forward to Prayer."  During this series, we'll focus on how we can connect with God through prayer. Jesus taught us how to pray with the Lord’s prayer so that we would all have the tools we need during a reflective life to be connected to our creator, redeemer, and sustainer.

We welcome you to join us on this journey of self-reflection and spiritual growth with the help of our Lenten devotional.  Each packet contains a devotional with daily prayers, many written by our congregation, different prayer exercises, and activities for all ages. These can be picked up in the church office or let us know if you'd like one mailed to you!

May we all use this Lenten season to deepen our prayer life and connect with God in a meaningful way. We look forward to growing in faith with you during this special time at First United Methodist Church of Arlington.

Daily Devotional

Structured prayers give us words to say when we can’t find the words. For our Lenten devotional guide this season, we’ve compiled structured prayers written by ancient and modern saints – including many of our own church members. Our prayer is that you use these Prayers for Lent to help you draw near to God and enrich your own personal prayer life.

Lent & Holy Week Events

Ash Wednesday, February 14

Ash Wednesday Worship 
12:00 pm | First UMC Arlington Sanctuary
7:00 pm | First UMC Arlington Sanctuary 
Come & Go Imposition of Ashes 
11:00–11:30 am & 3:10–3:45 pm | North Parking Lot (near Kooken Educational Center)

Lenten study begins February 19

Mondays: February 19, March 4, March 18
6-7 pm | Zoom only
Learn more

Maundy Thursday, March 28

Potluck & Worship
Potluck: 6:30–7:00 pm | Great Hall

Worship 7:00-8:00 pm | Great Hall

good Friday, March 29
pilgrimage for peace

10 AM | Gather in the North Parking Lot | For more information & how to sign up, click here.

7:00–8:00 pm | Sanctuary 

Egg hunt & Family picnic, Saturday, March 30

11:00 am-1:00 pm | W Parking Lot

easter Sunday, March 31

Traditional Worship
8:00 am & 11:00 am | Sanctuary
Contemporary Worship
9:00 am | Great Hall

Prayer Exercises

In addition to the prayers found in our Lenten devotional, here are some more prayers that you can pray throughout Lent (and the rest of the year!)

Breath Prayers
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray at all times”. Can you imagine what it would be like to pray all the time? Can you imagine praying like you breathe, naturally, without thinking about it? One way to do this is by praying a breath prayer.
  • List as many names for God as you can. (Father, God, Lord, Jesus, Dad, Father God, Holy One, etc.) Pick the name for God you like best.
  • Imagine God is in front of you. God calls you by name and asks, “What do you want?” Try not to name things. Instead, think of something like “give me a good day” or “help me not fight with my sister.” Keep it short, just five or six words.
  • Put your favorite name for God together with your prayer. You might say, “God, I pray for a good day” or “Jesus, help me.” Say your prayer to yourself once or twice. Now, match your prayer to your breath.
  • If your prayer is “God, I pray for a good day,” you’ll pray “God, I pray for” as you inhale and “a good day” as you exhale. 
  • You can pray your breath prayer any time. If you want to change your breath prayer, that’s fine.
  • This week, try praying your breath prayer. Because it’s new, you might need a reminder. What would help you remember?
  • You might want to pray your prayer every time you hear your mother’s voice, or every time you have something to drink. Or, maybe you’ll write “Pray” on a sticky note and stick it on your bedroom wall or bathroom mirror. 
  • Now, let’s pray our breath prayer another time to ourselves.
Chalk Prayers
Send your prayers to God in a fun way - holy graffiti!
You will need sidewalk chalk for this prayer exercise.
  • Think of a prayer you would like to write to God. 
  • Draw or write your prayer on the sidewalk.
  • Invite the kids to write prayers or draw prayers with the chalk on the sidewalk. Remind them to be appropriate with their writings and drawings. 
  • When everyone has finished invite them to walk around and see all the prayers that line the sidewalk. Remind them to be kind and nice and respectful of what others have written.
Sticky Note Prayers
To prepare for Holy Week and Easter, we invite you to make a Prayer Cross. A simple sticky note can help remind you to breathe, to pause, to pray.
You will need sticky notes for this prayer exercise.
  • Depending on your preference and level of craftiness, take two pieces of wood or cardboard or plastic strips and fashion them into a cross, that you can lay on your kitchen table or another common area.
  • During the week, gather as a family, write prayers on sticky notes, and then fill the cross with your sticky-note prayers. Prayers of praise, prayers of lament, prayers for yourself, prayers for others. Make it a goal to fill the entire surface of the cross with prayers.

Sticky Note Prayers

You will need bubbles for this prayer exercise.

  • You may say a prayer, either silently or out loud. Then, blow your bubbles, and imagine your bubbles are carrying your prayers to God.
  • Offer up a sentence prayer as you blow bubbles. You might pray:
  • God, thank you for...
  • God, I praise you for...
  • God, help me...
  • God, I believe in you when... 
  • Thank you, God, for this special day.

Closing Prayer
  • Sit cross legged on the floor
  • Keep your back straight and your eyes closed. 
  • Take a few moments of silent reflection. 
  • Pay attention to your breathing. Breathe in and out, in and out.
  • Think lovingly of one person or a memory. 
  • Try to see that person’s face or try to focus on the memory as you continue to breathe. 
  • Your breath will be coming more slowly now. 
  • Continue to think of that one person or memory. 
  • Say a silent prayer for that person or a prayer of thanks for the memory.
  • Now open your eyes, stretch your arms and legs, and stand up. 
  • Go in peace.

Lenten Activities

Below are some activities for the Lenten season, including prayer labyrinths, coloring pages, crafts, and more! Any supplies needed are included with our devotional packet or can be downloaded below.

Color-As-You-Go Stained Glass Cross

download printable coloring page

Jesus is the light of the world. Light that shines through stained glass windows illuminates our understanding of the grace, power and ever-present nature of Christ. For generations, the great stained glass windows of the world have created a space of transcendence, where heaven and earth strive to be one and the presence of the Risen Lord is evident.  

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. -John 1:5

  • Color in one panel of the cross each day of Lent. (Lent is 40 days long, not including Sundays, so there are 40 panels on the page)

  • Say a prayer before, during, or after coloring.

  • Consider using different art supplies, patterns, and colors for each panel.

Prayer Labyrinths

download printable labyrinths

A labyrinth differs from a maze in that it has one concentric, circular path. There are no dead ends. While mazes stir up thought, one simply follows the path in a labyrinth. The mind quiets, and attention can be paid to the heart, the soul, the spirit.Use these labyrinths to help you focus during prayer time or during worship.

  • You may trace the labyrinths with your finger or follow the path with a pencil, crayon, or marker.
  • What emotions did you feel while you were following the path?
    • Did you discover anything about yourself?
    • Did you discover anything about God?
    • Did you feel as if God was talking to you?
  • Quietly ponder . . . . 
    • Where is God leading me?
    • Where do I fall off the path that God is creating for me?
    • How can I get back on the path that God is leading?
    • What is God speaking to me?
    • Talk to God as you trace the path. 
  • Place a heart along the path or in the center to remember that God is leading you, directing your heart, and it is important to take time and listen and be with God on your journey.
  • Visit the prayer labyrinth at First UMC Arlington and consider the questions above while walking the labyrinth.
Mandala Coloring Pages
download printable mandalas
  • Pick a mandala to color.
  • As you use the markers to color the mandala, talk to God.
  • Use colors that represent how you are feeling at the moment.
  • Add it to a special place in your room, in your Bible, or even in your prayer journal.
Origami Flowers
One tradition in many congregations is the flowering of the cross on Easter Sunday. Congregations take the plain wooden cross that has been on display during Lent and fill it with fresh flowers on Easter morning. It is a beautiful visual picture of new life that emerges from death. We invite you to make an origami flower using the materials provided in the Lenten packet (or your own supplies at home) and bring it to church to cover the cross and join in the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection and a new life in Christ.
  • Stack three or four pieces of tissue paper on top of one another.
  • Accordion fold the stack of tissue paper.
  • Wrap the pipe cleaner around the middle of the stack and fold it over.
  • You can trim the edges of the folded stack to create rounded petals or pointed petals.
  • Very gently pull apart the different layers of tissue to form the flower.
  • Add these flowers to the cross.

Prayer Beads

For this craft you will need a length of ribbon, 5-10 pony beads, and a cross charm. Supplies can be found in the Lenten packet.

  • Select the number of beads that you want (5–10 beads). Each bead can represent something or someone you want to remember to pray for, or things you want to give thanks for.
  • Select a cross charm for the bottom of your prayer beads.
  • Take a length of ribbon, string on your cross, and tie once (half knot).
  • String one arm of your ribbon through the first bead, then string the other arm of your ribbon through in the opposite direction. (the ribbon will actually cross while going through the bead)
  • Repeat step 3 with the rest of your beads. W
  • hen all your beads are strung, tie a knot at the ends of the two ribbon arms. There should be some slack left in the ribbon so the beads can slide back and forth as you pray.
  • Now the beads are ready to be used. They can be used in many ways to help you pray.

User your prayer beads to:

  • Count your blessings
  • Keep track of good deeds
  • Reflect upon scripture
  • Remind you to pray
  • Assist in breath prayer
  • Memorize scripture
  • Manage your anger
  • Be thankful in all things
  • Break a bad habit
  • Pray for others

Lenten Recipes

Hot Cross Buns

download printable recipe

Let’s make hot cross buns to remember Good Friday, the day of Holy Week on which Jesus was crucified. When you’re finished, you’ll have one hot cross bun to eat and one to share and tell the Good Friday story of Jesus on the cross.

Hot cross buns have been a symbol of Good Friday for a very long time. On Good Friday in 1361, a monk named Father Thomas Rockcliffe gave hot cross buns to the poor people of St. Albans, England. Much later Queen Elizabeth I passed a law that hot cross buns could only be made during special times like Easter or Christmas. In England vendors sold hot cross buns in the streets. Their cries to sell the buns became a children’s rhyme:

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny. Two a penny.
Hot cross buns!

If ye have no daughters, give them to your sons.
One a penny. Two a penny. Hot cross buns!

You will need:

  • Bread dough
    • You can use frozen bread dough or rolls that have been thawed; refrigerated biscuit or breadstick dough; or use your own homemade bread dough
  • Raisins (optional)
  • Frosting


  1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
  2. Start with lumps of bread dough.
  3. Add raisins by rolling the dough ball a few times and working the raisins into so they become embedded throughout.
  4. Place the dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Bake the buns at 375º for 15–20 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove the buns from the oven and place them on a rack to cool.
  7. When the buns have cooled, make a cross on each one using frosting.
Prayer Pretzels

download printable recipe

During this season of Lent, let’s make pretzels to remind us of the importance of prayer. You can use store bought frozen bread dough that has been thawed, canned biscuit or breadstick dough, or you can make your own dough. Anything works!

  • Bread dough
    • Pillsbury™ refrigerated breadsticks or biscuits; frozen bread dough thawed; or your own bread dough recipe
  • Parchment paper
  • Egg, beaten
  • Kosher (coarse) salt
  • Dipping sauce (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Put some parchment paper down on the table. 
  3. Separate dough into separate lumps.  
  4. Roll the lump to make a 6-inch rope.
  5. Shape the dough into a U shape. Then fold the ends over to form the shape of praying arms (or a traditional pretzel shape).
  6. Once you have shaped the pretzel, place it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. 
  7. Lightly brush a little beaten egg onto the surface of the pretzel. 
  8. You can sprinkle salt onto the top of the pretzel as well. (optional)
  9. Bake at 400°F for 13–15 minutes.
  10. Enjoy once they’ve finished baking. Serve with dipping sauce such as mustard dip, cheese sauce, etc. (optional)