How Exodus Lent works
Exodus Lent is a 40-day spiritual exercise for men based on three pillars: prayer, asceticism, and fraternity.
All three of these pillars are essential aspects of the Christian life. It is for this reason that taking up this spiritual exercise requires taking up all three of these pillars humbly.
- Make a daily holy hour (a minumum of 20 minutes of silent prayer…learn how here)
- Read each day’s provided scripture and reflection
As men, we are called to participate in a unique way in Christ’s headship. Are you the spiritual leader you need to be? Should your friends and family trust the decisions you make? Should they trust that you will lead them where the Lord is calling them to go, in good times and in bad? Without a life firmly rooted in prayer it is nearly impossible to know where God is leading you. Without a life of daily prayer, it is even harder to be confident that you know where the Lord is asking you to lead your friends and family at any given moment. It’s time to start praying.
During Exodus Lent you will build up a habit of daily prayer. You will commit to praying a holy hour each day. If you can’t do an entire holy hour on a given day, do as much as you can. With a minimum of twenty minutes of silent prayer both speaking to and actively listening to the Lord.
In addition, you will read through Holy Scripture part by part, each day. The scripture will be accompanied by a daily reflection. The reflection will help you comprehend the scripture for that day, understand where you are within the spiritual journey, and lead you into that day’s time of prayer with our Lord.
Stay faithful to daily prayer and you will grow in your ability to hear God speaking. This grace and ability will help you live out the spiritual headship our Lord is calling you to as a man.
- Unlike Exodus 90, during Exodus Lent you can take warm showers, drink alcohol, and — when in the company of others — watch TV and sports
- Practice regular, intense exercise
- Get a full night’s sleep (at least seven hours is recommended).
- Abstain from desserts and sweets
- Abstain from eating between meals
- Abstain from soda or sweet drinks (white milk, black coffee, and black tea are permissible)
- Abstain from video games
- Abstain from non-essential material purchases
- Only listen to music that lifts the soul to God
- Only use the computer for work, school, or essential tasks (e.g., paying bills).
- Only use mobile devices for essential communications; cut out non-essential texting, app, and internet use.
- Take Wednesdays and Fridays as days of fasting. (Abstain from meat and only eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal.)
The ascetic disciplines laid out in Exodus Lent help each man to detach from the things of the world. The disciplines cover most aspects of our daily lives to help prevent us from turning from one temporal dependency to another. Along with the disciplines for daily prayer, the ascetic disciplines help us turn from the things of this world to God—from that which will never truly satisfy, to the only one who does.
A man living out the ascetic disciplines above without living the disciplines for prayer and fraternity would be doing something, but he would not be doing Exodus Lent. Exodus Lent is equally an exercise in prayer as it is in asceticism, and in asceticism as it is in fraternity. Just as we need all three to live out the Christian life, so too we need all three to take up Exodus Lent.
- Attend Weekly Fraternity Meetings
- Check-in with your Anchor daily
This essential aspect of the Christian life is one of the most obvious and yet overlooked aspects of the Christian life today. When we challenge each other to do what is good and hold each other accountable to doing it, great fruits consistently come about. On the other hand, when we isolate ourselves and are held accountable to no one, our lives become a self-serving mess and our community suffers.
During Exodus Lent you will practice fraternity with 5-7 other men in your area. This is not a warm and cuddly, “I’m ok, you’re ok, so we’re all ok” type of fraternity. This is an authentic, “the time is now,” knees on the marble, type of fraternity. A fraternity where men step out of their comfort zone and into the light. A fraternity where accountability brings forth authentic masculinity.
The Christian life is not easy. You need brothers and they need you.