In 2002 God led me to start using the Stations of the Cross for personal devotional use. Previously I had thought of this as a Catholic practice that wasn’t well-suited for evangelical Christians. But as I walked the stations and stopped at each one to picture Jesus with his cross in that Gospel scene, meditate on Scripture, and pray I experienced God working powerfully in my life. I came to realize why countless Christ-followers had been using the Stations of the Cross for centuries before there Catholics and Protestants.
By walking with Jesus in prayer from one station to the next God brought healing to my heart and strength to my soul in surprising ways. I grew to appreciate the work of Christ on the cross for me and (we usually miss this part) I learned to take up my cross daily and follow Jesus’ “cross way” of life (Luke 9:23).
This devotional practice enthralled me with the goodness and beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ! Look at how he fully submits himself to God! Look at what he did to forgive us of our sins and reconcile us to God! Look at how he is able to remain secure and strong in Abba’s love when he’s suffering! Look at how he loves his enemies and blesses those that curse him!
Jesus went to the cross to forgive us of our sins and to show us how to live our daily lives more like him, sharing his love with others — even our enemies (Luke 6:27-31).
Take a Prayer Walk with Me!
I started inviting other people to take prayer walks with me along the Stations of the Cross and I shared my Bible meditations and prayers with them. I did this on retreats, in “virtual prayer walks” in church services, and on the actual Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem where Jesus carried his cross for us 2,000 years ago.
Most of these people had never done the Stations of the Cross before. I found that person after person was deeply impacted. Many cried with new realizations of how much Jesus loved them and how they, empowered by his mercy and grace, could become more like him. It’s amazing how powerful a discipline it is to open our mind, imagination, and heart to the Gospel scenes of Jesus’ passion.
An Evangelical Christian Adaptation
Some of the Stations of the Cross booklets you’ll find are not based on readings from the Gospels. Others don’t help us receive the forgiving work of Christ into our hearts and learn how to become a person of peace and love like him. So through my experience of taking prayer walks along the Stations of the Cross, I wrote a Biblically-based devotional booklet: Unforsaken.
This is a great resource for devotions during Lent, doing a prayer walk through physical stations of the cross, or a personal retreat any time of year. It brings the rhythms of Good Friday and Easter Sunday into our heart and life.
At each of the 15 ancient stations I include pictures of scenes from Christ’s passion, Scripture passages, devotional applications for daily life struggles with sin and stress, reflection questions, and prayers to help you live by the words: “I praise you Lord Jesus Christ. By your cross you gave us your life and showed us how to live.” Also, in the introduction I explain why I think it’s helpful to use the original stations of the cross, even though five of the stations are legends and not recorded in the Bible and I offer further guidance on how to use this resource.
This guide is for your personal devotions or to share with friends in a small group or on a retreat. It’s great for Lent or anytime of year. Appendix One features an outline for eight messages or studies.
Order your copy today to have it in time for Lent!