Collect for the First Sunday in Lent (BCP, p. 125.)
O Lord, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights; Give us grace to use such abstinence that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
This collect is one offered to Jesus and not to the Father out of thanksgiving for his example to pray and fast for ministry. It is the same thing that we all must undertake as Christians. In all four Gospel accounts, Jesus begins his earthly ministry by first being baptized, then fasting and praying, and being tempted by the devil in the wilderness. That sounds pretty familiar!
The stage has been set for us. When we are regenerated by the waters of our baptism, we are a new person in the Body of Christ. Our lives thereafter are ones which must be lived in prayer and fasting so that we can withstand the trials and temptations that Satan places in our path. These 40 days of Lent serve as a reminder that just because we move into a period of time of introspection and discipline, we never truly move out of Lent for the remaining 300+ days of the year. We are going to remain tempted as humans, and therefore, still need our weapons sharpened and honed for the battle against the Evil One.
It is the joy of serving a Resurrected Lord and Savior that we know that the Evil One has been defeated once and for all. We can face those battles that lie ahead for us all in peace knowing that Christ is there to fight along side of us, and will bandage our wounds with his shed Body and Blood.