The ongoing Lent undergoing by some Christians of different denominations started even before the birth of Jesus Christ.
Making this revelation to The NationGuardnews.com in his church at Ijesha, Lagos, the Pastor in charge, Rev. Casmir Nkwo, explained that Lent is done by fasting, prayer, praises, repentance of wrong doings, among other acts that would please God.
Going  down the memory lane, the Ijesha Lagos chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Rev. Nkwo explained that evolution in Christiandom has brought Lent to front burner of Christian activities.
According to the man of God, Lent- which means fasting, and pouring of ashes on head has been in existence even even before Jesus was born. He cited the case of Tamar in 2 Samuel chapter 13 verse 19, where she put ashes on her head and tore her dress of many colours that signified her a virgin and a princess. This was because she was defiled by her stepbrother Ammon, and was made unclean.
"So Lent is a period of purification from defilement from any sin and humbling of self for man is nothing. It's a sign of mourning for what is lost spiritually", he submitted.
PFN Chairman Nkwo who is the Senior Pastor in charge of Grace Revival Ministries, Ijesha Lagos explained that Mordecai did the same thing Tamar did when the Jews were about to be exterminated by Haman but God turned the table against Haman, as written in the book of Esther chapter 4 verse 1.
Rev. Nkwo who has been into God's vineyard for over twenty years, remarked that Elijah fasted for forty years even before Jesus did His own forty years before commencement of His ministry. He therefore concluded that fasting has been integral part of Christian way of worship. Bible recognised the approach used to serve God.
He disclosed that Lent meant mourning, repentance, devotion, mediation, cross examination of self, cordial relation with God. It also reflected why Jesus suffered, died and resurrected, and brought salvation for us.
Some section of Christians observe the Lent from February sailing through March to make it forty days, but there are others especially the Pentecostals who start around November and December making it up to seventy days or even hundred days fasting. By going to that extent allegedly gives them the advantage of knowing the content of the coming year.
It's observed that the Catholic, the Anglican Communion and the Methodist normally  observe the Lent by abstaining from eating meat, consumption of alcohols, food, etc while the Pentecostal call it fasting, being on the mountain, etc. Ash is not used.
Rev. Nkwo, the President of Marriage Grace International, explained that without such a spiritual exercise of fasting, prayer,spiritual self cleansing, there will be no spiritual growth for non participants, no drawing of power from God. "There must be cause for fasting in order to determine the success or failure of the ritual. It's a spiritual festival of a sort."
The PFN chairman, an author and marriage counselor, stated that all manner of prayers and praises are accepted during fasting. He disclosed that there must be a call from God, training, obedience to the Word of God and faithfulness to the call the things that qualified one to be in God's vineyard.